Sunday, January 9, 2011

NH artist with MD finds success with graphic design

From The Citizen. One of his graphic designs is pictured.

GILFORD, N.H. — From the computer screen to T-shirts, Jared Aronson doesn't let muscular dystrophy slow him down a bit and he's taking his artistic talents to the public with his first art show later this month.

The art enthusiast will hold a public show of his works, which will kick off with a reception on Friday evening, Jan. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Summit Health in Belmont, N.H..

Aronson started his own business, Madhouse Teeshirt Designs LLC, in December 2004 and weaves his sense of humor into his artwork to create his various T-shirt designs.

"A lot of it is humorous," said Aronson of his work. "I designed T-shirts for a year until I had enough and then I started selling them."

This is the first time Aronson has held an art show and he is starting to think it might be time to move his creations to another level.

"I think I wanted to be more of an artist than just a T-shirt designer," he said. "You're not a real artist until you have a show."

Aronson was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy at age 4. He is confined to a wheelchair and uses a ventilator to help him breath. Despite now having limited usage of his hands, Aronson doesn't let his disease get in the way of his love for designing.

Looking back, Aronson said he has always enjoyed drawing and said he has a ton of sketch books from his younger days.

"I did a sketch of Yoda once in the seventh grade that I'm proud of," he said.

Now he usually develops his designs using a Mac computer and programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop. With motions by his thumb, he uses a trackball mouse placed in his lap to create his work.

"It can take a while sometimes, especially in the winter, to get my hands warmed up. I'd rather do it by hand but I can't anymore," he said. "It's tedious. I click and drag to draw lines and you have to click these teeny, tiny dots to make the lines. That's the tedious part."

The 2002 Gilford High School graduate's artistic talents with the computer are mostly the result of teaching himself the various computer programs he uses to create his artwork.

"I think it's amazing that you've just taught yourself all these programs," said Linda Kempton, who works with Aronson at Summit Health a few days each week on his physical therapy.

Aronson has been using the facilities at Summit Health for about 10 years now. Kempton has been working with him for about the last four years.

"He's very bright," said Kempton. "He's self-taught and I've learned a lot from him."

Kempton laughs as she tells of how she did not know how to use the text message function on her cell phone until Aronson showed her how to do it.

"He's very patient," she added, "and I think his sense of humor keeps him even-keeled."

If his show at Summit Health is a success, Aronson said, he would like to try his hand at a few more shows, possibly one in Concord. He said he will have 17 pieces in his first show, which will include T-shirt designs as well as some sketches.

In addition to T-shirt designs, Aronson creates logos for companies. He even created the logo for the "Granite State of Mind" song released last year. That particular design will be featured in his show.

Also featured will be the design he created for Sara's Courage, an organization helping Sara Carter Azzara, a New Hampshire wife and mother who is battling breast cancer.

"I do a lot of customers' stuff. I get e-mails from people who ask me to create a logo or T-shirt design," he said. "I'm always working on something."