remarkable but fragile ecosystems are under increasing threat
● Why art?
Creating art is one of my oldest and most cherished memories. I love that art gives me the chance to communicate my thoughts, feelings, and interests while still open to interpretation. I am fascinated by people's perspectives of each piece.
● What kind of artwork do you do?
I create work using watercolor and ink, but have recently started using colored pencil and gouache in my work as well.
● What does your work aim to say?
I hope my art depicts nature's beauty and vulnerability and inspires viewers to protect our planet.
● What motivates and inspires you?
I get most of my inspiration for my experiences and self education. When I travel I love to go to museums, aquariums, and on hikes to learn about native plants, animals, and ecosystems. I also watch documentaries and listen to podcasts to learn more about current topics.
● What process do you go through mentally when you are creating a piece?
I always have a basic image in my head before I create a piece. I research the species that I am creating and try to be as accurate as possible.
● What role does the artist have in society?
I feel artists hold up a mirror to society. They reflect the significant topics of our time that spark discussion and debate, chronicle the ever-evolving landscape of pop culture, envision the future to share collective anxieties, offer diverse cultural perspectives and insights so help us better understand each other and so much more.
● How do you navigate the art world?
Hm…I don’t really know! For a long time I didn’t consider myself a fine artist. I got turned away from it when I was in art school and decided to pursue illustration. There was less responsibility on me as an artist to create work that says something provocative or important. As I got older though I realized I did have things to say with my work.
● How has your practice changed over time?
I am better at making time to create art. In the past it always came last. After household chores, screen printing, paid freelance work, etc. But I realize it’s central to my business and should be prioritized, even if it’s just a couple hours each day. In the future, I hope to be better at documenting my work and sharing my process.
● What is the biggest challenge of being an artist?
I feel artists are way undervalued and are expected to work for nothing (a.k.a. “because you love it!”) or pennies. I encourage young artists to document the time they take to create their pieces and how much money they would make if they were paid for each hour it took them to create it. I do think it’s getting better with the amount of education out there on the internet though and I hope that continues!
● What themes do you pursue?
My work revolves around themes of climate change and our interconnectedness as humans with animals and nature.
● What is your dream project?
I would love to work on more murals and public art. I would also love to work in partnership with public parks.
● What superpower would you have and why?
It sounds so cliché but I would love to be able to fly. To see the world from different perspectives would be so incredible.
● What is the biggest mistake you have made within your career to this point?
Not starting sooner! I am so glad I made the leap to start my own art business but I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I tend to wait until the time is right and over prepare but I realize now that I could have started doing freelance and art markets much sooner than I did. It really helped to talk with other artists and learn from their path and I would encourage more young artists to do this.
● How have other artists or art genres influenced your sense of aesthetics?
I love looking at botanical artwork from the 19th and early 20th century. I collect old botanical art books and textbooks to learn from their techniques and I have gotten a ton of inspiration for my color palettes too. I also love that so many of these artists were women. At the time watercolor and botany were considered acceptable subjects for women to paint. Even though they were limited, I love that this allowed more women to step into the art world for the first time.
● How do you know when a work is finished?
I almost always know when a piece will be finished after the sketch phase because I rarely add anything to a piece after I start inking over a sketch.