What do I do?
I'm best at Texturing and Lighting; I really love to do that. I mostly answer phones and talk to clients. I also meet with the clients and help distill their concept into a story for animation. I pick up on mechanical and medical concepts quickly so I'm well suited for this roll in our company. I really like people, learning about new ideas, and working out a way to promote them.
What's the coolest thing about Ghost?
I think the coolest thing about Ghost is the people and work environment. These people are my friends as well as coworkers. I try to keep the workplace fun even though I tend to be quite sandy at times...the work is really great too. When you cut through the difficulties that come with punishing computers on a regular basis and having them routinely rebel in inconceivable ways, it's a really fun job to have. We start with nothing but data and end with a piece of art that we can be proud of. This isn't a typical job.
What do I do when I'm not working?
My hobby is Motors. I'm building a '73 Vega that runs on E85. I'm building a frankenstein v8 out of parts from lesser engines: Buick, Rover, Chevy, Ford, Pontiac, VW, and Volvo. It's a really cool list of parts. If you're interested in a bent ear, and that is a legitimate warning, ask me about it. I've listed my most used links below.
I am involved in amateur racing in my SRT 4. It's a great car. Really forgiving and fun to drive. I periodically have track days on high speed road courses and split that time on the Autocross circuit. I really love to fabricate stuff with metal and recently worked on building a car for the Grassroots Motorsports $2009 Challenge. I also built a racing go cart chassis to race with my two adopted kids.
I'm often working on building projects on my house. Since we bought our house in 1995 we've really changed our home. Paula is an avid gardener and the home construction is as much a hobby for her as my cars are for me. I support her and help her with the building/remodeling. I'm not a big fan of this stuff but I really love the results. She's a real pro.
I also spend a ton of time with my nieces and nephew. As Unka Nic I play and have a lot of fun with them. I got the best of conditioning for this role from the best uncles a guy could have. I'm a big fan of talking to kids like I'd talk to anybody else and they really appreciate having an adult really listen to them. I love to imagine up new adventures because I remember what it was like to be them. The fun really comes from seeing them be excited about the world. I love my family. I'm lucky as hell.
I started as a 12-year old, working with my Dad, illustrating patents. I picked it up pretty fast. My Dad didn't tell his clients I was working for him but I made a bunch of money! After high school I had aspirations to be a pilot or work on aircrafts. My mom and I sat down one day and opened up the Yellow Pages to see what was out there for aircraft maintenance. We found a place in Plymouth, MN called JRS Enterprises. They specialized in rebuilding WWII aircraft engines, of which I had an unhealthy obsession studying. I asked for a job and they hired me. It was really cool. I worked mostly on the Wright 1820 a nine-cylinder radial engine. I also got to work on a race version of the Rolls Royce Merlin V12. It used NOS injection and Super Coil ignition off a Buick GNX. It was AWESOME! When we would run it up on the engine stand outside the shop, it would make your nose run from the sound waves! COOL! I was introduced to machine tooling there. I also worked as a production machinist.
When I was 19, I impulsively moved to Montana after a break up with a girl. This is particularly funny because I was going out with a number of girls at the time–I think I just used that as an excuse to go on an adventure. I worked on a ranch, meditated with hippies in the woods, became a Baha'i, AND got a job as a Tool Maker with a high tech shop in, of all places, Lolo MT. I worked there for two years. I learned a lot about machines and metal fabrication.
One night I woke shortly after going to sleep (11:08pm) with the strong feeling I should move back to Minnesota. I quit my job, gave away my car and clothes and got on a bus for Minnesota. A week later I met my now wife of 14 years.
I went to art school at The College of Visual Arts working on a degree in Visual Design. I made it to the end of my Junior year and moved on to start my own business, Glyph Design. I worked out of my home on different projects ranging from patent illustration to product design. I interned with a local product design firm, Design North, and that is when I met Stephan. I was commissioned to work as a project concept artist and patent illustrator with Stephen D. Kuslich, Stephan's Dad. I was introduced to SoftImage by Stephan and we decided to join forces as Ghost Productions. The rest is the history of the Ghost. We succeeded and failed three times and now have a great business that runs in the black.
Favorite Internet Links:
www.ebay.com: Keyword: "Vega"