I’m a Deaf digital artist and photographer. I was born in 1969 at Chattanooga, Tennessee. I became deaf after I got sick with meningitis at six months old. Currently, I’m the only one profoundly Deaf person in my whole Hearing family. Later my mother and I moved to Washington state. I went to school at Washington School for the Deaf (W.S.D.) ‘77 to ‘80 in Vancouver, WA. Then I transferred to Eckstein Middle School in Seattle, Washington. In my teenage years I started to drift away and became a rebel – using alcohol and hard drugs. Afterward I went to nearby Roosevelt High School; my grades started falling, I skipped classes frequently, and then I got kicked out. So I decided to go back to W.S.D. in ‘85 and got kicked out again. Then I had to attend Tyee High School in Sea-Tac and I ended up deciding to drop out. My life started to spiral down and I got kicked out of home; so I was unable to keep up with jobs and became homeless. I was a hardcore alcoholic. I drifted away from the local Deaf community and hung out and lived in with bad friends for a long time. Then later in 2008, after applying for Section 8 housing, I finally got a place to live on my own. I started to cut my bad friends out of my life. Then I was able to quit doing hard drugs for good, but I was still a heavy alcoholic. After I got a desktop computer I started to learn Photoshop and started making sci-fi and fantasy digital artworks. Then, in 2010, I joined Facebook for first time and started to learn more about Deaf culture. I also joined in the De’VIA Central group on Facebook to learn more about De’VIA. What is De’VIA? Short for Deaf View/Image Art. De’VIA represents Deaf artists and perceptions based on their Deaf experiences. I also watched chapter-by-chapter ASL vlogs based on Paddy Ladd’s book, “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood” and other Deafhood-related things. I got inspired and started making De’VIA with Photoshop in 2012. Later in 2014 photography saved my life, literally. After I got my first DSLR camera, I taught myself light painting. What is light painting? It is a photographic technique of moving a light source while taking a long exposure photograph.  You can draw and create new imagery within your photograph using lighto photography.  Becoming a photographer and artist helped me a lot with my sobriety and conquering my fears. Finally, I got sober for good since August 8th 2014! Still breakin’ new records daily. This is my story.

Artist’s Statement

Awards Displayed at Deaf Spotlight’s “Red” Art Group Exhibit in Seattle, WA – Sept. 14th, 2013

Exhibited in Let There Be Light: De’ARTivism At Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Washington D.C. – Aug. 12 to Sept 4, 2015

Featured twice in Deaf Life magazines for “Best Deaf Photography” (April 16”) & “Deaf Art of the Month” (Sept. 16’)

Displayed in De’VIA Challenge Exhibition at RIT/NTID Dyer Art Center in Rochester, NY – Jan. 19 to 24, 2018

Displayed & voted “Community’s Choice Winner” at Deaf Spotlight’s PNW Artists Group Art Exhibit in Seattle, WA – Feb. 23, 2018

Displayed along with few other artists’ works selected from De’VIA Art Challenge Exhibit, at Deaf Cultural Center in Olathe, Kansas – 2016 to now

Book cover art for Dr. Paddy Ladd’s two Deafhood Sign Songs books –

Displayed at PNW Deaf Artists Group Art Exhibit at A/NT Gallery in Seattle Center from April 2nd to 27th, 2019 Displayed & all are sold thru auction at Deaf Spotlight’s Celebrating Deaf Arts: Awards Ceremony & Benefit at Erickson Theatre in Seattle on May 18th 2019