The Name - The Art Machine was just a slang I used for the computer which organically transitioned into my company name back in the early years of when this whole digital age took over commercial art. Yep, time flies.
Education - I got slightly delayed in my pursuit of visual arts, lack of funds drew me to the Coast Guard to bank money for further education and get paid for a little adventure. While serving I trained in marine rescue and aviation maintenance. I was land based for my hitch and was able to pick up random classes along the way. I eventually earned an AS degree in visual communication at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, with random classes in industrial design.
Work History - Before my career in visual communications I worked in a factory making engine parts. I performed duties in both marine and aviation divisions in the Coast Guard. After college I ran my own illustration business for many years before selling out to a client with the goal of establishing an industrial design department to attract buyers. Black+Decker bought the company shortly after and I stayed on as a designer until they consolidated and moved back to Maryland (4 years). I then worked for a local competitor (3 years) to go full circle back to illustration, conceptual product design adding product development from my corporate experiences.
Illustration - I was inspired by David Kimble, the cutaway king back in the days when airbrushing was the tool of choice. I headed in that direction until demands for line drawings consumed my time. That was the early days of the transition from analog to computer. I figured out simple drawings were a reliable niche. That eventually led me to industrial design where I had some formal training and a passion to create. The blend of both interests turned out to be a good combination. The only thing I find more satisfying than drawing things that already exist is drawing things that don't.
Design - I was pulled into product design through instruction manual drawings. It was a new era of transferring electronic images to off shore factories, no big deal by today's standards, but at the time Chinese factories were so eager to do business with the US they would take simple drawings and build prototypes very quickly. The speed gave my client an advantage to chase market trends and buyer requests beating competitors to store shelves. That quickly changed my primary business of illustration to product design.
Product Development - Being able to create both graphics and product design has led my business further into product development. My knowledge gained from corporate experience paired with visual communications lends itself well to upstarts and small rapidly growing companies as an economical turn key development solution. The experience of importing product myself has been a further education on how every step in development greatly effects the next. Being able seamlessly connect the dots is a big part of the product I offer.
Personal - My work is my hobby...Yes, I'm cursed with creativity... I've always loved to invent, modify and make things, my brain just doesn't turn off. Time has not changed that enthusiasm, in fact the discovery of thermal forming plastic has refreshed my excitement about "making". That said, It's not all work and no play. You may also see me biking or jogging on Fort Myers Beach or Kayaking in Estero bay. My wife and I also explore National Parks every chance we get and ski the Rockies annually.