--------------- My Art History ----------------

Cardboard Creations
For as long as I can remember, I've been an art freak. As a kid in the 50's, I remember those long, rainy days when my mom would bring out my favorite treasure: a pile of shirt cardboards she'd brought home from her job at the laundry factory. She knew I'd be enthralled all day finding 101 ways to cut, fold, tape and glue my cheap materials into cities, vehicles, creatures and people. I'm so thankful to God for my mom, Betty Eden, for seeing the creativity in me and nurturing God's gift of art.

Comic Copycats
Then came the third grade, where Mrs Oster was always confiscating a masterpiece of mine or fellow-artist Skip's. We would fill page after page with our war-drawings of planes, tanks & soldiers, competing to see who could draw the most and the fastest. We'd also bring to school our latest attempts at copying the Sunday funnies. Back then, our favorites were the Flintstones, Beetle Bailey, Dick Tracey & Alley Oop, until a new strip captured our attention... It was called Peanuts. Then my folks bought me a cartooning book, "Fun with a Pencil" by Andrew Loomis. I would spend countless days immersed in its pages.

Puppets & Super Heroes
My next art memory is making puppets in the 4th grade with Mrs. Morrison. We built our own little stage and painted our own scenery for each play. And we made hand puppets with balloons and paper mache, and even sewed their little costumes. What glorious productions! It must have been there that I caught the theatrical bug too. Next came a pre-teen comic book phase--mostly super heroes, with a little of Archie. Man, how many hours did I linger, either reading or drawing from those colorful pages! But gradually sports and TV drew me out of my cave, and I enjoyed drawing sports figures, TV shows or just from nature.

Outside the Box
I spent most of high school in athletics and in an honors art class with a bunch of other artsy kids. And yet, I felt different. I remember one day, we'd all been carving small sculptures from blocks of plaster. Now the time came to show & critique each other's work. When they came to mine (a weird-looking, perpetual, Escher-like thing) our teacher Mr. Pitcairn snorted, "This has got to be Eden's!" He explained: "Now how do I know?-- Because it's different!... Different from all the rest! Dave may not always have the best piece, but it will always be different!". I would remember that sarcastic but life-defining comment all my life! This desire & delight I had to be different, to think "outside the box", would become part of my identity and destiny. It was OK to be me!

Rock&Roll Whimsy
I spent 2 years at Illinois State U attending many a boring art course. At least this helped fuel in me a further love for art & the work of famous artists, my favorites ranging from Andy Warhol to Andrew Wyeth. I figured I'd become an art teacher & coach or something. But another art moment happened in Pottery class. We had to make a simple vessel out of slabs of clay. Mine became a cookie jar in the shape of a man's head. The professor used it to spark a discussion on the difference between whimsy vs. trite! (my piece was voted whimsical. Whew!) I also dabbled in some painting classes, my most memorable masterpiece being a surrealistic vision of a giant tortoise crawling over an interstate overpass. But I was having trouble keeping up my grades in my non-art courses, so I ended up leaving college for a career as a rock&roll drummer.

The Sign-Painter's Apprentice
The 70's took their toll on me. After years of a vagabond-hippie-druggie-musician's lifestyle that almost killed me, I finally settled down. (All credit goes to Jesus... What a difference between my BC art vs my AD art!) Now I had moved to Indianapolis, because of some music dreams, but by day worked in a sign shop. (This was before the quickie-computer-vinyl lettering industry of today.) What a lost concept of the master-apprentice craftsman relationship! But I'm so thankful for the men who trained me, especially a man named Mack. So I learned lettering & design first hand and was happy to be earning a living being creative.

The BIG Picture
I moved back to Illinois in the 80's. We soon had a growing family. There I got my longest lasting and biggest art job--painting giant billboards. (at C-U Poster Company - now Adams Outdoor). I would be there for 10 years, designing and painting 100's of outdoor ads. It was fun to work with customers, find a way to illustrate their product, take my small sketch and blow it up huge, then see my work displayed all over town! They call outdoor advertising the 7-second medium --you have only moments to get your message across! So it was here that I learned how to think and draw in terms of simple, brief & BIG! Eventually I would step out and apply these lessons in my own business and even in ministry.

The Heart of Art
In the 90's we moved to the Dallas area to pursue some ministry visions. Over the years I'd been realizing the reason God gave me this gift of art-- to express His heart to others. And so, I've developed ways of using my creativity in Christian ministry to adults, but mostly to children-- in kid's rallies with skits, puppetry & cartoon talks, and as a children's pastor (see JCUministries.com). Meanwhile, on the side, I've enjoyed thinking outside-the-box with my editorial & spiritual cartooning. (see EdenPoliticalCartoons.com

What's your dream?
For the last 20 years it's been fulfilling having my own sign & art biz. Isn't it great when you can work in a career you love? I like serving customers and seeing their satisfaction in the finished work. And, in the last few years, I've rediscovered my big love for painting murals - in homes, churches, businesses, wherever. And though I love to have a brush in my hand, I've been dragged kicking & screaming into the computer age, developing some design skills in Dreamweaver, Fireworks & Photoshop. So I hope you enjoy visiting my 2 websites.
And maybe someday our dreams may collide... and we can work together to make