Really, It’s a non-resume…
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1959 to Mae Rose and Lewis Vernon. There is no time in my life where I can say I became an artist, I’ve always created images and I was always encouraged to do so. I became a professional artist while in art school taking on a number of small freelance projects alone and with friends at school. I graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1980 and began my career as a production/layout artist, graphic designer, and illustrator.
I left Pittsburgh and moved to Las Vegas on my brothers prompting after my graduation in search of work. Outside of the conventional advertising work I enjoyed working with airbrush illustration and pen & ink drawings mostly in sci-fi renderings influenced primarily by the popular graphic novel magazine Heavy Metal. As my conventional career progressed my focus on fantasy type art diminished aside from the occasional work that was requested of me to paint motorcycle tanks and other odd applications. My conventional work consisted of design and spot illustrations applied in mostly ad specialty products, design and production processes for serigraphy and lithography. My hopes at the time were to acquire a position with a major advertising agency but I found that goal to be elusive.
I left Las Vegas for New Orleans and then Baton Rouge to seek a possible position there. I found the work to be difficult to come by and began freelancing. I started working with a sign painter and a group of friends who were hustling jobs hand to mouth trying to make something happen. In need of a consistent income, I found work as a photo lab technician and photo retoucher. I acquired a camera so I could photograph reference material for illustration. I continued to take on freelance design and illustration jobs as they came and found myself balancing my interest in photography. The photo lab closed and I then acquired a job in another lab for a portrait studio. A friend of mine from school suggested I move to Atlanta, that there was lots of work there. I moved to Atlanta and got a job at another portrait studio and then a commercial photo lab as a color printer. There I became acquainted with several commercial photographers through their work and decided to make an effort to get to know them and how they worked. I became a full-time assistant in one studio and freelanced for others. I did very little design or illustration at this time but was able to claim an Addy award for promotional design on behalf of the studio I worked full time for. My focus was on photographing models and tabletop still life. I learned quite a bit about the processes of commercial photography, as I did with every position I had undertaken, these were all beneficial to learning every aspect of image making.
I decided to go out on my own and moved back to Las Vegas with the intent to start a commercial photo studio. I built the first of my studios with the cooperation of a small photo lab and began taking on clientele. I joined with another photographer in building my second studio which was considerably larger and is where I did the bulk of my work with clientele that consisted of some of the largest advertising and modeling agencies in Las Vegas at the time. My focus was general advertising, product, architectural, food, and modeling portfolios. I claim another Addy award for editorial photography produced for a local publication. I was also able to work for and with two of the larger advertising agencies in Las Vegas at the time, outside of the normal studio work I was doing. As a proponent of photographer rights, business practices, and ethics I was instrumental in the creation of a chapter of APA in Las Vegas. I was elected Vice President of the association. I began to spread my interest in Los Angeles gaining a small number of clients there. It was the advent of the digital age, and many of my colleagues advised me that I should stay in Vegas/LA area but I moved back to the Baton Rouge/New Orleans area to be closer to my family after my step-father passed away.
Back in Louisiana, I picked up work in a Service Bureau converting and ripping CorelDraw files for print production and picking up the occasional commercial photo job. I received another Addy for a set of photos used a newspaper series. I also tried my hand at running a BBS with a few lines at home. I was not big on the command line ASCII style BBS services and opted for a GUI based software out of Canada called MediaHost. This was short lived not because I wasn’t getting customers chatting and downloading files, but it was when I found out about the internet. Everything was the grey background with Times New Roman and black text with blue links back then with the occasional image link. But then I started seeing some design popping up here and there. That’s when I decided to start working with designing websites with notepad using HTML and Perl and using download links like a BBS in FTP. I was playing around with Gopher and other assorted things but I started to get offers to design websites and started to hang out with a few people who were also gaining interest in the field. I was offered a position with an internet publishing company in So. Florida and made my way down there. I worked as the creative director for this company for 9 years, then worked as a designer and color correcting reproductions for a fine arts gallery.
I was/am freelancing web design when I decided to come back home to Louisiana. I maintain fewer clients by choice and decided to pursue a completely different field of interest. I became a member of the volunteer fire department and became a paramedic. I enjoy the work and the close contact it provided with people from all walks. I also enjoy helping people, but it all takes a physical toll that is probably exaggerated due to my age. I do enjoy the schedule and it allows me time to play around with art from a different unstressed perspective. After all of these years, without the stress and needs of a client’s wishes, I can sit down and draw, and paint and express. That what this site is all about.