I've been a professional illustrator here in Canada since about 1980, when I moved to Toronto from the capital, Ottawa. Toronto was the "big city" and had all the opportunities severely lacking in Ottawa, which back then was much smaller and quieter. I had already gotten my start in high school by working hard on "Exile of the Aeons", a comic published by Canadian Indy comics anthology "Andromeda", as well as doing art for prints, a Star Trek art portfolio, art for the 1976 MidAmericon program book (they were honoring Robert Heinlein) and a Star Trek role-playing game.
Attempting to freelance but struggling badly to get a steady foothold anywhere (I wasn't yet experienced or connected), a big break finally came when I was hired to be a key background designer/layout artist by Nelvana Animation. They were creating their now-cult-classic animated feature "Rock 'n' Rule", and I jumped in with both feet, designing Ohmtown (the futuristic small town where to heroes lived), vehicles, and many specific locations used in the film. I even had input on one or two of the character designs. It was a great learning experience!
Eventually, I moved on and began freelancing art across various sectors of the illustration business: I did book covers, album covers, magazine illustration, background art for animated tv commercials (the old school way, long before digital!), and even some comic book art. Over the years I added advertising art, working for many major agencies doing storyboards, pitch boards, and animatics, as well as doing a huge volume of background location design for Warner Brothers TV Animation on series such as Batman Animated, Superman Animated, Batman Beyond, and several others. Parallel with that, I did art for various comics companies such as DC (Superman covers), Marvel (Iron Man covers and pages), and Boom Studios (Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern Crossover cover variants).
More recently I have been involved with drawing several graphic novels, notably "The Forgotten Man", published by HarperCollins. On this project I worked closely with author Amity Shlaes to perfect the visual storytelling, as well as illustrating and lettering the entire 294-page book and doing the production files as well. Another career highlight was recently being hired by Slap Happy Cartoons to design both seasons of background locations for their animated series "The Hollow", released via Netflix, as well as designing BGs for 40 episodes of Corus Entertainment's animated series "DNAce".
Current status: hard at work on personal projects as well as commercial work, and, quite frequently, tending to the demanding culinary needs of the Eloquent Ginger Cat as well as The Needy White Poodle...
P.S. I promised to tell you why I chose 'Rocketfiction' as my brand name . . . well, it all began in high school, back around Grade Nine. My great friend Peter and I were obsessed with science fiction art, particularly that of British illustrator Chris Foss. Trapped in the stultifying confines of the art class taught by Mrs. Bumstead, we rebelled by re-tasking every single art assignment into The Depiction of Spaceships. Eventually an exasperated Mrs. Bumstead cracked, blurting out: "Why MUST you boys always draw this ROCKET FICTION??". And thus, a brand name was born. I kind of like her turn of phrase, myself . . . so, thank you Mrs. B for all the counter-inspiration.
Some of my clients: