The Skinny

Where to begin?  I am a Polymath, also known as Renaissance Man.  I’ve never liked the term “Jack of all trades” because people tend to follow it up with “Master of none” and this really isn’t the case, not just for me, but for many people I have known in my life.

I grew up in a fairly small town in Michigan.  My father owned his own business and was a former race driver, stunt driver, glass installer and flooring installer.  He knew his trades very well.  Our closest neighbor, who actually lived on our property during the summer months, was a former WWII pilot, mechanic, and master of many trades.  This is where is all kind of began.

I remember George (our neighbor) explaining to me what welding was, how leverage worked as he hoisted up his pickup via a three-pully device he created and he also taught me how to fly his Champ airplane.  There was always a car, tractor, lawnmower or some type of engine lying around the barn that I could tinker with and make work, or sometimes just take apart and see how it all went together.

But (to me) there was more to life, I was obsessed with music from a very young age.  I picked up my first guitar at the age of 2.  It took a little while for me to fully understand how to play by ear, but this is how I taught myself how to play.  This is the same method I used to teach myself piano later in life.  Visual and audio arts have always been a huge influence and passion of mine.  I remember when my grandma bought me my first camera, I was hooked immediately!

My grandfather was an amateur photographer, he died before I was born, but this is probably why my grandma got me a camera.  In high school I “borrowed” my dad’s 35mm Canon AE-1 to use so I could be on the yearbook staff.  I still have the camera, I probably should return it someday!

Fast forward through the years.  I’ve worked in multi-million dollar homes installing everything from flooring, wood floors, carpet, tile, granite and more while working with my dad.  I have also worked on my craft as a carpenter and have installed some amazing doors and windows in my day!  If it goes in a home, I have probably worked on it.  Everything from framing, plumbing, electrical work, cabinets, floors, walls, ceilings and a list of custom work that could go on for days.

During this time I have also been a professional photographer, shooting for magazines, editorials, advertising, corporate work, portraits, weddings, events and more.  My work has been published all over the world in many different markets.  But I just can’t seem to sit still.

My musical career didn’t end when I picked up the camera in high school.  After moving to California in 1990 (my other grandparents lived there since the early 1960’s) I started a band, recorded, had a really bad record deal offered to us.  I didn’t sign the deal, but kept playing and recording.  This led me to Florida for just over 4 years where I met the man who owns the record company who signed the band I currently play in.  This led me to my first festival tour in 2005 where we played a bunch of shows in the NYC area.

I could go on for a long time about all of these different aspects of my many careers, but this is just the “about me” section of this site.  I am a musician, a carpenter, a writer, a poet, a barista, a philosopher, a photographer, a reverend, an artist and I am probably missing something in this list as I am also forgetful at times.  I have been all of these things for most of my life.  This is just my little place on the internet to share my adventures, my work, my thoughts and who knows what else.  I hope you enjoy this blog, wherever it leads us all.

-Jim