Bruce Zeines

I dreamt I swam in a lake of india ink and with my finger, drew pictures on the sky.

—Bruce Zeines 

Born in Brooklyn, NY, my life has always been one of creative enterprise. My first influence was my older brother, who drew really cool space ships and creatures. Soon I made my way to the comic book collection we shared and began copying images of Superman and Flash. As my crazy teenage years came upon me, my interest in doodling in my notebooks turned into a full scale dedication to the art of cartooning, inspired by the underground comic movement. 

After high school, I attended the School of Visual Arts (SVA.) That environment opened me up to many ideas and possibilities that I had not seen before. It gave me the opportunity to work with great instructors like Burt Hasen, Jerry Moriarty, Barbara Nessim, Marshall Arisman and Irwin Fleminger. 

After I left art school, I needed to find paying work and found it more reasonable to work as a graphic artist than to carry boxes in a warehouse. As I progressed, my skills multiplied. I have worked as a designer, art director, retoucher and illustrator. My drawn illustrations and collages have been published in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, trade publications, magazines, local newspapers and comic rags. My first and only comic strip, “The Stranger,” was a regular feature in Free Spirit Magazine and was also republished several comic collections. The paneled comic featured no dialogue or annotations and told the story only through rendered pencil drawings. 

In the 1990’s, I soon began to create digital collages in Photoshop, with my work being recognized by the International Digital Design Association as being among the top 100 internationally. The work was a way of expressing social commentary in a unique manner. By the use of photographic imagery, an idea could have a powerful emotional impact. 

After the World Trade Center fell, I lost interest in pursuing the social commentary of digital art and returned to my foundation as a drawing artist. I began to cross hatch feverishly with pen & ink, producing well over a hundred intricate drawings in the years 2004 - 2007. These labor intensive works have been displayed in solo and group shows in and around Brooklyn. After this period I began producing mostly scratch boards and small black and white ink drawings. 

In 2013 I produced and published a book of esoteric cartoons titled “84 Drawings” with a foreword by Parabola Magazine Poetry editor, Lee Van Laer. The money for publishing was raised through crowd funding, something I have become very adept at. I am currently developing a workshop that will allow others to enter the process I have discovered with ‘automatic drawing.”

In addition to my drawing, my attention is frequently diverted by my interest in fingerstyle guitar. I was recently included in “the $100 Guitar Project” which included some notable names and was featured on NPR radio. I was humbled by the opportunity. Also, I recently participated in the Church Avenue (Brooklyn) Business Improvement District project executing my first mural for a local storefront.

My work is about revealing the subconscious. It seeks to be an expression of deeper concerns I have about living a spiritual life, and being open to the inner mysteries that abound. Other than that, it is the most relaxing activity I have ever known, and somehow, in the scheme of things, feels like it must be done. The universe beckons.