From an early age, LaVigne saw art as a natural career choice in a family that had produced artists sporadically across generations. He followed this path into college, receiving a degree in Illustration from Cal State Long Beach in 1981. But he wouldn’t discover his love for oil painting until he took a class with Dan McCaw called, Oil Painting for Illustration. It changed his work permanently. His freelance career became characterized by an impressionistic style; a desirable solution for products wishing to promote a breezy, up-tempo lifestyle. The Playboy Jazz Festival, Architectural Digest, and KLM Airlines all became clients. He continued in commercial art through the end of the decade before returning to Cal State Long Beach for a Masters degree.
Upon completing the degree, he got a tip about a part time position as a graphic designer for the D.A.’s Office in Los Angeles. The job became a seventeen-year association, preparing evidence for trial while also designing printed material for various crime prevention programs. A list of projects he worked on would stretch from the O.J. Simpson murder trial to a mural depicting the 150-year history of the D.A.’s Office, as well as dozens of pamphlets, diagrams, and logos.
In 2010, he left public service to pursue his art full time in Ventura County’s thriving arts community. His work is in the permanent collections of Santa Monica College and California State University Long Beach, as well as private collections up and down the west coast.
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