"The artist produces an image or picture. The person who enjoys art turns his eyes in the direction which the artist has pointed out to him, peers through the hole which has been opened for him, and reproduces in himself the artist’s image."
- Benedetto Croce
As artists and designers create, we infuse (sometimes unknowingly) our work with our personal perspectives and individual moral outlooks. As the Benedetto croce quote above illustrates, the act of digesting a work of art is a way of temporarily adopting a certain perspective, and this is what gives many creatives a powerful cultural role. My personal perspective was developed through my upbringing in rural Pennsylvania with a lifelong artist and designer, my undergraduate education, and my obsession with cognitive function.
New Castle, Pennsylvania is a small city, situated 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh, and is where I was born in 1984. The large bulk of my childhood was spent living in my grandparents rural home, experiencing nature, and learning about art and design from my grandfather William Craig McBurney. From a very early age I began to question and analyze my own cognitive functions. I recall being quite young when I made the realization that our consciousness drifts in focus throughout our day.
In my adolescence I found greater meaning in science than art, and this caused me to begin pursuing a degree in Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in 2003. I soon realized though that I found this sort of work unrewarding and began to experiment with writing as it was also one of my childhood passions. Writing allowed for creative output, but I still found it to be somewhat constraining. In 2005, I transferred to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania to study Applied Media Arts. During this period of time I also studied environmental sciences and art history. I graduated with honors in December of 2008 with a BFA in Applied Media Arts and minors in both Environmental Studies and Art History. I hardily enjoyed this period of academic training, and truly value the mental investment I made.
Upon graduating I began working as an in-house designer for a local retailer. It was during this time that I rented a small home in a very isolated area of Erie County. I would spend my off hours practicing zen meditation (which I had begun during my time in Bradford), reading books on perception and cognitive theories, and working on various design experiments. In 2011 I decided it was time to expand my worldly experience and moved to Brooklyn, New York. I lived in New York for two years and accomplished several goals during that time. I was able to gain experience in producing exhibits for emerging artists, I was also able to test various marketing methods, and by expanding my personal world I was able to define my interests more concisely. In 2013, I returned to the Western Pennsylvania region, finally settling in Pittsburgh, PA.
Since returning to Pennsylvania I've created branding work for several businesses, produced an uncountable number of designs for non-profit and for-profit organizations, shown work in various group shows, and established my current studio in Radiant Hall's Lawrenceville location.
Much of my current work experiments with painting and hypnogogic imagery, color perception and proximity, and the elevation of available resources.