Designing, laying-out and executing large-format murals(up to 10,000 suare feet) by myself or with a team. Did work from photo-realistic to cartoonish. Projects included an indoor waterpark and major theme park attractions. I was often required to use scissor and boom-lifts including some very large ones. Master-level operator.
Also specialized in props, scenery and simulated paint finishes(varying types of wood, metal and stone mostly). Antiquing. Traditional sign-painting and lettering by hand and also, masking techniques.
Mastery of airbrush and automotive spray equipment including spray-booth maintenance and ventilation systems.
Hand and tool shaping in precision foams, HD bead foam, wood, plaster, papier-mache’, wax, froth packs, fiber-glass, clay and epoxy-putty. Commercial projects included giant trees, characters, animals, board game pieces, etc.). Resin casting.
Glass etching & carving, tool engraving, stained glass design and Tiffany restoration, kiln-fired glass painting,
Specialized in large and intricate glass art panels and installations(sometimes multi-layer including unique lighting and mounting systems that I designed). Projects included high-end front entryways, shower enclosures, churches and signage. Developed new techniques based on airbrushing to achieve photo-realistic results in etching.
I've worked on many personal and commissioned antique-restoration projects including steamer trunks, desks, a mechanical drafting table and other assorted furniture items, mastered various staining and clearcoating techniques including polyurethane, varnish, lacquer and catalyzed finishes. Aging techniques. Sandblasting and sealing metal surfaces.
Designed and built several original pieces, notably the “Japanese Puzzle Bookshelf”.
TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Competent with most carpentry -related tools and equipment(sanders, drills, routers, nail guns, saws, pneumatic equipment, etc.). Participated in several equipment use & safety training programs. (Universal, Cinnabar, others). Master level boom and scissor lift operator. Competent fork lift driver
Calligraphy design and execution, font & logo design, basic sewing skills, pencil drawing, Pattern-making. Competent with basic photography and lighting. 4 years of computer aided design and illustration experience ( Adobe Photoshop, Paint.net, Smoothdraw and Inkscape)
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE & WORK HISTORY
Define Studios-Melbourne, Florida (1993-1995)
Designed and etched dozens of custom, art glass doors. I came into this job as a “young helper” and quickly became the lead glass etcher and designer as well as production manager, on-site technician and machinery maintenance man.
Art Glass by Wells-Houston, Texas (1995-1997)
Lead designer and lay-out guy for stained glass and etching, lead glass carver & etcher. Reputable, traditional glass art studio. Tiffany restoration, Fabricated complex geometric, beveled glass panels, Worked with “Munich Style” glass painting, glue-chipping and gold-leafing, Did many unique, artistic projects and developed new techniques. In addition, maintained the air compressors and sand blasting systems as well as safety ventilation systems.
Art Glass by Design-Melbourne, Florida (1997-1998)
Lead designer and glass etcher. Equipment and on-site technician, designed over a hundred stained and etched art panels here.
Define Studios-Melbourne, Florida (1998-2000)
Production manager, lead designer, fabricator, equipment technician including unique air filtration and actuated sand blasting systems. Was contacted by the new owner based on reputation.
During this period, I also did several large commissioned murals(one at a bowling alley, coffee shop and skateboard shop). I was also constantly drawing and painting in my free time and developing my body of work during this period.
THEMING, MOVIES & TELEVISION(2000-2008)
2000 marked the beginning of a new career. Looking to branch out in the world and ready for new, artistic challenges; I moved to Orlando, Florida and immediately found work in the theming industry. This was the start of a “marathon of work” that lasted nearly 8 years straight. I worked as a freelance scenic artist, often hired by sub-contractors in the theming, television and movies industries. Within 2 years I became a “go-to guy” for many companies that had large, technically demanding muraling, sculpting and fabrication jobs with tight deadlines. During this period, I frequently worked on multiple projects at one time, both on-site and in my home studio/workshop. I also traveled out of town on many occasions for large projects.
SOME NOTABLE PROJECTS:
Wall Wizards-Orlando, Florida
“Star Wars- Ewok Village”(theme park attraction) , Disney MGM: Lead scenic painter. Sculpted and painted hundreds of fiberglass logs to look like real redwood and other trees... right down to the algae and lichens.
