Todd Franklin Hammer was born in 1979 and grew up in Mission Viejo, California. Todd spent much of his early childhood at the beach in San Clemente or deep sea fishing with his father Bill Hammer off Santa Catalina Island in Southern California. When Todd was nine years old his family took a trip to Grand Cayman to visit his maternal relatives. Todd’s grandfather, John Franklin Watler Jr. was a Caymanian whose ancestors were two of the original three buccaneers that settled in the Cayman Islands in the 1600’s. It was in Grand Cayman, snorkeling along Seven Mile Beach that Todd discovered the marine environment. This trip to Grand Cayman would later be the catalyst for many of Todd’s paintings.
At an early age, Todd demonstrated artistic ability and earned numerous awards for his drawings and paintings. In 2000, Todd was accepted to the prestigious Art Center College of Design (ACCD) located in Pasadena, California. While at ACCD, Todd began to immerse himself in broadcast design and graduated with honors in 2003 earning a degree in Broadcast Design Motion Graphics. After graduation, Todd worked freelance on motion picture openings while also creating television spots for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. After several challenging years working the freelance circuit in Hollywood, Todd was hired full-time at Fox11, KTTV Los Angeles. While at Fox11 Todd created the on-air graphics for the Good Day L.A. Morning Show and the late-night news. In 2005 while at Fox11, Todd earned his first Emmy award for best local news graphics.
In 2008, Todd earned his open water SCUBA certification. A year later, Todd completed other dive courses earning his rescue diver and nitrox certifications. While obtaining these certifications, Todd purchased his first underwater camera and began exploring underwater photography which soon became a weekend hobby that would later inspire the paintings that you see today. The dives off the Palos Verdes Peninsula were very influential and served to hone Todd’s underwater photography and dive skills. Todd has discovered that Grand Cayman’s East End is his favorite place to photograph the marine environment.
Todd and his wife Jane currently reside in Tampa Bay, Florida, having relocated there from Redondo Beach in 2009. Todd continues to work full-time as a broadcast designer for Fox Television’s graphics hub at WTVT Fox13, Tampa Bay. In the past year, Todd’s love for diving and painting have been integrated into the 3-D sculptures of marine life that are now Todd’s passion and the focus of his work. The process of oil painting and sculpture fusion is still yet to be fully explored and Todd continues to push the limits of materials and technique in his work. With this work, Todd hopes to inspire and educate people about our fragile oceans.