Bio

Hi, I'm Keirin. I draw cartoons and stuff.

​​​​​Born in Virginia, July 1988, I grew up in Minnesota where I discovered my love of drawing at an early age. My older brother was greatly influential to my creative development; introducing me to the joys of graphic novels, anime, manga, video games and tabletop role playing games. Up until my junior year of high school, I was largely self-taught from how-to-draw books which resulted in a strongly anime-influenced style. When I attended the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley Minnesota, I was challenged to step away from my anime roots and develop a style of my own. I immersed myself in western comic and animation culture and adopted a more hybrid style for character art with subjects ranging from the happy-go-lucky to dark and macabre. I took great inspiration from artists like Mark Bagley, Michelle Hoefener, Lois van Baarle, and Alphonse Mucha during this time.

After highschool, I attended the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota Florida, where I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Art and Design as part of the first graduating class of the new major. During my time at Ringling, I began to set aside the traditional mediums of ink and Prismacolor that I was used to, and instead spent my time honing digital art skills with tools like Photoshop, Painter, and Illustrator. I became enamored with digital illustration, sprite art, and animation, while retaining enthusiasm for bright and expressive color as my artistic signature. While working in the GAD program, I was also exposed to a number of 3D modeling, texturing, and animating programs which included Maya, Zbrush, and the Unreal Development Kit, though the appeal of 3D design never really attracted me the way sprite art did in the end.

During summer breaks, while still a student, I worked as a seasonal QA game tester at Activision in Eden Prairie Minnesota with hopes of getting a foot in the door of the gaming industry. Shortly after graduating, I was hired as the lead sprite artist and animator for the start-up game company, SieEnt, where I created a number of character sprite animations for a game that was eventually cancelled. I continued to create artwork on a freelance basis for private clients (while working various day-jobs) until I was offered a graphic art job with my childhood idol, Lisa Frank, on the condition of relocating to Tucson Arizona. I was delighted to accept the opportunity, but sadly the position wasn’t a good fit and I moved back to Minnesota 5 months later when it became clear that the desert environment didn’t agree with me.

Since then, my art-career has been on semi-hiatus, allowing me to focus on my job at Vivint, a security and home-automation company, where I now work as a Quality Assurance Specialist in Eagan Minnesota. I still do freelance illustration on the side, and am currently involved with another part-time, independent game project as a character sprite artist. My attempts at joining the mainstream game industry have been put on hold as well, allowing me to pursue my independent game art interests. At present, I am in the process of developing game ideas under my own indie game flag, and I plan on running a crowd-funding campaign with my partner when the time is right.

For more information on commissions or hiring, you can contact me at kiiroarts@gmail.com

 

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