Sunday, March 14, 2010

Who am I?

The synopsis: Born in rural South Dakota, attended kindergarten through the 12 grade in the same building and graduated with and elementary education degree from the University of South Dakota. I wrote my first children’s story and met my wife at USD.

I got married after graduation and a year later my wife and I both landed professional jobs. I started teaching kindergarten in Sioux City, IA and my wife accepted a job at USD. I taught kindergarten in Sioux City at the same school for 14 years. In that time I wrote several stories and started illustrating them (those first illustrations are embarrassing) and occasionally I would send them off to publishers. All of those ended up as rejections and looking at those illustrations it is not hard to see why.

Around 2005 I started a master’s degree full of art classes designed to help me achieve an art endorsement for my teaching license. I spent the next five or six years honing my art style and didn’t write any new stories until this year. I learned many new printmaking techniques and learned what it means to become an artist. I had all but forgotten about those stories and was focused on becoming an art teacher when my degree was complete.

Then my wife accepted a new position at a university in Southern California. So we packed up the car and moved to Cali, California that is. Move to Cali, when the world’s third largest economy is in the toilette and the state just pink slipped 25,000 teachers? Sure, why not? So I am making the most of unemployment or “funemployment” by changing careers. Both of my kids are in school now and so I can take them to school and come back home for six hours of “work”. I say “work” because I love to draw and create so it doesn’t feel a lot like working.

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