24 February 15


Can you tell I spent a crazy amount of time on this hat? I honestly enjoyed every minute of it.

A couple weeks ago I received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. It was truly one of the best days of my life. As I’ve said many times, I’ve dreamed of being an illustrator since I was a kid, and I never thought I’d get this far. Thank you to all the judges, my wife, my family and friends, and for everyone who has been supportive along the way. I am truly grateful.

I poured my heart and soul into this project, and to have it be the piece to receive this honor means the world to me. Being a Missourian, like Twain, I feel a deep connection to life on the river. I remember as a child, receiving a copy of Tom Sawyer. I was way too young to read it, but it’s cover enchanted me (I believe it was a Winslow Homer painting). I would stare at it for hours and I remember returning to it time and time again to get lost in it’s details. I truly believe that this project was out there waiting for me…for the right time. It’s not often that an assignment comes my way that feels like it was meant to be. I am so happy that it did come along, and how it all turned out. A huge thank you to Art Director Brianna Harden for making this happen!