The first thing someone says when I tell them I’m an artist is, “Oh really? Whoa! That’s really cool.” Their reaction is almost like that of someone meeting Santa Claus–incredulous that such a person actually exists. (Dude, you really make a living just by drawing pictures? Can you also levitate and see the top of your own head?) The second question is, without fail, “What kind of artist are you?”. If you’re an engineer or a banker or a coach, this is an easy question to answer. I’m a civil engineer, I coach basketball, etc.
But man, art is multifaceted and I really struggle putting a one or two word label on what I do. The simple answer these days is to tell people I’m an illustrator. “Illustrator” is enough of a catch all to leave the conversation open to further exploration, but not to bore the other person with a diatribe on the social and political views that sometimes inform my artwork.
So what kind of artist am I? I ask myself this a lot. I’m the kind of artist that changes shapes to fit the job at hand. I’m the kind of artist that likes to spend sixty hours drawing a picture of a dog. I’m the kind of artist that likes color. I’m the kind of artist that really like black and white. I’m the kind of artist that still like drawing pictures of snowboarders just like he did when he was 14 years old.