I was born and raised in Covington, Louisiana. In the fifth grade, my mother encouraged me to try out for the Talented Arts Program. I was subsequently selected and remained in it throughout my entire education. During my sophomore year in high school, my mother died unexpectedly and I learned that the purpose of art was not simply self-expression, but a means to discovering meaning in life in the midst of all of its trials. At that time, I experimented with every medium of art and felt “at home” in the arts.

After graduating from high school, I enrolled in college at the University of Southern Mississippi, where I stayed for two years before leaving to pursue the family business on the Mississippi River. I was engaged in an apprenticeship program for six years until political circumstances forced me out of it. I didn’t actively practice my art for that entire time and though that seems like too many years lost, I can now see that my art was incubating in the most profound way.

In that same year that I lost my job, I married my wife, Megan, who happened to be reading Joseph Campbell at the time. Campbell wrote, “Follow your bliss. The heroic life is living the individual adventure.” I realized then that I hadn’t been following my bliss and that I had been trying to live someone else’s adventure. This drastic change in my life was my call to the “individual adventure.” I either had to follow it or live an inauthentic life.

In the spring of 2005, I reenrolled in college, after a seven year break, as a Visual Arts major. This seemingly impractical major was deeply practical for me in my life’s journey, as it was my bliss—something that can’t be taken away. At Southeastern Louisiana University, I was given the time, resources and instruction to rediscover my art and myself and I am proud to say that not only did I graduate in December 2007, but I am engaged in a daily adventure with my art and am constantly discovering meaning.