Darvin Atkeson, Darv to his family and friends, was born and raised in California. It was probably his mother’s attempts to keep him out of her oil paints as a young child that she purchased him his own water based paint set at the age of 4. He was instantly hooked and by 1st grade was winning awards at contests held in the local malls. A change from a very large to very small high school forced him to change from art classes to photography due to availability. Family outings to the High Desert and High Sierra provided great material in which to learn landscape photography. It wasn't long before his images started winning awards at the small high school.
Darv's father wasn't keen on art or photography as a means of career opportunities so he encouraged his son to look at more technical skills for a career path. It was through his father’s encouragement and assistance that Darv got started in his other main interest. PC Computer Systems and just as they were becoming available to the public. It would also be about this time that he would meet his fire wife and best friend Lynneal.
In an attempt to see a bit more of the world than just California where he been born and grown up, and against his parent's better judgment, he joined the US Army. Fate would step in. Apparently seeing the world wasn't in his cards at this time and in all its infinite wisdom the US Army decided to station his now growing family back in California. To their great fortune it would be at Ft. Ord in Monterey California. It wasn't long before he discovered the local art galleries and art community in the Carmel and the Monterey Bay areas and once again picked up the brush and dusted off the camera. While pulling overnight duty his commander noticed his work and commissioned him (commandeered would be more accurate) to do several murals and door paintings in the office buildings. The work won him several awards in the All Army Art Contest and his commanding officer transferred him permanently into the job as company illustrator.
Upon leaving the US Army he returned to school and earned a Bachelors of Electronic Engineering. Upon graduation there were a number of job opportunities but it was an advertisement in the LA Times that grabbed Darv's attention. It was located just outside of Yosemite National Park and working the Computer Gaming Industry for a company he knew well, Sierra On Line. There he continued working with computers, art and photography. While working at Sierra, he was intrigued by work being done with a software program still in its infancy called 3D Studio, now known as 3DS Max. It was being used by many of the artists to create some of the best games ever made. At last the medium for combining the artwork with the computer skills was available and it wasn't long before he had, through begging and pleading, acquired access to a system with the software during off hours. After long nights working through the tutorials he was finally invited to join the art team for Kings Quest VII. His artwork has been published in several Sierra games including Kings Quest VII, Phantasmagoria, Gabriel Knight II, Rama and Lighthouse, and a number of other games.
The 3D Studio software was eventually upgraded to work on Microsoft Windows and renamed 3DS Max. In order to learn the software, he needed a unique project that had yet to be done. A guitar shaped starship image on the cover of the Boston "Don't Look Back" rock and roll album made back in the late 70's caught his eye. Unlike Star Trek or Star Wars, at least no one had yet tried to render the Guitar Spaceship in 3D. Using the album as reference, he built the first 3D image unique guitar starship which had graced all the covers released by the band Boston. The test images were posted to the Internet and Boston fans quickly picked up on them and started passing them around. It wasn't long before the band contacted him and now his artwork can be seen on Boston's recent album "Corporate America", the bands official website, many fan sites, a number of t-shirts and even a calendar.
Recent advancements in digital photography have renewed Darv's interest in photography and with the vast knowledge of digital imaging he has acquired throughout his career has allowed him to capture many incredible shots of California and a few other locations. He now spends much of his free time hiking the beaches, mountains and deserts with his very supportive wife of over 35 years, Lynneal looking for that perfect shot. You will often find them sitting in the freezing wind, pouring rain, snow storm or in the blistering sun eagerly awaiting the sunset.
"Throughout my life I've, mostly by chance or fate, been given the blessing to live in some of the most beautiful places on the West Coast and to work with some of the most generous and talented people who have passed along invaluable insight. I find that the most enjoyable and calm moments of my life have been spent hiking up some steep hillside in the High Sierra or strolling along a Northern California beach with up to 35lbs of camera gear in tow seeking that perfect landscape shot. My wife and lifelong companion constantly at my side. I could never do this without her comfort and support.
I've put some of my favorite photos along with some of my artwork on line here for you and if you like, to purchase for your own enjoyment.
Welcome to our site. Please drop us a note if you like what you see."
- Darv & Lynn