Rob Patterson grew up on the summit of Paris Mountain, overlooking the city of Greenville, South Carolina. As a child, the majority of his free time consisted of drawing monsters and exploring the woods that surrounded his home and remote parts of the Nantahala National Forest, experiences that were instrumental in shaping his imagination and subconscious. Also key in his development was enduring attendance at a nearby christian educational facility. Upon concluding eleven, psychologically grueling years of indoctrination and “schooling” at said institution, he spent his final three years of high school joyously immersed in the study of visual arts at the Greenville Fine Arts Center. There, he explored metal sculpture, film and video, ceramics, photography, and creative writing, but was centrally focused on drawing and painting. In 1999, he received a BFA in Digital Fine Art from the Atlanta College of Art, where he worked in graphic design, experimental sound, installation art, and multimedia digital art.

In the autumn of that same year, through the University of Georgia, he spent a semester in Cortona, Italy, studying intaglio and photography as a graduate student. The Italian countryside is mystical and ancient. It changes a person and brings new inspiration. While there, Rob had the good fortune to meet and befriend world-renowned painter Terry Rowlett, with whom he explored the art-steeped villages and lush landscapes of Tuscany. The semester came to an end, however, and with heavy heart, he left Italy's gentle foothills and returned to mundane avenues of Greenville.

Back in his home town, inspiration was scant, and his thoughts most often turned to his days in Cortona. Fortunately, Mr. Rowlett lived not too far, in a town called Athens, Georgia. Rob spent many weekends visiting Terry and found new inspiration in the second incarnation of Athen's thriving music scene. Still, he felt largely unmoved to create new work, and weighed down by the conservative tedium of the cultural climate of the day. After four years in creative limbo, he found himself in Nashville, Tennessee, where his love of illustration and art was rekindled. From there, he followed his future wife to Chicago, where he now lives and works as an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. He is currently writing and illustrating a young-adult fantasy trilogy and making music, in between freelance design and illustration projects.

Zarathustra by Terry Rowlett