After receiving his MFA in printmaking from Indiana University in 1990, and unsuccessful in his search for a teaching position in any major city, John returned to New York City, where he resided for 20 over years. Being HIV+, and having had one close friend die with AIDS in the Bloomington Hospital while he was in graduate school, he became aware that he needed to be in a major city with the latest and best AIDS drug trials, medical knowledge and treatment available.
During much of the 90's, John was dealing with his own health, and taking care of several close friends, and didn't really see much point in making art. He was too busy staying alive. However, somewhere late in 1996, he realized that he had survived lymphoma, MAC (and AIDS-related bacterial infection), and mycrosporidiosis, and he had been on the same path many of his friends had, of simply getting sicker and weaker, but in John's case, death didn't come. He had good doctors, health insurance to insure he could get the care he needed, there were new drugs, and he was faced with an even greater dilemma — life. After living with a terminal illness for over ten years, finding out he might get a reprieve (of how long, no one ever knows), was his biggest challenge ever. John said, “After all, when I decided to go to graduate school, something I had always dreamed of, but had constantly put off, I didn't even know whether I would live to see the end of the three year program.”
John returned to art gradually, taking classes and working at Greenwich House Pottery, with various instructors. This brought him back into a studio atmosphere, working alongside all levels of students, from beginners to professional artists. After about a year and half, he finally got my own computer, and translated what he used to do in the printshop into computer imagery.