I was born and raised on of Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. My parents (Donald and Carol Carrick) were a well known illustrator/writer team that created many children's books- the topics ranged from nature to even a little boy named Paul. Several of my childhood experiences were transformed into story books, and this exposed me to the idea of publishing at a very early age. My mother read us her manuscripts as bedtime stories, I and saw them develop and refine, meanwhile I observed my father's process from a loose sketch to the finished artwork. Being surrounded by an artistic family influenced me greatly, and I would while away my time entertaining myself with painting, drawing and sculpting and enjoying anything involving my imagination. In elementary school I discovered pen & paper role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, etc) and it captured my imagination- especially the illustrations!
After high school, I attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence Rhode Island where I studied illustration. Only years before did I learn of H.P. Lovecraft, a famous gothic/weird horror writer from the 1920's and 30's, who not only lived in Providence but set many of his tales within mere blocks of the campus. That really added another level to the reading experience! As school was coming to an end I thought I should try and get some work before I was out of school and unprepared. The obvious choice were the publishing companies that made the games I had enjoyed so much. After some persistence I started getting jobs with those companies. Though I have created hundreds of illustrations for numerous game companies (role playing and card games), it was the Lovecraft related work which seemed to get the most positive response. At that time I was still fairly ignorant of his writing as a whole, but somehow I seemed to be doing something right. Since then I have expanded my knowledge of the subject and have come to greatly appreciate what a wonderful thing I've stumbled into. I guess you could say it's become a bit of a specialty.
During high school my father passed away. In addition to the expected effect of such a loss, it also left my mother without an illustrator for future books. It seemed like an obvious choice to try my hand at children's book illustration. I've made two books with her, Mother's Are Like That and the Polar Bears Are Hungry.
For a number of years I became somewhat obsessed with scratch-building models for table-top fantasy and science fiction war-games. I became particularly interested in making run-down, rusty and weather-worn vehicles, the more decrepit the better! Each day I would find myself sneaking away from my drawing board and magically gravitating to my workbench. I realized that this hobby was not helping me make a living, and I wondered if I could somehow use this sculpting method as a means to make illustrations. I started writing my first children's book Watch Out For Wolfgang, a story including rusty robots, mud and all that good stuff. I used the same technique as with the models, but instead sculpted them on a flat surface much like a collaged bas-relief out of random scraps of plastic and found objects.
Since then I have continued to illustrate on a freelance basis, paint private commissions, sell prints and resin statues as well as a variety of unusual art jobs that find their way to my door. I enjoy that I get to interact with a great variety of clients from all walks and locations.
When I am not creating artwork, I enjoy being outside and hiking, music (live and recorded), meditation, snorkeling, yoga, reading and good pizza.
Click here for my resume.