Growing up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, at age 13 it was expected that we seriously consider a career. The school I attended invited several people to present different career paths. We were to select three choices and then attend those presentations. We were also given materials to help us make suitable choices. However, I knew only two things:
- I wanted to be a baseball player
- I loved to draw
My first choice was Artist as baseball player wasn’t on the list. I couldn’t wait to hear the artist. I was excited and, naturally, it was the last of the presentations. I had a great imagination; and had visualized the real life of an artist; life would be an amazing adventure with riches and fame, traveling the world and meeting famous people.
This work was done on 110b paper and took over 100 hours to complete. The original is 11" x 14" and non-licensed prints are available for $100 each. email@example.com
I was shocked when the presenter announced, “You should only be an artist in your spare time, you won’t make it as a fulltime artist unless you are really good.” Was he kidding; dashing my dreams? After all, dreaming of being a pro baseball player was a stretch, but now this guy was telling me that I had a better chance at winning lottery than becoming a successful artist. You should have seen his face when I told him I wanted to be a sports artist; it was everything he could do to keep from laughing at me.
So, career day didn’t go so well. As an artist, and specifically a sports artist, I learned how difficult it was to get anything into galleries or in front of people who would purchase my work.
So why sports art? Passion!
Sports art to me is much more than just a way to earn a living; I truly love bringing my pieces to life. Growing up organized hockey was expensive; and like most Canadian boys, I too lifted the imaginary Stanley Cup above my head many times while playing the more affordable road hockey version. Therefore, drawing my hockey heroes was a way for me to infuse my art with my dreams.
I started drawing goalies because I liked the detail of the equipment and masks. My first attempt was for my dad as a father’s day gift; I drew former Edmonton Oilers goalie Bill Ranford. Years later, after my Dad passed, I found it in a box of his old stuff. To see that he had kept this drawing for all those years brought a sense of pride as well as a tear to my eye.
It was after I met my wife that my art improved to a new level. After I had completed what I felt was one of my best pieces, my wife looked at me and told me directly, “You can do better than that. I don’t know how but I just know you can do better.” She was right. Now, seven years later I am happy with my style and still I continue to learn and grow, chasing my dream of becoming a full time sports artist.
Each year that passed, my passion for drawing grew and I learned, trying different techniques. I continue this practice even today. Being a self-taught artist trying new things is what has gotten me where I am. Over the years, I learned that you can’t get better unless you try new things.
We didn’t have a lot when I was a kid, but my parents always made sure I had an HB pencil, a pink eraser, a small sharpener and a piece of Bristol board for drawing. As I got older the front and back covers of the Beckett price guides featured various artist’s work; I would try reproducing their drawings and dream of one day being in their magazine. Sadly, Beckett no longer has artwork in their guides but, they still have their yearly art issue and, hopefully, one day my work will be there.
Today, as a parent of two beautiful girls and husband to the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on, being that full time artist is a challenge. I now have the opportunity to put together a portfolio and when it’s accepted I’ll be producing full time. If this venture doesn’t pan out, then I plan to create limited edition autographed prints and originals. I invite you to support me and watch me soar.