Getting interested in art late in high school , I was leaning towards the Marine Corp. and wasn't sure where an art career would fit in that choice. Instead of doing either after graduation, I worked at a glass plant factory for a year before deciding to go to art school. Receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Edinboro State College, I then set my sites on the advertising end of the art world. But after college, a friend asked if I could letter their company name on his truck, and ended up doing the whole fleet! The next thing I know, I'm in the sign business.
I worked for myself painting signs for two years , also doing some free-lancing art & layout for a couple of printing companies. Although not realizing that I would later be doing these as part of my business, I painted my first house portrait.
I had the fortunate experience of teaming up with one of the best sign artists I've known, (Charlie McGinnis). The area market was tight though, and he was lettering signs twice as good, half as cheap, and a whole lot faster. At the time, I was getting married and decided that I should find a more stable environment . . . so out went the resumes and I took a job replacing two retiring artists at Clinton Signs in Rochester. They stayed on until I was "broken in", and I learned a lot from them as well. I enjoyed managing the art department there for 15 years.
A wrestling injury in high school finally took it's toll on my back and had to have surgery. The operation could have gone better and soon found that I had to adjust the way I worked. I decided to go out on my own, but still worked for Clinton as a contractor & designer on a free-lance basis for a few years.
In that time I started to get back into watercolors (a favorite at school). I began painting churches and designed a program for anniversary/church promotion etc. I started painting original work making prints and note-cards to sell wholesale to bookstores. I branched into painting house portraits and business portraits and marketing for small businesses. I started my business "Cornerstone Creations" and after a couple of years, I brought signs back into the mix.
My basement turned into a studio and shed into a workshop. Since my wife (Lori) works as a teacher, working out of my home seemed to answer a few problems with daycare and school for our two boys (Josh & Ryan). Separating business from family was rough, but working different & longer hours than normal, it seemed to work out for us.
I believe in giving back to the community, and have done quite a lot of donated work & time for local volunteer groups such as Churches, The Food Cupboard, Kiwanis, Hospice, Victor &Canandaigua Schools, Boy Scouts, Valentown Museum, Ontario Historical Society and various others.
I have been in business for over 17 years now, and do a wide range of work from design, layout, logo design, printing, web site design, framing, murals, pin-striping, along with signs and watercolors. I enjoy the diversity of my work and continue to expand the range of work that I do.