Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I studied Theatre Performance at VCU and loved every minute of it. I learned so much and met the most amazing people during my time there. My husband and I were in the same program and started dating when we were in the show Grease together. So many incredible memories. I will forever be a huge fan and supporter of VCU - especially their Arts programs!
What's your favorite thing you've ever made?
When we were in the beginning stages of wedding planning, I drew an illustration of my husband and myself that was only our faces. It started off as something I made just for fun, but then I ended up using the illustration as design inspiration for the entire wedding! I had stickers of our faces made and included them with our Save the Date cards. I was super into iron-on patches and button pins at the time (I was creating a wedding jean jacket that was completely covered in patches and pins) so I ordered button pins of us and we gave them out as wedding favors. I also had the illustration added to our photo booth prints that people took home with them as well. Since creating that simple little illustration of our faces, it’s become my most favorite thing. I even used it again this past Christmas on our cards we sent out to family and friends - I drew Santa hats on our heads and gave us a festive background. This illustration is so special to me because it’s so incredibly personal and it brings me a ton of joy! I also love that I’ve been able to use it over and over again in various ways and I continue to enjoy it every time!
Who do you look up to?
My Dad - He was an amazing creative force - an artist, a singer / song writer / musician, director and playwright. Whenever I make my art I feel incredibly connected to him. He passed away a few years ago, but he continues to inspire and influence so much of my life.
My Mom - She is my first friend and a constant source of support and light for me. She is also my epitome of strength of grace. She taught me how to lead with love, how to laugh, how to carry on, and how to see beauty everywhere, always.
Pink - (Alecia Moore) - She is my icon. I love her energy, her spirit, and her honesty. She showed me you can be strong and brave and a total badass, and at the same time, be kind and open and vulnerable. Her songs are my favorite ‘GIRL POWER’ anthems to turn up all the way. She is also the reason I decided to cut all my hair off - I watched her redefine femininity and claim her power and I wanted to do the same.
What's your favorite store?
Target. Hands down. I’m there all the time for every reason and for no reason at all.
For specific things : Gap is my favorite for jeans (literally all of my jeans are from there), H&M is my favorite for basics, Muji is my favorite for stylish comfort clothing and accessories, and Madewell is my dream closet (I swoon over everything they make).
What artist do you admire?
I love Lisa Congdon’s work. Her bold colors, vibrant words, and stark images really speak to me. I think she is incredible. I’ve also always loved Keith Haring. Both of them inspire me a lot.
What keeps you fresh? What do you practice and read?
I have the honor of working alongside a ton of ridiculously talented artists. In my freelance and personal work, in teaching at SPARC, and at MILK RIVER ARTS. The artists I’m surrounded by on a daily basis keep me fresh and fuel my spirit. As far as practice, I try to draw or create something every day - sometimes I love what I make, sometimes I hate what I make, but all of it flexes my creative muscles. I also love to watch kids create art - they just DO IT. It’s so refreshing to watch someone work who doesn’t have that crazy inner critic yet. I try my best to learn from them. As far as reading, I have a few books in my queue and this is a great reminder to get to it. Next on my list is UnSelfie : Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World by Michele Borba.
What's your favorite McDonald's menu item?
Oh man, there’s nothing like dipping fries into a chocolate milkshake! That’s my forever favorite.
What's one tip you'd give to an aspiring illustrator?
You’re the only one who can make your art - keep making it - and get it out there into the world because people need to see it. Also, as an artist you are always learning - absorb all the information you can, improve your skills, take on new challenges, and say YES to as many opportunities as possible. Everything leads to something else. And don’t forget to have as much fun as you can. I believe in you. You got this.
What's in your bag?
My whole entire life, basically. I carry a backpack as a purse most of the time. Currently my backpack includes : my makeup bag full of on-the-go esstentials, a container of hair product (pixie life), my wallet, a notebook and pens, my sunglasses, my phone, my keys, tissues, medications, and a few small snacks. That’s a pretty light backpack day, actually.
What product/item could you not live without?
My iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. The majority of my work is comprised of digital illustrations created directly on my iPad. I love that thing so much. I use it every single day. I’ll never forget the first time I tried drawing on an iPad - my creative world was forever changed. I have the 12.9in version and the large screen size is absolutely amazing. My drawing app of choice is Procreate.
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