Steven's Story

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California during the 1970s. Growing up in the visually and culturally rich Southern California beach culture my early design inspiration was drawn from the iconic California imagery that surrounded me; the local surf shops, the post-war Spanish-style neighborhoods of Pasadena and Laguna Beach, the art deco movie palaces of Hollywood, the mid-century architecture of Palm Springs, and most of all Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth.  After I finished high school I grabbed my surfboard and headed across the Pacific to Honolulu, Hawaii where I studied studio art and communication at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. I eventually settled back on the mainland, working in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, California before moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2011.

From a Decorating Supervisor for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses to Creative Director of Little Suzy's Zoo, a licensing program with over $300M in annual gross licensed sales, I have built a rich and exciting career in design and illustration. My primarily focus has been working in consumer goods and licensed goods, creating and promoting exciting brands for retail.  An accomplished and award-winning Creative Director, Art Director, Designer and Illustrator, I have had the privilege to work with some of my favorite brands including Disney Consumer Products, Disney Parks and Resorts, Nordstrom Mens Style, October Afternoon, Putnam & England, Co., Williams-Sonoma Publishing, San Francisco Pride, Olivia Vacation, Scholastic Books, and many more.  

I have held several roles in creative leadership including the Creative Director of Licensing at Suzy’s Zoo where I lead the hands-on design and development of three popular illustrated children’s licensing programs including the highly successful revitalization of Little Suzy’s Zoo, an infant focused, multi-tier licensing program which was rated number 16 in License! Magazines Top 40 Fastest Growing Brands for 2005.  In 2006 I co-founded Agenda 9, a San Francisco design cooperative specializing in brand development and advertising promotions for independent retailers and not-for-profit programs. 

I am currently available as a freelance Art Director, Illustrator and Designer. My client list includes Rebel Entertainment Arts Licensing, where I am acting Design Director developing licensed children's publishing programs, Putnam & England, Co., where I am designing and illustrating stationery giftware lines, and SISU Art and Entertainment where I am serving as Artistic Director on the production and promotion of Project Q, a documentary film about the lives and artistry of seven Minneapolis performance artists.