As a little boy I loved going to the grocery store so I could pour over the comics while my mother was shopping. I was always captivated by the images and the colors long before I began to actually read any of the content. These early experiences provided me with a wealth of information and inspiration to fuel my expanding inner world.
As I grew into a young man, I came to the realization that I was most happy and fulfilled when I was engaged in creative pursuits. Most of my middle and high school years were spent traveling back and forth between the art and music rooms. When the time came for me to make decisions about college, I realized that creating art was my deepest passion. Luckily, I had the benefit of a very caring art teacher who helped me to develop a portfolio for submission to an Art & Design college.
After completing my training as an Illustrator at the Kansas City Art Institute, I began doing freelance illustration and graphic design. However, midway into my career, a series of life experiences led to what can best be described as a spiritual awakening. As a result of these experiences, I felt compelled to pursue a spiritual calling which resulted in my entering seminary.
While pursuing a Master of Divinity degree I struggled to understand how I could integrate my identity as an artist with the theological and philosophical training I was being exposed to. I continued to create works of art and complete commissions but the content and focus of my work had begun to evolve. During this period I began to incorporate my creative activity into my spiritual practice. A product of my struggle (and the incorporation of creativity into my spiritual practice) was discovering that I needed more in-depth knowledge about the connections between art and theology - so I entered a Doctoral program at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.
The focus of my research was an interdisciplinary study which integrated, Theological Aesthetics, Art, and Black American cultural theory. My time spent at the Graduate Theological Union culminated in the production of a research project that utilized both my illustrations and my doctoral research. The extensive research required for my dissertation allowed me to integrate theological insights and my creative artistry into a cohesive way of being which combines, theology, art, and my ongoing spiritual practice into an overarching vocational vision. My artistic practice is an integral part of that vision.
At present, creations reflect my efforts to explore the connections between artistic creation, aesthetic experience, and spirituality. My mission statement is:
“To give divine light form through the manifestation of symbolic images that encourage reflection upon the myriad ways the divine reveals itself within our world.”
Most of my images are birthed from my study of various theological/philosophical texts, or images that come to me through my daily meditation practice. My primary mediums are scratchboard and watercolor. I occasionally work with acrylic paints but maintain a consistent portfolio through the use of style and content that supports my vision statement. I always begin with meditation before engaging in the creative process. I meditate at a small altar located within my studio. My goal is to infuse each creation with higher vibrational energies that are interwoven into the fabric of the work. This process not only involves meditation and prayer while creating, but also involves in-depth research and meditation upon the best ways to convey complex spiritual concepts in visual form through the use of color, line, and symbol. I strive to make each and every image highly vibrational, inspiring, didactic, and iconic.