I grew up listening to good music, both of my parents are lifelong musicians and have always enjoyed good quality and artistic music. I used to listen to bands like Chicago and America on the record player while I played legos in the living room floor. I loved playing with the records, looking at the sleeves and changing the albums.
At the age of 3 after watching Superman I drew a crude drawing of him flying around the world. Everyone was very supportive and I got lots of praise for it. I think I made a mental note that day of this because I really enjoyed the attention. I was not deprived but the extra support I got from flaring my artistic talent made me very happy. I began analyzing my surroundings to make more drawings. I honed my skills over the years getting better and better at both imagining things and passing them from my mind onto paper.
All through my life there was music playing in the background. I was around it most of the day, almost always quality music too, my parents were very into progressive jazz/rock, R&B and classic rock. My mother played the piano daily while I played in my room, my father played the guitar often when he got off work. I was immersed in it at all times. My grandfather and possibly my greatest influence was a connoisseur of classic music and literally had it playing 24/7 at his home and in all areas of his home.
I related with my grandfather in a peculiar way, I feel he was in many ways always both my greatest adversary and greatest ally. I realize now he was never my enemy but rather extremely critical of me because he wanted the best out of me. I fed off his approval and in the 6th grade that desire for his affection drove me into school orchestra.
I quickly moved through the violin and became 1st chair, I secretly had a crush on the teacher and was more competing for her attention but I enjoyed the class. I failed 6th grade because I hated the school and vowed to continue failing if my mother did not put me back in public schools. At Macintosh Middle School I met my most inspiring teacher and she helped me greatly excel, by the end of my second year in 6th grade I could play all the instruments proficiently and was very good at the stand up bass which I played most of the time.
In the 7th grade I continued with orchestra but began losing interest. I think it was a mixture of the curriculum not moving fast enough for me and a great relationship with my art teacher who let me do whatever I wanted (artistically) and never held me back or kept me within the bounds of the schools curriculum. She simply made sure I did artwork while in her class and gave me a 100 on everything. She guided me very well and pushed my talents while at the same time teaching me different methods and techniques.
This is also the point at which I really found comic books. Comic books were a huge thing for me although I have none now and never cherished them like your run of the mill comic fan does. I bought comics for the art, I so enjoyed drawing from them and studying the techniques used in them. I began teaching myself advanced shading techniques, human anatomy as well as perspective, proportions and many other visual art tools. The key part of my tenure as an amateur comic book artist is when I knew it well enough to step out of the bounds of copying someone else' art.
It was at this point that my creative mind stepped into maturation. I began creating, I saw things and imagined like I had never done before. I saw and heard it all inside my own head and found myself capable of transferring it onto a suitable medium.
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