“Faux-Finishing project at the house of Reebok CEO”, Sarasota, Florida: Lead scenic painter/ art director and researcher. An enormous project wherein I simulated the look of antique mediterranean plaster on new walls and ceilingsby working with photographs taken in actual historical Italian villas. In addition, I painted realistic cloud ceilings and did some very special finishes in kid’s rooms involving metallic powders and photo-reactive paints. I was on-site for over 2 months.
Creative Environs- Jacksonville, Florida
“Six Flags/Looney Toons”(theme park attraction), Jacksonville, Florida: Theming artist, designer. A big Looney Tunes themed project that involved painting murals, 3/4 scale cartoon buildings, signs and large character sculptures as part of a team. We also fabricated fake topiaries in the shape of cartoon characters. I also painted an 8 foot tall treasure chest solo.
“Castaway Bay at Cedar Point”(themed attraction) Sandusky, Ohio: Lead muralist, designer, researcher. This project involved painting a photo-realistic,panoramic, circular mural of clouds and the ocean(including breaking waves on the shoreline) that was up to 30 feet in height. It was the background scenery for a massive indoor waterpark. The total size was more than 9,000 sqare feet. The work was done mostly in boom lifts with automotive sprayguns with some brushwork on the wave areas. I worked with one assistant on this mural and spent 2 weeks on-site.
“Magiquest”(interactive theme park) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Lead muralist, designer and production manager. Indoor, interactive magic-themed attraction.Probably the biggest project I worked. Painted and designed a 10,000 sqare foot panoramic, circular “fantasy themed" trompe l’oeil mural. The mural went from day to night and had sky, mountain and forest areas.
I also did many other scenic elements including marble, stone and wood finishes and at least 3... ...more substantial murals including a 5,000 sq. foot parchment treasure map on the outside of the building and a “Dragon Cave”. I was on-site for 4 months and sometimes worked with an assistant.
“Medieval Times”(themed attraction) Atlanta, Georgia: Lead scenic painter. Another huge theming project that involved doing many areas of unique faux-finishes and murals. A substantial part of the job was to paint dozens of huge sculpted fiberglass ceiling beams to look like real wood while on scissor-lifts. Worked as part of a team with one assistant.
“Volcano Putt-Putt”(themed attraction), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Lead scenic painter. Working on an enormous boom-lift, I painted an 8 story, concrete volcano(and lava) with one helper. Also worked as part of a team on the theming in the interior of the building. The volume of paint used was so substantial that we had to use industrial spray equipment and large garden sprayers to apply it. On-site for 3 weeks.
“Cheeseburger in Paradise” (restaurant chain): Production manager, lead artist. Painted tropical themed murals inside and signage outside. Each restaurant was done in 2 weeks of on-site work with a team of 3-5 people. Also did an “epoxy bar top” at each location involving various found objects and seashells encased in 3 inch deep resin. Bar tops were generally 75 square feet. I did at least 11 locations. Some cities that stand out are Chicago, Columbus and New York...
When I left the project, a “look-book” was created using photographs of my work as the template for future teams to reference.
“Dino-Rama"(Disney’s Animal Kingdom): Lead sign painter. This was a large signage project that was done in a 1960‘s/1970‘s retro sign-painting style. It was an homage to the Americana phenomenon of the “road-side attraction”. I was responsible for several of the most complex signs and also worked as quality control and base-painter on many others. Disney was very strict in wanting their designs to be followed accurately and they often came by the shop to take measurements and compare artwork. Still, I was given authorization by Disney’s art director to make some design modifications when necessary.
“3D Billboard elements”: Theming artist, sculptor. The company worked on big-budget, themed billboards that could be found near popular attractions in Orlando. I was occasionally involved in preparing sculptural and painted elements for these projects. This was generally done with automotive paint techniques. A couple examples are a giant Mickey Mouse and Spiderman themed billboard.
“The Source Awards” (television special): Theming artist. A large and short-deadline project where I painted many theatrical scenery elements as part of a team. Most of it was a futuristic cityscape that was used as a back-drop for a musical performance.
