Kyle A. Vernon
Artist • Illustrator • Designer
There are some things about me you might want to know...
In High School I excelled at art and science generally. It's what got my blood going and all of my life I've tended to think of learning as a progression. I didn't always do well with the other subjects because I didn't apply myself or immerse myself as thoroughly as I did with my particular interest. I was unbalanced as a student. Outside of school I would participate in activities afforded to me through summer classes and Jack and Jill which is an organization for young black people to expose them to worlds they might not otherwise see. I attended plays, symphonies, operas, galleries, and museums with my friends and their families, and though at the time I wasn't "interested" in most of these it did set an introductory baseline for a culture or the world I would later come appreciate.
All of my friends were picking out the universities that they wished to attend, at least the friends who were so inclined. I decided to go to art school, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, mainly because I thought it was something I could do well, and enjoyed doing and felt they could point me in the right direction. I researched the school and found it had a great reputation. My initial focus was fashion illustration because I loved drawing figures...probably more than actual fashion. This was back when fashion illustration was still featured in magazines and newspapers, I use to see a lot of it in the mid to late 70's. I changed majors to visual communications because I saw what my classmates enrolled in other disciplines were doing. I realized that being a fashion illustrator was going to limit me. I struggled a little more but I enjoyed the challenge of a broader curriculum.
I finished school and began working in an art supply store in Las Vegas as a custom framer, then as a silk screener in an ad specialty company. They would utilize me for some line work occasionally but most of it was production. I finally got a job as a graphic designer in a small ad specialty company. All of this was long before computers. There was no digital anything, typesetting and building mechanicals were a tedious and exacting process. It was an enigmatic process that relatively few understood. I applied for different jobs at ad agencies but hit a brick wall so I was always working in the fringe. I moved back east and and freelanced and also began work as a lab tech in a custom photo lab, I wanted to learn more about the process, every position I obtained was a learning experience for me and it was always guided toward my own ideas of creation. I did a lot of airbrush retouching and even more black and white processing. I got my second camera so I could photograph references for illustration.
Later I moved to Atlanta on the invite of a friend from art school and began working in a portrait studio. It was one of those formula studios for family portraits, not long after I worked at a commercial photo lab as a color printer. I'd see some of the beautiful work coming in from the professional commercial photographers and eventually found myself freelance assisting and then full time with Fred Gerlich. I learned quite a bit from him and he allowed me the freedom to shoot my own projects. Lots of models, some table top. I felt I was comfortable with the process and struck out on my own and opened a studio in Las Vegas.
In the beginning I was not getting a lot of work so I also looked for freelance design work. I was picked up by a great artist who use to work for Disney, Mike Miller of Miller and Associates Advertising as a layout artist and I would also shoot projects for them occasionally. Miller sold to DRGM Advertising and I was also later picked up by DRGM as a production artist and I was afforded the opportunity to also shoot my own projects with them. After DRGM I worked at my studio full time for assorted Ad Agencies in Las Vegas and some in California. I won my first of a number of ADDY's for a photo shoot I did for a good friend of mine Geoff Jenkins who was Creative Director at Group Media.
This was the dawn of the computer world for me. I was interested initially because I wanted to set up my accounting using Basic on a computer but shortly thereafter found that I could do other things that might give me an edge in the market. Upgraded to Windows and got my "first" photo editing program Aldus PhotoStyler and a graphics program CorelDraw and page layout program Aldus PageMaker. I also set up a small 2 line BBS and I offered my clients a way to view Polaroid test by scanning them and putting them on the BBS for their perusal. This was something no one was doing at the time, and it was a foreign concept to my clients as well, except for a very few. They still liked the hands on control of being in the studio, and loved the freedom of getting away from their desktop.
I had a good short run my second time in Vegas, and struck out to L.A. for a few months then back east. I was offered work at a service bureau, Image4Prepress from my friend Jon Barry. I was working to help with their PC files in a MAC environment as well as doing some light photography for clients there. I had set up my own BBS at home and was looking for ways of making a graphical publication online and as soon as I thought I had the tools I discovered the internet. The internet was very basic then, grey screen background w Times New Roman very low on graphics because anyone that had a modem was running 2400 baud, but the access of millions without special software piqued my interest. So I began learning how to build web pages in notepad, how to economize graphics and work with tables to present with some sort of sense of layout.
I was freelancing from home for a year or so working with web sites and was offered a job in So. Fla with an internet publishing company. With them I grew with the industry as a Creative Director, working first with MS FrontPage then Macromedia Dreamweaver and finally Adobe Dreamweaver. I was married. I continued designing web sites and web advertising full time as a freelance artist until 2011, I was divorced. I also worked as a web master and tour guide for a history museum in my home town, I really enjoyed that environment.
