I was 15 years old trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Drawing was my greatest love and thanks to the daily influence of my father, who was also an artist, I was getting better at it everyday. I wanted to draw for a living but was unsure how or what I needed to do to become a professional. The ONLY constant source of income I saw for an artist, at that time, was comic book illustration and my favorite comic artist was Steve Rude.

He has a clean powerful style and an ability to tell a story that is awe inspiring. In 1984 he was working on NEXUS for Capital and First Comics and I would pour over his pages again and again trying to unlock his techniques.

My mother noticed my admiration for his work and decided to contact Steve Rude directly. She asked him for any advice he could give me and since it was around Christmas time, she decided to make it my Christmas present.
That Christmas I was handed this three page letter. Needless to say I was, and to some extent still am, speechless.
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This was the first contact I had with ANY professional illustrator. It was an incredibly generous and kind gesture and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him publicly. He is in a large way responsible for my decision to make illustration my career. Thank you Steve Rude. You not only showed me what makes a great artist but also what makes a great person.

Steve Rude's site is at:

NOTE: Rude mentions the instructional books of illustrator Andrew Loomis. These books are BACK IN PRINT!!