I grew up in Garden Grove and Tustin, California, after my family moved in 1961 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following graduation from California Polytechnic University, San Louis Obispo in 1982 with a Bachelor of Architecture, I studied Art and Architecture from 1981 to 1982 in Florence, Italy, at the California State University International Program. After graduating college, I lived and worked in Rome, Jerusalem and San Francisco, during which time I studied art and specifically drawing with pencils. In 1987, while on a trip to San Diego, I was offered work building a house, and then work drawing for an architect, so I extended my stay again. I then met my future wife, Dijana, and we had two children, Nadia and Audrey. I have happily stayed in San Diego ever since.