I started drawing as soon as I was able to hold a pencil. Like most artists, I was a poor student in school because I was always drawing and scribbling when I should have been paying attention to the teachers. Art was not a priority in the Rahway, New Jersey public school system, so I could not get into any art classes until my senior year.
After high school, in 1961, I entered the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art. I knew I wanted to be a fine art artist, but I also knew I would have to earn a living so this seemed like a good option. In 1964 I completed my course of study and received my AAS degree in industrial design. This design education I experienced early in my youth helps me to create the type of art I do today.
A major benefit of growing up in New Jersey, in the shadow of New York City, provided me easy access to all the major museums and galleries. I loved surrealism, so Salvador Dali was my first heavy influence. Most art history classes at that time were teaching European Impressionism, which did not excite me at all.
Then I discovered a book on Aubrey Beardsley. His pen and ink drawings were truly inspirational. I also discovered the Art Nouveau movement and Alphonse Mucha, and then I knew what kind of art I wanted to create.
In my day job, I worked as a prototype model maker in the toy industry for several years. Then in 1967, I left New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles and enrolled at the Art Center College of Design. Lorser Feitelson was head of the Fine Art department at Art Center at that time and he was already famous for bringing a modern art movement to the west coast from New York and Paris. I remember seeing his hard edge paintings hanging in the LA Museum. Lorser was about 70 years old by then, and his vast knowledge and life experience had a big influence on me, and how I thought about art.
After my California experience I came back East and made a living for many years as an independent sculptor in the toy field, but continued to draw and paint.
Today, I am only doing my art.