I grew up an only child in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, where I spent my time talking to pet cats and catching frogs, fish, newts, chipmunks, and myriad other hapless creatures, so I believe it was inevitable that I would become a writer and an artist or a cave-dwelling hermit. Seeing that comfortable caves deep in enchanted forests are rather hard to come-by, I chose the artist’s way instead. My heart, however, has grown roots and branches where it shelters an enduring passion for creatures, nature, and fantasy; three themes which my work often revolves around.
As an artist I strive to produce vivid imagery, evoke emotion, and create engaging characters in all the mediums I work with. I always seek to learn more and improve my skills, though I often struggle with expecting perfection of myself. Learning to accept imperfections, realizing where my strengths lie, that I can improve the skills I find myself lacking, and that it truly is never too late has been a large part of my journey as an artist and I look forward to where the journey will take me from here.
All in all, I’m your average twenty-something looking for my niche in life. I am bare-branched, waiting to bloom; trying to find myself and break the bonds of what’s expected by others and myself, of what I think is “acceptable” instead of what I want to be, of confusion and fear, and all the other things holding me back while trying to keep my head above the quicksand of all things that stamp out individualism and creativity.
•Who and what inspires you?
My artwork and writing mainly revolves around creatures, nature, fantasy, and human emotion and I find inspiration for those things in many things. Most often I’m inspired by nature, whimsical and heartfelt music, emotionally powerful and image-filled poetry, and fellow artists. Poets and authors who inspire me include Mary Oliver, Rainer Maria Rilke, John Keats, Peter S. Beagle, Mercedes Lackey, Edgar Allen Poe, and many different haiku and tanka poets. Musicians who inspire me include: A Fine Frenzy, Owl City, Iron & Wine, Evanescence, and Simon & Garfunkel. Artists who inspire me include Hayao Miyazaki, Vincent Van Gogh, Auguste Rodin, Salvador Dalí, and the many amazing artists and photographers on websites such as deviantART and Flickr. My friends also inspire me a great deal and the “web personality” who inspires me most is Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. Her courage, strength, and awesomeness give me something to emulate, even if I don’t agree with everything she says.
•What areas do you wish to improve in most?
I love drawing and painting, but my skills in these areas are far from where I would like them to be, but I am now seeking to improve. I say “now” because I’ve spent my whole life struggling with the belief my art was “not good enough” and became so discouraged I believed I “would never be as good as I wished”, so I didn’t practice or try to improve my drawing and painting skills. The bright side is that while I believed those lies I attended and graduated from a wonderful photography school, which has not only become an integral part of my work, but has provided me with skills that benefit many of the other mediums I work with.
•What pets do you have?
I am currently owned by 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 leopard geckos, a red-footed tortoise, and 4 snakes. I also often have toads, frogs, and insects to visit and model for me during the spring and summer.
•If you could bring one fantasy creature into existence what would it be?
Dragons! Well, friendly dragons you can have as pets, not the man-eating, vicious monster type. I would also bring faeries, naiads, nymphs, dryads, unicorns, fire salamanders, and plenty others into existence if I could. Life would be much more exciting.
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