I am a 61 year old artist and jack of some trades. Was born in Minneapolis, moved to California at 20, relocated to Washington state 6 years ago. At 20 my father and I created a machine shop in the garage, a year later we moved into a sheet metal shop, a couple years later we closed shop and I went back to school. Studying electronics by day and working graveyard at an audio/video duplication house. Electronics was interesting to learn but didn't see a career in it, so back to machining I went. In my mid thirties I received an offer to machine in a small shop servicing wineries in Sonoma county. So I rented a room right on the Russian river and moved out of the city. In 96' and 98' the river flooded causing lots of damage. Which created a lot of work in construction, so I learned drywall, plumbing, electrical and roofing. Hence, my career as a handyman/caretaker started, created a kitchen for my sister, built a deck for my brother, made a soundproof studio in a garage for a friend, flipped a house, etc.

During this time I made many pieces of art, but most memorable was the collaboration with my dear friend Bethe. We called ourselves "ElJuano and The Gato Girl", and many of our pieces still exist today, giving me great joy. Also my wood working skills increased, especially hand carved pieces, even made some outdoor benches for a friend. Meanwhile, my sister gave birth to a son and was moving to Washington state to start her family. Needing a change myself followed her, and became a handy/nanny man. I created e-candle holders, centerpiece platforms and signs for her wedding. Was encouraged to sell my woodwork at craft fairs, which went pretty well. My designs were getting pretty intricate and I needed something to create patterns with. So I bought a plotter/cutter, the learning curve for the software was steep but many months later was creating simple patterns that brought my woodworking to the next level.

Four years ago I ended up in the emergency room with an abscess near my tailbone, they cut me open and cleaned it out. Due to the location of the wound they couldn't use stitches to close me up, so it took 4 months to heal. Unfortunately, three months later the abscess came back, now I am being treated by a wonderful surgeon with "drainage tubes", which continues to this day. Why I shared this medical history is to explain how my life has changed, first I can't sit upright comfortably for over twenty minutes, also bending over multiple times is extremely uncomfortable. But the worst side effect is the "shakes," my ability to hand carve or use power tools safely is gone. So these past few years I've had to reinvent myself, so I delved into graphic design, paper crafting and sticker making.

It's taken along time to invent the craft of sticker folding, many experiments and many, many failures. Making flowers was my first great success, both in graphic design and sticker folding. I made hundreds of flowers with no real purpose, so I began giving them away to everyone I'd meet, store clerks, bank tellers, kids and most important the healthcare workers I would see. The smiles and happiness that it caused was infectious, I knew I was on to something special. The flowers are created with a single fold, but the next generation animals have multiple folds. My first animal was a bunny, as I peeled out the figure from the backing and spread her little paws so she could sit up made me giddy. So I laid there smiling ear to ear getting an overwhelming warm fuzzy feeling that can only be explained as joy. During the last two years I've made over a thousand animals, sharing them with friends, family and complete strangers. What they all had in common was the look of joy when there little creation stands up.