why

Quasimodo, calisthenics and
the color purple.

 

When asked what drew me to the creative world, I generally respond with a long list of illustration and design heroes that pulled me into a world of picture books and head-shop posters. But the real truth is found inside my high school gym locker.

I had no enemies at the age of 16, with the exception of a 3rd period gym coach who will remain nameless (only because I can’t remember it), an empty shell of a man whose goal in life was to make mine miserable. And the smell of Hai Karate cologne sealed the proverbial deal.

Unapologetically, I was too cool for calisthenics, especially when they included back-blistering sit-ups on molten magma asphalt under the hot California sky. But when a fairly minor skateboard mishap left a fairly impressive bruise on one knobby knee I presented my 'get out of jail' or gym card (mom's note) to Mr. Hai Karate and limped away like nobody’s business.

Sadly, by Monday morning the bruise had faded and so had my hopes of another day without jumping jacks and laps.

Then it happened. The heavens opened up and angels sang In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida while I rifled through an old art supply box and pulled out a handful of chalk pastels in various shades of blue, purple and green.

It was a masterpiece. Not only had the bruise on my knee returned but it was now a thing of beauty and yet just grotesque enough to keep anyone from looking too closely.

It was then, or more specifically 3 days later, while enjoying another sit-up-less 3rd period, dragging my masterpiece behind me like Quasimodo carrying a Rembrandt, that I knew I had a future in the arts.