Art, Licensing & Creative Director at TheMountain.com.
When I was very young my Dad would copy cartoon characters from the newspaper and then I would copy his drawings, this was my first introduction to art. From that point on I don’t remember not drawing or creating something from my mind. Years later, my Mother started arts & crafts and set up at fairs selling these amazingly intricate works of craft and folk art while being a full time Mom. Some of my most precious memories are sitting at the kitchen table and learning sewing, painting & macrame from her. They set me on my path.
I've always been an artist and serial entrepreneur. My parents were collectors, and later antique ephemera dealers and I had a great eye for suburban treasure. Early on I began to collect and sell comic books, antiques and art, learning intimately what graphics and styles of art people are drawn to and what sells best. My cathartic moment was when I went to my first Grateful Dead show my Junior year of High School. Shakedown Street fascinated me, an entire marketplace of Gypsies selling their art, tie-dye and printed t-shirts, woven goods, food and hand-crafted wares. My mind was blown. I wanted to live in and contribute to this world. As soon as I got home I learned to tie-dye and had shirts printed. My first design a cartoonish portrait of Jerry Garcia. My tie-dyes all washed out and I didn’t sell one shirt at the next show as the entire run was now pastel. Even in my failure I was hooked, but I put my love of t-shirt design on pause.
I spent 2 years at Portland School of Art in Maine from 87-89, learning advanced fine art techniques; but mostly I found a deep love of carved wood and stone. The process of visualizing and executing a finished piece from a block of wood or stone, had me at hello. My fine art time was cut short by the pull of building a business and actually making money. I needed a fresh start and moved to Burlington VT in late 1989 met some amazing artists, musicians and friends and stumbled upon Phish. As soon as I heard their music I was inspired like never before and I set my plan in motion.
What I thought would be a brief move back to Keene in 1990, turned into the best 25 years of my life. I fell into a screenprinting job at Top Shop in Keene, through a shirt I designed for my brother’s band Aurora. After working there a year I started printing my own line of shirts and selling at Mitch Greenwald's Tops Shop upstairs (also my boss) and then rented the printshop at night to create my own shirt line called ArtWear. Taking from my first Shakedown Street experience years earlier, I started to design shirts and sell them on Phish Tour & at Reggae Fest. I stayed away from designing and selling “bootleg” shirts and concentrated on putting great hippy art and artists on shirts. After establishing our look and feel, I invited all my artist friends and artists whose work I loved along the way to help build out our first zine and catalog both named Visual Voice and build the ArtWear brand selling shirts in stores around New England. ArtWear was built on the simple principle that an Artist owns their work and got paid on every shirt or other product sold.
In late 1991, I was introduced to Mike Krinsky and Mike Gallen and started printing shirts for their chain of Mountain Magic retail stores. In 1992 after selling successfully in their stores, I was invited to start an Art Department and Print Shop to design, print shirts and develop the look and feel of the brand, merging ArtWear into The Mountain. I’ve been here, doing just that, ever since.
I’ve designed thousands of t-shirts over the past 25 years and directed the design or chosen the art for thousands more, working with artists from all over the world. My passion is finding the perfect artists for our brands, with non-competing styles and perfect harmony with our nature.