After studying fine art at the U. of New Mexico, Todd taught photography and art in the US and abroad for several years, exploring and enhancing his digital artistic processes and learning how to haggle in the Middle East. Once he was stateside again, he freelanced for several Chicago advertising agencies, eventually working full time as an art director at Cramer Krasselt. Often providing in-house photography for the agency’s campaigns, it didn’t take long before he started taking on commissioned projects full time.
Crediting his ad agency years for his ability to collaborate so closely with other creative thinkers, Todd is always looking for a good creative challenge with other artists. In 2010, he completed a several-year personal project, “Owl Scouts: Lost in the Woods,” a narrative series depicting the challenges of life through the misadventures of a boy and girl. He completed the series between commissioned projects – planning, designing, producing, and retouching the series, with an acute attention to detail, and with over a dozen other artists helping to bring his vision of the scouts’ world to life. When speaking about the series at the Annenberg Space for Photography this spring, Todd emphasized how important collaboration is to him, noting that the energy he gets from working with other artists is what fuels his work.
Commercially, Todd’s clientele have ranged from numerous pharmaceutical giants (who must go unnamed) to major food brands (such as MARS and Wrigley), and also include publications/publishers in the editorial world (Popular Science, Time Out, W.W. Norton & Co., Akashic). With a language and legs of its own, Todd’s work finds its way around the globe and back – bringing new clients and fans from unexpected places. From obscure Russian crime novel art to major campaigns for leading ad agencies (DDB Chicago, Fallon, Abelson Taylor, BBDO, to name just a few), Todd’s unique visual aesthetic speaks strongly to any audience.
Todd is usually in Chicago, though he travels frequently to Los Angeles and New York for personal and commissioned work. His current personal project is set in outer space.