“Mag-lev Train cars”(prototype vehicle): Automotive paint technician.This was basically an enormous automotive body-work and painting project. Prepared prototype train cars for installation at an unknown location. Worked as part of a team.
Clegg and Sons-Orlando, Florida
“Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights"(themepark event): Theming artist, art director. Worked on this in 2 seperate years. I was responsible for painting scenic elements including: giant rusted metal electrical machines up to 3 stories tall, a haunted “ghetto alley” covered with scary graffiti murals, a 3 foot tall eyeball that squirted blood, a 4 foot cauldron filled with large eyeballs and many more ghoulish things...
“Home Shopping Network”(television production) Makuhari, Japan: Scenic artist. This job involved working as part of a crew painting realistic faux finishes on the floors of multiple staging areas of a television studio. Due to the sensitivity of the rolling camera equipment...the floors needed to be completely smooth yet look like real surfaces. Some of the finishes that we did were wood, terra-cotta tile and marble.
“Scenery for Concerts”(staging and scenery): Scenic artist, on-site technician. At this company, I worked on painting and fabricating scenic elements for substantial music productions including concerts for Pink, Mandy Moore, 98 Degrees and Nick Carter among others.
“Television Commercials”: Scenic artist. Worked on scenery in-shop and as on-site standby for large campaigns for Reactine, Khol’s and Nickelodeon.
“Pandemonium”(television show): Theming artist. One of several kid’s shows that I worked on for Nickelodeon. This was a huge scenery and set fabrication job that filled an entire soundstage at Universal Studios, Orlando.
“NSYNC Christmas Special”(television production): Theming artist and design duties. A substantial “antique circus” themed set and props that filled an entire soundstage at Universal. I was responsible for much of the lay-out and painting of scenery and props. Also had some design responsibilities.
“Rock Waterfalls at New Destiny Church”(themed installation): Lead sculptor and scenic-painter, on-site technician. Produced 2 identical 23 X 12 foot high “rock waterfalls”. Large foam panels applied to a wooden frame were carved to look like canyon rock and then coated with fiberglass. The pieces were then painted to look natural. This job also had other large faux-finished elements and props.
“Disney 50th Anniversary Celebration"(television and theming project): Lead scenic painter. Working with one partner, I did all sculpted and themed elements and staging for this project. Also worked as on-site stand by.
“Spongebob Squarepants/Dora the Explorer”(stage production): Lead scenic-artist working with one assistant on a large scenery package for a children’s theatrical presentation.
Art Director/Lead Scenic Painter. This is the company that hired me most often for large sculpting projects. Generally, I would do the sculpting duties and then the company would have my work fiberglassed...I would then return to do the painting. I did all lay-out and design for my projects here which involved many other theatrical and painted elements.
Some notable works include 2 identical 7 foot tall parrots(with sunglasses), A 7 foot long, realistic hot dog, carvings for a Mardi-Gras float and reproductions of all the pieces of the board game “Clue” at 3 foot tall.
Selected Independent Work
“TNA Wrestling”(television production): Lead scenic painter for all theming, signage and on-site support. This is another set that filled an entire soundstage at Universal, Orlando.
“Loew’s Theatres”(theming installation) Philladelphia, Pa: Theming artist, production manager, automotive spray technician. I was sent out on this several month project during the last 2 weeks. The job was to do a faux-finish on 12 fiberglass columns that were each 25 feet high. When I arrived, this project was far behind schedule and when I left it was completely finished.
“Curse of the Mummy”(themepark attraction): Lead artist and designer. Painted “Egyptian-themed” scenic elements for the entrance to the ride/temple.
“Holy Land Adventure”(themepark): As lead scenic painter on the project, I was responsible for doing a marble finish on the entire outside of “Herod’s Temple”. There was alot of scissor and boom-lift operation involved. This was one of the biggest projects I have been on and the number of finishes and scenic tasks are too many to list. 3 months on-site.
“Jack-ass the Movie”(film): Scenic painter. This project involved working with a team to paint a giant sized, “redneck version” of the board game, “Mouse Trap” on -site.
