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I was born on Long Island, New York and grew up in the northwest Chicago suburbs. After a stint in the Marines and college, I got a job and started a family while diligently climbing the corporate ladder as a warehouse and logistics manager. I have drawn cartoons and written poetry since I was a young boy. Cartoons were the major expression of my sense of humor growing up, and my occasional imaginative decoration of various school assignments and tests throughout my elementary academic career got me into trouble with some of my more conservative and traditionally-minded teachers who took defacing a test as a personal insult.

After moving from Chicago to the East Coast to pursue my creative passion as a freelance cartoonist in New York City, I worked various corporate management positions while building my reputation and portfolio as a cartoonist and graphic artist. I draw cartoons about any subject, but I specialize in medical, science, and office humor. My first sale of a cartoon was to Omni Magazine while it was still a printed publication; since then I’ve sold hundreds of cartoons to such varied publications as (to name a few):

 

  • Psychology Today

  • Highlights For Children

  • Vogue

  • Family Circle

  • Car and Driver

  • Field and Stream

  • Boy’s Life

  • Nickelodeon Magazine

  • Comics Journal

  • Variety

  • Bon Appétit

  • The Advocate

  • Harpers

  • Esquire

  • Men’s Health

  • McCall’s

  • Better Homes and Gardens

  • Martha Stewart Living

  • American Bar Assoc. Magazine

 

I also draw an internet-published comic strip called “Alden by Egan” that is near and dear to my heart. I continued my cartooning career as I moved from New England to Texas to Portland, thanks to the internet! I have expanded my repertoire to include political cartoons with a Progressive / Liberal bent.

I accepted a position as a junior high teacher at Sri Atamananda Memorial School for one school year (2010-2011) in Austin; I created the curriculum for and taught an art class for cartooning and taught a science curriculum consistent with the Texas state STEM standards. The school ceased operation after the 2011 school year, or I would still be there; teaching in the charter school structure speaks to my passion for an inquiry-based education for all students.

I was the managing editor for the hyperlocal Manor Community News newspaper for a year-and-a-half, editing three reporters as well as providing content, all advertising graphic design, and photo editing... as well as being a sometime reporter when needed. I was solely responsible for the layout and final content going to the printer for the free weekly publication with a circulation of 1500. 

As well as being a published as an author of short stories and poetry in the New England Poetry Journal, the Connecticut Poetry Journal, the Hudson Valley Poetry Journal, the Middletown Press, and the Manor Community News, I also wrote articles about education for CNN, Huffington Post, Forbes, and MSNBC as well as various education-centered websites like Education Week, Scholastic, and edCircuit. In addition to writing the scholarly articles, I was responsible was responsible for building the webpages on the HuffPost, CNN, and edCircuit websites. 

In my capacity as a writer for various education-center companies, I was contracted to help plan the logistics and be the ghostwriter for a collection of interviews with 12 nationally recognized experts on social and emotional learning (SEL.) It was my task to plan the subjects and questions asked by writing the interviewer's script and follow-up questions; I would then take the 45-60 minute long interviews and condense them into chapters to be published as "Building People: Social-Emotional Learning for Kids, Families, Schools, & Communities" by Abington Press, now available on Amazon Books. 

On the poetry side, I was honored to be one of the alternating weekly hosts of the oldest poetry open mic in Connecticut for several years. I won more than a few poetry slams and placed in the top three many more times in Connecticut and Texas. I also hosted several successful singer/songwriter open mics in Austin, performing and providing sound services which allowed me to hone my skills as a live sound-mixing engineer.

On another creative front, as the millennium was turning from 2000 to 2001 my friends bugged me about making a New Year's resolution. It was the millennium, after all! But rather then make a resolution to STOP doing something, I decided that I wanted to START something I’ve always wanted to do... play the guitar. (I already played keyboards, the Irish tin whistle, & the harmonica among other instruments.)

Thus started The Obsession.

The poetry I’ve written since high school turned into music, and the singer/songwriter Irish bard that was always just below the surface was set free. I’ve since written and performed several dozen original songs on stages all over the Northeast, in Texas, and throughout the Portland area.

Lyrically, my poetry is inspired by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, Jim Morrison, and the storytelling of Jim Croce & Harry Chapin. As a reviewer once said, “Painting poetic & thoughtful pictures in your mind with poignant lyrical phrases & carefully crafted harmonies, Ian is a songwriter in the best tradition of the poetic storyteller throughout history. His catchy musical hooks & pleasant tenor draw you into his songs.”

 

My music has been described as “Adult Alternative Folk-Rock.” Again, a reviewer noted: “From the raw adult emotions and soaring harmonies in ‘Lovin' Care’ to the tale of heroes and courage in ‘Hero's Wall,’ Ian's poignant and poetic lyrics are brought to vibrant life by the perfect harmonies and considerable musical talent of this multi-instrumentalist.”

 

I was a proud resident of Austin for ten years, but the wind and rain swept mountains and seashore of the Pacific Northwest has called, and I currently make my home outside of Portland, Oregon. I’ve continued to thrive as a successful freelance cartoonist and graphic artist, as well as a freelance writer specializing in education related issues and subjects. I have designed logos for various companies from yoga studios to communications tech start-ups to an ice cream parlor chain. I continue to write poetry and music, and make full use of the many wonderful and varied open mics and venues throughout the vibrant music scene in the Portland and Seattle areas. Life is good, y'all.