frequently asked questions:
Since I get a fair number of emails from students and other folks asking similar questions, I've compiled the most common ones here. Feel free to get in touch if you have a question that isn't answered below.
What media do you work in?
I work primarily in watercolor and gouache, although I've been known to dabble in graphite, scratchboard, acrylics, and colored pencils as well.
Do you accept commissioned work?
Sometimes. It depends on my schedule and the scope of work. Send me an email or give me a call if you're interested in commissioning a piece.
Can I use one of your images?
Without my permission? Absolutely not. With my permission? Maybe. It depends on what you're using it for. Drop me a line explaining which image you'd like to use and why. I will respond with an answer.
Do you have prints other than those featured in your on-line store?
Get in touch if you are interested in a print that does not appear in my store. If I receive enough requests for a particular print I will add it to my store.
How did you get started as an illustrator?
I've always loved to draw, but it took me a long time to figure out that I wanted to be an illustrator. I started by doing my own drawings and showing them to a few people who encouraged me to do more. I took on small projects for local non-profits, family, and friends. I slowly built up my portfolio. I decided to go to school for science illustration. I did an internship. I printed cards with my work and gave them to people. I started selling cards. I got more and larger commissions. I printed more cards and prints. And here we are.
Have you had formal illustration training?
Yes. I completed the Science Illustration program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Most of your illustrations have a science theme. Do you think it's necessary to have a science background to do these types of paintings?
Necessary, no. Helpful, yes. I've taken classes in geology, biology, and botany and I do use this information when working. Having a basic knowledge in these fields makes my work go more quickly. I also have a small library of field guides and textbooks that I go to when I have questions.
Where do you get ideas for your personal work?
Most of my inspiration comes from wandering around outside or reading scientific books or articles. Or from listening to podcasts like Radiolab. Something will spark my interest and I'll decide to do more research.
Do you use the computer much?
I am an illustrator who still prefers to work by hand. I rarely complete digital illustrations. That said, I am on the computer a lot. Most of my work is printed digitally, which means that I scan and color balance finished paintings. I also use the computer to quickly mock-up different layout possibilities.
How long does it take you to finish a painting?
It depends on the amount of research, and the size and complexity of the painting. And my level of interest at the time. Sometimes I'll start a painting and finish it in a few days. Other times I'll make an initial sketch of a painting and not go back and work on it for months or even years.
Do you teach classes?
Yes. I teach at Oregon State University and Lane Community College. I also occasionally teach a workshop or class at various art centers, events, and festivals. Check my news page for upcoming course announcements.
Where do you have your cards printed?
I print my cards myself on an Epson WF-2540 printer. I've gotten the best print results from Epson printers that use DURABrite inks.
Will you look at my portfolio?
You are welcome to email me your portfolio. I will do my best to provide feedback, however, depending on my workload at the time I cannot promise a thorough review.