What is your art background?

I received my Bachelor’s degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where I majored in art. I took classes in painting, drawing, sculpture, graphic design and art history. I didn’t dive deeply into any one medium, but I was exposed to a lot of different techniques and theory.

Tell us about your style as an artist.

I would consider myself a graphic artist but not a graphic designer. I do a lot of pen and ink and abstract designs without using a computer. I tend to do a lot of nature inspired art, and

What is your favorite thing to draw?

I love to doodle! I love drawing detailed, intricate abstract designs that are just fun to look at. Otherwise, I’m almost always drawn to nature - waves, snowflakes, mountains, trees, and sunsets.

What is your favorite medium to work with?

I’m definitely a pen and ink artist, but I also enjoy painting with acrylic.

Where is your favorite place to draw?

Ironically some of my favorite drawings have been sketched on a notepad while in a meeting at work. Otherwise I enjoy drawing at home or at a coffee shop. I would love to do more drawing at a coffee shop, but it’s hard to have the right amount of space and supplies. Some of my favorite pieces started as a simple doodle on a notepad.

What was the best part of illustrating the book?

The best part of this process was the feeling of accomplishment and pride after completing a drawing. It was also fun to literally see the story unfold before me as I made progress.

What was the hardest part of illustrating the book?

Lack of confidence. The entire time I worked on the illustrations I questioned my ability to be able to do it well, and that really weighed on me throughout the process.

Would you like to do another book?

I would love to say yes, but I’m torn because of how challenging it was and how significant of a time commitment it was. I want to see how this first book is received and will go from there. If the style of illustrations were different (more abstract or other images besides human characters) it would be an easier decision. It’s just hard to commit to something that I am so challenged by, especially when I have a lot of other important things going on in my life.

What is something you learned from illustrating this book.

I learned that not all scanners are created equally! I would not spend my time scanning with “cheap” scanners, and would wait until the project was done and scan them all together with a fine art scanner. I would also avoid writing anything on the illustrations so that there was less clean up needed in photoshop later. Last but not least, I would use higher quality colored pencils! I think that would make a big difference in the overall look and quality.

How have you evolved as an artist?

I’ve evolved as an artist the same way I have evolved as a person over the last few years. I’ve learned to let go of the things that I can’t control, accept my weaknesses and not discount my strengths and accomplishments. I’ve always felt like a good artist but I’ve been shy about sharing it, so this book project has really helped me to push those boundaries and promote my art.

What do you do for fun?

I love to travel. It doesn’t have to be a big fancy vacation (although those are nice!), but just a quick getaway from the routine that I can get stuck in. I look for every opportunity I can to explore a new corner of the world that I live in, whether that’s with my son or with my friends… or both! For me, life is about fun, adventure, relaxation and finding simple moments of happiness and comfort. I look for new opportunities to feel that way as much as possible. I also love sharing in my son’s love of sports (basketball, in particular) so we go to lots of Blazers games and local sports events, as well as his own practices and games.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t worry so much, it doesn’t change things. Embrace who you are. Live in the present and enjoy the small moments (cliche, but still important). Don’t get too caught up in what others think. Don’t ruminate on the embarrassing or stressful moments - what’s done is done. Travel abroad in college (I still kick myself for not doing that). Trust your gut. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Professionally, I hope to stay in a leadership position where I can oversee the operations of a company - whether that be in IT (where I am now), education (what my background is in), some type of more artsy/creative position or some other industry all together. I enjoy being in a role that challenges me and gives me opportunity for impact. My career has become a pretty important part of who I am, and I want this to continue without letting it overtake things.

Personally, I simply want to be happy. I don’t know what that looks like exactly, but probably similar to what it does now… lots of fun and adventure with my kiddo (who will be eleven in 5 years!), lots of time with my boyfriend and friends, lots of travel, and as many simple enjoyable moments as possible. I don’t care about the details, honestly. I just want to enjoy the ride.

Are there any children’s books that you particularly enjoy?

I love the classics! Goodnight Moon, The Snowy Day, Corduroy, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Where the Wild Things Are, etc. I’ve enjoyed sharing books from my childhood with my son. As he learns to read himself, I look forward to sharing classic children’s chapter books too. 

How did you end up in Portland?

I’d like to say I moved here for college, but really… it was for a boy (what can I say… I was 18!)

Fortunately, there was also a good college nearby!