The illustrator

What advice would you give other aspiring artists?

Learn how you want to work. Learn how other artists work. Learn about artists that work in your discipline. Learn techniques that interest you, this will allow you to become more creative when you aren’t concerned with the fundamentals of process. Also, put yourself out there, call yourself an artist, tell people what you are doing and where you want to be. Your community wants to support more than you know. In the words of Dr. Franke-N-Furter, “Don’t dream it, Be it.”

What was it like when you sold your first piece of art?

I have contributed to artistic initiatives throughout my different stages of life, but my first independent piece sold was at an auction. I didn’t know or see the buyer until they approached me. Meeting them changed my idea of who buys art and who values art. There are far more artistic employment opportunities then the traditional gallery/buyer relationship, which is a positive shift for practicing artists.

What drew you to the world of art? Did you ever consider doing something else?

My family is a very diverse, liberal, culture loving family. I come from an entire family of successful ‘black sheep’, so I never stuck out as different, which many artistically inclined children feel. My interest in making art and the creative process was valued from day one. That is fundamental to young people seeing the arts as a viable and important part of our culture. My own self-expression factors into my art and art making, so there wasn’t an option for a happy life without creating.
I also have a strong background in at-risk youth outreach work and environmental education which often influence my artistic work and thankfully, have all lent well together offering opportunities to blend all three passions.

What challenges have you faced in pursuing an artistic career?

The hustle. Artists move through our culture in many different capacities. It’s not so much the financial challenges of art making, as the challenge of having your mind in many pursuits at once. Staying organized with ‘many fingers in many pots’ often contradicts artist’s creative process. My biggest challenge is balancing the strict business end of things with facilitating open creative process and making time to simply make art.

What drew you to you painting? Did you ever consider doing something else?

Like many artists identifying as women, my art making has always been multi-disciplined. Women artists often do not fit into the small boxes the art world can desire us to be in to market and move our work. Much of my current work is as an illustrator. Illustration can promote ideas and give a louder voice to an alternative view. I enjoy illustration because it lends voice and narrative; it creates dialogue, reflection and communication. The world could use a lot more of all three.