Justin has graciously allowed us to showcase some of his powerful, emotive and evocative art in our Galleries which you can find here.
On a wintry, nordic day in January, 1982 Common Era, a child was born, a skald, a storyteller. His parents quickly recognized in him the artistic streak that would define his every waking and sleeping moment. His earliest days in school were characterized by letters attached to his back for playing spaceships (sound-effects and all) with his hands, drawing superheroes, reading comics and spending every moment on the bus daydreaming of being those superheroes and showing everyone in school how cool he was (and of course, rescuing the girl he liked from the clutches of evil men who singled only her out when they broke into an assembly to take someone as ransom!). His father kept all of his drawings in a big green folder. Sure that someday he would be a great artist/animator at the great D#$@*%. Of course, their scope was limited and though D#$@*% would have been a good job, Justin's sights were set elsewhere. The Skald in him slowly drew him away from superheroes until one day he discovered a great treasure, a thing that would forever change him and mark his life with an irrevocable imprint.
A friend told him that he was running a game and that Justin was cordially invited to join him and his friends. But he said this game existed not in this world, but in another, more foreign world where alien races battled ancient evils and dragons roamed the skies like great tyrants to rule the lands with iron claws. Needless to say, the desire to leave this world and join an epic quest clung to his heart and he went, assuming the guise of a dwarf who loved his axe more than anything else in his life. And from then on he was hooked. Traversing the realms and rescuing maidens and slaying orcs and goblins and other monstrosities was a calling he had always known in his heart but had never found a way to answer. Justin drew the other players' characters, made his own worlds, drew the characters from those worlds, read books and wrote stories. He was home.
One other event would change his life. One particular moment that would decide his career path. Justin still read comics and occasionally ordered away for them in catalogues. He had a certain bookmark that had a painting that always struck him. He looked on the back and found the artist. Looking through the catalogue one day he found a book by this artist, a collection of works from sketches to finished paintings. He ordered that book and when it came in he opened it gingerly and once he glimpsed the innards of it, he knew in his heart what he had to do. "This is what I will do," Justin said to himself. "I am going to be what this man is. I will be like this man. This is what I was meant to do." That man, Michael Whelan, is still Justin's favorite artist and that same book, the dust jacket ripped and some of the pages smudged from keeping it cracked open while he painted or drew, still sits close by, a source of great strength and conviction for his path in life.
I am working on getting together a Neo Romantic collection of poetry, Art and Prose. It will contain my artwork as supplements to the writings as well as a collection of my poetry and several short prose pieces including fairie-tales, folk-tales and parables set in a world I have created. I have been published by Triple Ace Games for their Sundered Skies setting and for their Daring Tales of Adventure game modules. I am about to work on Hellfrost, a new game setting from them. www.tripleacegames.com is the place to buy those modules. My illustratour friend, Chris Kuhlmann, is also working on the projects with me.