Okay, here's my story. Went to RISD in the late '70s. Ran out of money after two years. Banged around for a few years as a freelance illustrator. My best work was pretty good...but I didn't always do my best work, and I was terribly slow. But, you know, I was getting there.
Then, to pay the bills, I took a job in the art department of a research and engineering company. Not bad. Kind of fun, really. Did everything from technical illustration to publication design. Any job where you draw pictures all day is a good job, right?
A couple of years in, we got our first computer, and I was. Just. Completely. Floored. Knocked out. Blown away. Bowled over. I lost it completely. For the next twenty years, I ate, slept and breathed computers. Gave up conventional illustration completely. I got to play with the earliest versions of image manipulation software (before Photoshop!) and 3D modeling programs. Scripting and programming languages. Markup languages. Publications software. Typographical software. Director. Shockwave. Shoot, I'd play with the operating system, if that's all I had to play with. I got a reputation for figuring out new technology quickly, so I got all the best toys first. I built prototypes. I *loved* my job.
So now it's, like, twenty five years later, and I'm pushing fifty (and it's pushing back!). I'm about to quit my job and move to the UK. And...I finally have to make up my mind what I want to be when I grow up. I don't think I want to chase the technology any more. I don't have the enthusiasm for new information that I used to have. Or maybe I'm just mentally slowing. I think I want to make art again. But with a technology assist.
Anyhow, of all the forums I looked at, CA seemed the most serious and professional. So I'll put a stake in the ground here, if I may...even if concept art isn't where I end up. This morning, I dug out my last ever sketchbook. There are no dates, but I think it's about 1984. Here's the frontispiece: