After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1996, West spent many years as an illustrator and art director, as well as painting onstage with the indie rock band Cloud Cult. At the beginning of 2010, he left the commercial world in order to focus on touring and painting. That time spent working commercially honed his technical skills while performing with Cloud Cult built confidence in the immediacy of his gestures, so that West's canvases capture the dynamic passion of live music with skilled composition mixed with the openness to happy accidents and abstraction. West’s work has been seen by thousands of people from stage and he has exhibited internationally..