In a nutshell, that’s what I do.
As a wildlife artist, I often get asked “so what exactly do you do?” (That’s immediately followed by the real question they want to know: “… and you can actually make a living doing that?) Needless to say, the first question is easy, the second is … well … somewhat more difficult.
But at the end of the day, my job as a wildlife artist is to bring the outdoors to the indoors. To bring not only the physical images of wildlife, but also the emotions they stir in us, to the walls of our homes, offices, man caves and hunt camps. To create the type of image that hangs above the mantle late at night and brings anticipation for a hunt early the next morning.
To bring a valuable contribution to the atmosphere of hunt camp.
As I’ve grown in my life and career, adding kids and clients, employees and events, that last one is the one that gets me. Hunt camp. A good hunt camp is more rare, more elusive and more sacred than any Boone & Crockett buck. The right mix of people in the right place at the right time of year can be one of the most special things in life. As an artist, if I can bring something meaningful to that sacred space, well, nothing is a higher calling than that.
That’s why we've invested so much time, effort and money producing prints like “The Growth & Maturity of the White-tailed Buck” and “The Grand Slam Subspecies of the Wild Turkey.” Unique, well-crafted prints that entertain and inform die-hard hunters.
Now, we’re extending that lineup with two posters: “The White-tailed Buck: An American Original” and “The Waterfowl Flyways of North America.” These posters have a similar design style, yet are smaller in size, unsigned and printed on poster paper. They’re more affordable options for hunters of all levels of expertise.
I’ve never been a fancy dude. I was raised blue collar in a small farm town, and that’s never left me. Sure, I sell originals for thousands. They’re one-of-one. The product of hours upon hours of research and hundreds of carefully placed, unique brushstrokes. But I also believe that art, like the outdoors, should be accessible to just about anyone. If you own 800 acres of private land in Iowa and 8 original oil paintings hang in your lodge, that’s awesome. The folks I know with those resources have worked their tail off to earn that. But, most folks aren’t there yet.
I want my art to hang on the wall of anyone who truly appreciates it. That may be a 19-year-old in college hunting public before class, a 39-year-old who just bought his first 60 acres with a cabin, or a 79-year-old couple with their dream farm. I’ve been that 19-year-old, currently am that 39-year-old, and would love to be that couple at 79. As an artist, I want to enhance their setup with my art at every stage of their life.
So, we’re branching out. With all-new products at even more affordable price points, these new posters are something I’m proud of. I’ll never sacrifice the quality of the art or the information on any piece that leaves my gallery, but we’ve brought the materials and the size down to something that’s more budget friendly, and the absolute perfect gift for the deer or duck hunter in your circle.
I hope you enjoy them, and I hope that you have the kind of hunt camp that will enjoy them with you.