The work started to slow at the same time my enthusiasm for the work started to stale. I had joined a local volunteer fire department and started going out on calls in the area and found most of the calls were medical, fires are rare around here. So I asked the chief for medical training and the department put me through EMT school at LSU FETI. Going back to my interest in science I found this intriguing so much so that I applied for work as an EMT for Acadian Ambulance, later (actually a couple of years ago) I became a paramedic for the same company. I found that there is some free time with this job either due to the schedule or call load and I began ... simply... drawing ....again. I saw that iPad had some drawing apps and so I explored them, and I haven't stopped. Now, as always, I'm learning again and I'm negotiating the way I can merge fine and digital arts... to my satisfaction. I've been working with natural media softwares like "fractal painter" (now Corel Painter) since they've come out. Dabbling with them from time to time but the iPad makes it workable, and portable.
So far I'm happy with what I can do with this new way of doing things. I guess my next step is in figuring out how to apply it.
I am working on comfortable ways for me to produce fine art on the iPad for display. I'm am currently working through ideas and studies in order to find a style that I like. There are several artist out there that have found their unique style which is something I've never really thought I'd accomplished generally. In commercial art you are usually doing work that involves client ideas and goals.
Some of the lucky commercial artist are approached because of their unique style but it usually involves morphing it into a marketable concept that fits the clients desires. Though it's your work, it's not you.
I've basically gotten out of that box, though it paid very well. So now I have a steady bill paying income I can pursue the things I've enjoyed about art.
I am, however still amicable to working on projects or consulting from time to time. I do keep myself relatively current.
I've been doing all of my studies, drawing and paintings in digital format. I like the freedom, unchained to the art supply store however I feel that I will likely have to begin producing these pieces in more tangible ways.
So I look at the work on my iPad as preliminary sketches and studies to be later worked out on canvas and paper. People who ask for "originals" are likely to be less satisfied with work that can be printed out thousands of times.
The original in a digital piece would be the file, or would it be the first piece you print, or do you only sell prints. These are the issues I'm wrestling with at this point. So right now I will view my digital work as preliminary, until I can produce a work that can be considered an original.
On this site I am offering some of the more interesting work to be sold as limited edition prints. Others will be worked up and offered as original art as well as limited edition prints.
In the meantime, I crave working the way I have been currently because it brings me back to the joy I once had. So this year, look for me to begin producing original pieces. Some will be based on the sketches and drawing you see here from my digital stash and others I'm sure will be started and finished in traditional mediums.
I don't see myself taking on any commissioned work like portraits, if you see my style you'll know it's not really conducive to the traditional. Of course I can paint you and your kids, but I probably won't unless I find some unique and interesting features that "fit" in my scheme of things, at which point... I'd probably ask you.
I will likely be trying to get some of my work hanging in galleries and shows around town this year. I've been pushing in that direction for sometime now. Hopefully soon I will be satisfied enough with my work to make a successful run at it.
I am currently working as a Paramedic. My background is in advertising, graphic design and photography. This truncated version of my resume only partially touches on my 35 years of experience in a career in graphic design and illustration for print and web. I have worked in and for ad agencies from Atlanta to Las Vegas.
Currently employed as an active licensed paramedic on a ground unit. My skills include ALS/BLS patient care performed per protocol and meeting national registry standards. These include field assessment and diagnosis of illness or injury and utilizing the proper interventions, drug administration, and ECG interpretation and ACLS algorithms.
Primarily employed as a tour guide for the museum informing guest about the history of the sugar industry and its impact to the state in general and West Baton Rouge specifically. The tours of the buildings on site touched on the socio-economic mix of the parish from the early 1800's through the civil war to civil rights era. I also designed their website and designed their I house posters for special exhibits.
Job duties included color correction of Giclee prints on canvas to match original art for limited production prints. Also to design and produce in house collateral materials such as brochures and flyers
Job duties were to manage and direct the visual design and production of consumer websites. I was responsible for finding solutions for designing or improving user experience by coordinating the efforts of 4 programmers, 3 designers, and 6 production personnel.
Nationally Certified and licensed EMT-Paramedic.
Extensive professional experience with graphic design programs for print and web design. Including Adobe Design Suites, MySQL/PHP database. Some knowledge of JQuery, Thorough knowledge of HTML, CSS, and CMS frameworks, like Joomla, Wordpress.
Extensive professional photographic experience film and digital 1982-2000 Studio and advertising photography for Print. Below are some of the software/technologies I am proficient in: