After getting a degree in sociology in the 1970s, I had ambitions to be a fine artist doing painting, drawing, and printmaking, but longed to find a way to use visual communication for positive social change. In the 1980s I worked as a freelance technical illustrator for high-tech companies like Apple Computer, NeXT, Logitech, and Hewlett Packard. In the mid-1990s, I made a course correction and combined my interests in urbanism and visual communication to start a new career. Inspired by the experimental visualization work of urban design firm Dover-Kohl & Partners and the late developer Ron Morgan, I started altering photographs using Adobe Photoshop to create photo-realistic visions of walkable urban development.
Over the years I have created almost 600 visualizations for communities across North America. My work has appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Planning Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Grist, Honolulu Magazine, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the San Jose Mercury, The Washington Post, New Urban News, CNU’s Public Square, and the following books: Regional City by Calthorpe and Fulton, The Charter for the New Urbanism by the Congress for the New Urbanism, Superbia! by Wann and Chiras, The Charrette Handbook by Lennertz and Lutzenhiser, Form-Based Codes by Parolek, Parolek, and Crawford, Sustainable Urbanism by Doug Farr, Retrofitting Suburbia by Dunham-Jones and Williamson, Sprawl Repair Manual by Galina Tachieva, and Street Design by Dover and Massengale.
My ongoing interest in local affairs led me to involvements in my own community as a Planning Commissioner, Design Review Board member, and an Urban Forest Committee member.