I was raised in the suburbs of Chicago by two East Coast exiles and studied Animal Behavior at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, which partly consisted of studying monkeys and listening to Calypso on St. Kitts for six months. I was a Letter Carrier in the summers. After graduation, I started to produce large cut-out paintings of trucks and cows, culminating in a gallery show in SoHo while working at Howard Johnson’s off the Northampton exit on Rte. 91. I took a Summer School class in Graphic Design, moved to NYC, served cheesecake at Leo Lindy’s and finally got my first art job about a year later, doing paste-up for porn video packaging, off-the-books. I got my first illustration job around this time in 1984, for Steve Heller at The New York Times Book Review, but it would be another year before I got my second illustration job. I soon moved up to doing paste-up for annual reports and, finally, for Games Magazine while also picking up free-lance graphic design jobs for McMillan Book Clubs and Dance Theater Workshop. In ’87, I dropped all of my hourly work to make a splash as an illustrator and I was soon adding dozens of names to my client list. I also made an animated station ID for MTV with Broadcast Arts, I designed a logo for Darlene Love, the singer, and did some preliminary sketches for Pee Wee’s Playhouse. From 1990 to 2005, I illustrated a weekly column in The Boston Globe, which became the Dave Barry Column in ’94, and in ’97, I started illustrating The Metropolitan Diary in The New York Times, also wrapping up in 2005. Along the way, I also illustrated columns for Spy Magazine, New Woman and, briefly, Radar. Currently, I illustrate the Getting Started column in the Real Estate Section of The Times. In ’93, I met R. O. Blechman, legendary illustrator and animator. I got a call from his studio, The Ink Tank, to design the opening animation for the TV show, Dave’s World. With the Ink Tank, I also did the design for several commercials, a cartoon for the show, Between the Lions, on PBS and a sex education film called “Something Called Sex,” produced by Lucky Duck Studios and Linda Ellerbee and starring Whoopi Goldberg. I also created several station ID’s for CNBC with Curious Pictures and the animated sequence in the remake of “The Stepford Wives,” again with The Ink Tank. I collaborated with Cathy Weis on two live theater productions at The Kitchen and Dance Theater Workshop involving animation projected and manipulated in real time. In 2004, a PSA I designed appeared in the retrospective of The Ink Tank at MOMA. I’ve also done design for manufacturers including Gap Kids, Curious Toys and Spin Master.
In 2006, I moved to Portland, Oregon, where the DIY culture inspired me to start designing and manufacturing products and I soon found that I enjoyed the designing more than the manufacturing, but I received invaluable consumer feedback in the process which I’m now applying to design for the licensing market.
I’m currently designing phone and tablet cases as well as other household products for Keka and men’s and boy’s swimsuits for Tom & Teddy while still illustrating a regular column in THE NEW YORK TIMES.