The road to excellence in art is long and hard won. There are no shortcuts, and there are no free rides — you either put in the work or you don’t. As someone who’s devoted his entire life to perfecting his artistic skills, I can tell you that it has not been easy, but I have long known that it wouldn’t be. The pleasure that I get from making art outweighs any and all things that have stood in my way. Making art is something sacred to me and I will not compromise that for anything or anybody.
This past week, I produced the drawing that adorns this post; it is without a doubt one of the best drawings that I’ve ever done, and one that I’m quite proud of. This is drawing is the direct result of my discovery of the fabled illustration/fine art monograph, The Studio that chronicled the four man collective that consisted of artists Barry Windsor-Smith, Jeffery Jones, Michael William Kaluta, and Bernie Wrightson. Over the years, I’ve been influenced and inspired by the work of all four of these men. When I was 16, the person that made drawing in pen and ink so compelling was Bernie Wrightson. During his tenure at The Studio, he began work on the illustrated version of Frankenstein that was published in 1983 by Marvel Comics. He drew influence from the work of such pen and ink virtuosos such as Franklin Booth, and also people such as French illustrator Gustave Doré. His illustrations for Frankenstein were nothing short of a revelation to my 16 year old mind. From that point onward, drawing in pen and ink became an obsession for me and I have relentlessly sought to master the medium and live up to the bar that was set by Bernie Wrightson. My portrait of Maria Zambaco is a piece of work that lives up to that standard. I feel as if I am standing at the entrance of a doorway that is going to lead me to bigger and better things. I have a list of ideas that I’ve kept since I was in high school that I had not attempted because I never felt that I was ready to tackle them. That changed this past week. Thirty-five years later, I’ve finally reached a level that I only dreamed of in 1982. Let the work begin, the best is yet to come.