The last dozen years of my illustration career does not quite reflect my talent for cartooning. My portfolio is rife with artwork of scenery and architecture. But I am a cartoonist. Upon graduating art school in the 1990s, I entered the field of animation at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Los Angeles where I became a background designer and storyboard artist.
I loved animation work. I thrived in a highly creative industry with many talented artists around me. It's fun to work on shows that are enjoyed by millions of people. But with that, I had to live in Los Angeles. It's not that I disliked the city, rather I longed for a different lifestyle. After seven years in LA, I moved to Boulder, Colorado where I built a prolific freelance illustration career.
In Colorado, I hiked and snowboarded. I became a homeowner thrice. I drove my 1967 Jeep in snowstorms and a sidecar motorcycle in the summer with my dog. I lived in town and in the mountains. I survived a flood. I raised money for Colorado's fire and flood relief with my art. I created hundreds of artworks. I started businesses to both success and failure. I got married on a mountain patio in winter. My wife and I had a son. I made lifelong friends. Colorado was good to me for a over twelve years.
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
Last week, I returned to California, this time with my family.
I never left animation because I didn't like the work. In fact, I've missed it through the years. I am actively looking for work as a storyboard artist or background designer in television animation. Stepping away from animation made me I realize how much passion I have for cartooning and storytelling. As good as I am at illustrating landmarks, I'm better at telling stories through art.