Michael – 10 Years, 10 Employees, 10 Things



First off, all these items are indicative of me because I completely forgot to bring stuff in the day of the photoshoot and had to grab things I had on hand in my bag, my office, and the game shop across the street. I’m forgetful because there’s a lot going on in my head. And, apparently, I have a lot of random stuff with me at any given time. Since I had a thrown-together list, I missed a couple of things that are important to me: family (my extended family has always been close), my wife (she’s a pretty cool nurse/roller derby rocking/ex-professional women’s football playing/mom/knitter) , our dogs (we have two; a small one and a gigantic one), and music (I’m a huge fan of many genres, and I’ve been playing guitar since I was 14).

This is a page from my portfolio with a selection of screen printed designs for t-shirts and beach towels. I got my start as a designer–and learned my trade–in the travel and gift market of screen printed and embroidered clothing. I learned all parts of the printing process and it taught me everything I know about designing, illustrating, and working on a ridiculously quick schedule.

 

Back in 2009 the economy sucked and I hated my job and I made a decision that I was going to commit to making comic books. I couldn’t always find a writer to get me a script to draw from, so I took to writing my own. I saw this as a creative outlet that would make up for my lack of enjoyment at my old job if nothing else. A year later I was in San Diego at the biggest Comic Con in the country to meet co-creators and promoting my first published artwork in a Graphic Novel. I co-wrote several other comic books over the next few years which eventually led to me writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering a Graphic Novel called SUPERNAUT which was published in 2017. It’s a wacky sci-fi mind-trip hero’s journey life-after-death exploration with astronauts and transdimensional thievery.

 

I’ve been a gamer for most of my life starting with Pong and Atari (yeah, I’m that old). I enjoy video games, board games, puzzles, and brain-teasers. But I made some life-long friends over a table of dice and character sheets and Dungeons and Dragons.

 

These are my two sons, Johnathan (10) and Benjamin (3). They’re the coolest. I don’t really remember life without them. I’m not always a perfect dad, but I am the cool dad that plays with toys and games with them. And I’m proud to be their dad every day. I didn’t have anything around with my wife, Kelly, but she’s responsible for creating these awesome little dudes, and I couldn’t do it without her.

 

Speaking of playing with toys, I have a little collection of toys in my office, and a few more at home. I never fully grew out of collecting cool action figures but I try and keep it to just a few favorites nowadays. Doctor Strange is one of my favorite characters from Comic Books which are a huge influence on me creatively in storytelling and graphic design/illustration. And the other is just Pickle Rick, man.

 

This is a “lamp” I got on sale for $9. But it represents the biggest influence in all of my life’s pursuits: Star Wars. Before you ask, the new stuff isn’t very good. I’m all about the Original Trilogy. Yes, I’m a nerd from back when it wasn’t cool to be into nerd things. Star Wars got me interested in astronomy, science, physics, Science Fiction, drawing, comics, movies, and more. Pretty much everything started there.

 

My co-creator in comics and the publisher we had our Graphic Novels through got linked up with a small Film Production company who wanted to make a magazine about all things pop-culture and geekdom. We did four issues or so before it went bust, but it was great experience laying out the entire thing and designing ti from scratch all by myself. We got to interview many comic creators, actors, and filmmakers and made some cool connections.

 

I have a sweet tooth for candy and soda at times, especially when I’m stressed. It’s my only vice. Snickers and Coca Cola are my favorite.

 

I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, my mom says. As a kid I would spend dinners out with family drawing on placemats, drawing for fun, and learning about drawing anywhere I could. Often in meetings I draw on my notes; it’s not that I’m not listening, it helps me focus and remember things by imprinting on my brain. It’s a habit, like breathing. But I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, and I wish I was better at it after all this time.

 

I’m always reading something. I keep jumping from book to book lately, and then throw in some comics/news articles/tutorials/magazines for variety. I had at least 4 books in my bag in 4 different genres the day we did these photos, but I picked out a classic Sci-Fi book that best represents my tastes. Reading rocks, kids.