I've been an artist all my life. As a kid I'd spend hours with my grandmother painting in oils or drawing in pencil. I loved to play hockey and other sports too but I also enjoyed spending hours on my own exploring the outdoors or doodling an eclectic mix of cartoons, architectural drawings or still life—anything that inspired me. Professionally I've worked as a cartographer drawing maps, as a graphic designer and creative director. Through it all I've always been inspired by geometric forms, composition and the design and intricacy of the objects of everyday life.
My art is a mix of all these interests and influences—sports, geography, music, cottaging, Canadian heritage and quirky or little known 'Canadian Made' inventions. I've always been a collector of wide range of things from all genres, and the simple, unpretentious nature of my pieces are often inspired by vintage items, photographs, maps, and so on I've accumulated over the years.
As a child growing up, my family often struggled to make ends meet but my parents taught us through their actions that regardless of your situation, there's always something you can do for your community. In my adult life as a father, husband, and neighbour I've leaned on their example and my experiences to volunteer in my community or contribute my talents to important causes that need my help. I invite you read more about our philosophy of giving back and our ManMade Fund.
I regularly get asked, "Why ManMade Art 'for Guys'? Doesn't your art appeal to everyone?" The name wasn't intentional and I wasn't trying to promote traditional gender biases. It just evolved. My customers told me over and over they were buying my pieces to decorate spaces like their dad's ultimate garage, their brother's office, a boyfriend's apartment, or their husband's man cave.
Today more women buy my art than guys. Many buy pieces for themselves or someone special in their lives because my work resonates with their interests or appeals to them aesthetically. In the end, art doesn't have to be complex or defined by gender—it's defined by the individual and whether they like it or not.
So I didn't plan it, but I gradually began to realize my works were filling a void on the North American art scene for guys (and girls) that shared my appreciation for great art, particularly works that spoke to their interests and also met their high standards.
So, why fight it—the name ManMade Art for Guys was a natural fit.