Born in San Antonio, Texas, I grew up in Southern California. I suffered from lung ailments as an infant, and as doctors back then told parents to keep kids like me indoors and away from sports, my childhood was spent drawing pictures. The George Reeves "Superman" series was on my television every morning, and drawing the "S" properly - I learned early the uses of negative space - became an obsession of my scrawny self.
I was also a voracious reader of science fiction, a habit I picked up from my grandfather, who kept big boxes of Golden Age SF novels and would give me one to take home each time I visited. The films of FX pioneers like Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen were early inspirations; I saw a "Sinbad" movie at a second-run theater, and demanded to know how this magic was done. I learned Ray's name and accomplishments at my mother's knee. Later in life I was privileged to meet the man - a beloved teacher of mine was his friend and colleague - and I even got to show him some of my own animation work.
In 1992 I became the first freelance illustrator in Hollywood to abandon traditional media for digital. My arsenal now includes everything from pencil-style sketches to hard-surface animation and 3D fur shaders, and I've worked on some of the biggest movies of the last twenty years: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jungle Book, Man of Steel, Captain America: Winter Soldier and more. "Bright" starring Will Smith was released in late in 2017, and the all-CG remake of The Lion King from Disney, for which I designed exciting new versions of iconic locations, will be out in 2019.
As a senior-level art director with Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), my interactions earned the trust of several notable clients, including Clint Eastwood, Jonathan Mostow, P.J. Hogan and numerous client-producers. Other responsibilities saw me active in directing model shop and stage crews, working alongside VFX supervisors and DPs. I designed miniatures, sets and props, and directed large teams of artists both digital and analog.
Between 2003 and 2006, I was a Senior Art Director at Electronic Arts for The Godfather game and managed the large wave of preproduction art in the pitch phase, writing and directing 3D cinematics from storyboards to casting sessions to recording sessions, motion capture to final animation. I met with executives from Paramount and representatives of Francis Ford Coppola. I wrote the opening sequence of the game, directed the character design and building crew, and directed 55 in-game cinematics, from storyboards to final editing.
Recently, I coordinated design for a marketing effort at JPL and ASU to pitch a mission called “Psyche” to NASA. I am happy to report that my contribution was regarded by the team as a major factor in success of this $500,000,000 grant. The mission has been fast-tracked and launches in 2022.
As it happens, I was lucky enough to be assigned the “S” that Superman wears on his chest in "Man of Steel" - one of only five “S” designs that Warner Bros. has elevated to trademark status. That no-longer-scrawny kid has realized his fondest ambition.
I have three children of my own. The youngest has followed in my footsteps, for good or for ill, and she's better than I was. I'm a US citizen married to a Canadian; I live in Los Angeles and divide my time between there and the Great White North. I am a member of IATSE Local 800, the Art Directors' Guild.