My art career spans many different venues, industry, and medium. I started out as a political cartoonist in college. I professionally drew for daily and weekly newspapers in the early 1990’s until I discovered the technology to pursue my satire in the animation realm. I moved to the west coast to pursue my animation studies at Cal Arts and then to work for the Cartoon Network, MTV, Disney Interactive, and Nickelodeon. I continued with my independent films that were broadcast on MTV, PBS, the Independent Film Channel, Tech TV, and screened in film festivals in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Tokyo, Berlin, and Sao Paulo.
In the summer of 2002, I received an artist residency grant to produce a film, “Bubba Ganoosh” at the 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle, WA. “Bubba” was a 3-D digital film based in the tradition of Warner Bros. legendary animation director, Chuck Jones. In the fall, I was awarded a scholarship to pursue an MFA at Bowling Green State University. During this time, I explored the sketches I did while traveling in Italy to produce a thesis film called, “Pulcinello”. The film is also influenced by the history of the Commedia del Arte a theater and puppet troupe based in 11th century Naples, Italy. Pulcinello had its world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival in June 2004. After graduating from Bowling Green, I took a position at Sheridan College in Toronto, Ontario, teaching storyboarding and animation. Along with my teaching duties, I played a key role in developing the Bachelors of Animation/Art degree, the first in Canada. During my tenure at Sheridan, I produced a documentary on my late grandfather that illustrated and animated his stories from his birthplace Malta to Detroit his adopted town.
In August 2006 I became an associate professor at Clemson University in South Carolina to teach and develop the new Digital Arts Production graduate program. In 2007, I completed an animation/documentary based on two South Carolinian art quilters, Dottie Moore and Dixie Haywood. The animation is based directly from the quilts abstract design and colors. The music is from Charles Wood, a world champion banjo player who has performed with Steve Martin and played on “A Prairie Home Companion”. May 2008, I received a $100,000 grant to produce an animated film based on the Appalachian clog dance. This film project incorporated the various talents of Wade Hampton High School, Clemson’sigital Production Arts, and the musical talents of Pickens County and the clog dance team of Bill and Simone Nichols.
Today I have come full circle applying my animation and film making into political satire. My political animations have been published on The New York Times, CNN, CBC and the Wall Street Journal.