“Expedition Everest”(themepark attraction)Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Lead scenic painter, theming artist. During this 2 month project, I was one of 2 scenic-painters responsible for painting and theming enormous and heavily rusted areas of “Himalayan train tracks”. This was a very high-profile Disney ride project and I worked alongside some of the best artisans and art directors in the business.
"X-ray Visions": in addition to contracted work, I maintained my own glass etching business on the side during this 7 year period.
Final Year in Orlando, Florida
After 7 years of 60 to 80 hour work weeks without a pause freelancing, I needed something different. I applied for employment at Universal Studios, Orlando for a job as a full-time scenic-artist.
After making it through the notoriously exclusive selection process, I was invited for an interview with a committee of 5. Having passed the interview, I was scheduled for a final art test. The test was comprised of several stages of artistic assignments designed to evaluate one’s competency in various painting & sculpting techniques and knowledge of materials & equipment. After passing and attending a rigorous safety and training program that lasted for 3 weeks... I was finally part of the team.
Universal Studios “Islands of Adventure”:
During my time with Universal, I was in charge of all scenic duties for the “Cartoon Lagoon” area of the park. My most notable contribution was an almost single-handed revamping of the entire Popeye area surrounding the “Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barge Ride”. This included re-painting and theming nearly every significant scenery and prop in the area(barrels, boats, crates, etc.) and helping create new sign and theming elements.
I also contributed to countless team projects around the entire park which included the “Jurassic Park”, “Dr. Seuss”, “New York”, and preliminary work on “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” areas among many others.
Having learned everything that I could in the theming industry and with an imminent move to Canada looming...I gave my notice and prepared to leave the amazing group of artisans, engineers and technicians that I had worked so closely with for more than a year.
The "ATTRACTION Media" Installation Project
An installation project at Attraction Media Inc. in Montreal, QC. 6 artists were invited to fill a space in one over-night session. The artists: Fred Caron, Alan Ganev, Jason Botkin, XRAY, WIA and Stikki Peaches.
I chose to do an homage to the sign-painting and street art of India called: "Taste of India".
The work was done at Morot Studios in Montreal, Quebec. A large team of local and international artists, crafts-people and technicians were involved.
I mainly worked on parts of the project that involved painting the skin of the sculpted and molded animal bodies. One of my largest contributions was to develop a 6-step process to speed up the production of "snake mats" and match the look that had already been developed. I was also assigned to quality control for the snakes while working in that area. This involved developing and maintaining a consistent base-color palette and applying a final clear coat.
In addition, i was involved in painting(and prep work) on individual mammal-like creatures of varying sizes and species. Other duties included high-volume base painting, painting gore-effects on slabs of fake meat, painting hundreds of miniature snakes, loading trucks and many other tasks. It was a challenging project and not like anything I have worked on before.
"Urban Totems"(FIMA Festival, Montreal-in cooperation with CEASE Collective)
We painted 12 separate panels attached to a "tower structure" in a live, 2 day event.
"Just for Laughs Festival"(Montreal)
This project consisted of painting a large "column" on the main walkway of the festival and a mural in conjunction with the CEASE Collective and Fresh Paint Gallery. The artwork was painted live during 2 days of the festival.
"Toyota Prius" @ Galerie MX(Montreal)
I painted a Toyota Prius for a live promotional event at MX Gallery in conjunction with the CEASE Collective.
I did a custom paint job on a pair of Vans Shoes to be sold at Greenlight Gallery in Montreal,QC.
"TRAUMA"(Quebec television show)- Haitian shanty town(signage and murals)
On this project I worked from photographic reference materials gathered by the production staff in Haiti. The work consisted of producing all hand-painted murals and signs for an outdoor set. On some elements, I had to improvise new signage to match the styles of Haitian sign-painting. On other parts, I had to match exact references.
Record cover for the band "Lac Estion"
Logo Design for "LOWRISE Sounds"
Car2Go live painting promo(in partnership with MURAL Festival)
A 2 day gig where I had to "freestyle" paint an entire Smart Car in a tropical theme. The first day was rained out but I still managed to finish a complete design.
Selections from my portfolio...