When I was a kid, we played in the woods a lot, built forts; went camping, canoeing, hiking and skiing all the time. I noticed all the different trees, leaves, birds, butterflies and bugs in our adventures, and always wished I could identify them.
I didn’t take my first art or drawing or illustration class until later in life while pursuing a new career in graphic design and illustration. Now that I know how to draw and illustrate, I am inspired and excited to be able to study those things in nature and create them with my own hand through the magic of pencil to paper. I am constantly picking up artifacts and treasures from the trails, or taking photos to use as reference for sketching and illustration.
At the beginning of 2015, I wanted to draw something everyday. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to do an entire illustration or fill up a sketchbook page everyday, so I came up with a doodle-a-day challenge where I would doodle something each day on a monthly calendar grid. Now I’m turning those doodles into new repeat patterns.
At the end of 2015, I realized I didn’t have much experience drawing animals, so I decided that would be my theme for 2016. Each week, I fill up a page of animals, maybe one a day or maybe a complete composition. As the months progressed, I evolved to working on a theme each month. So May was all about birds; June was all about bugs; and July is all about wildflowers and pollinators. A friend of mine suggested I turn this animal art series into an animal alphabet book, which would be a dream to accomplish. I would also love to see these animals on products like skateboards and helmets and surfboards.
My illustration style is playful, modern, colorful and dreamy. My designs are inspired by the outdoors and adventures, exploring nature in my backyard, at the botanical gardens, at farmers markets, in the woods, on the hiking trails or on the beach. I love to create my own field guides of the information I wanted to know as a kid, but with my own illustrations this time.
I live in the Upper Midwest where we get to experience the fullest extent of all four seasons, lots of outdoor adventures year-round, great food, local wine and craft beer, and beautiful nature, which gives me lots of inspiration. I also love to travel and explore, so I love to study maps and illustrate my interpretation with a whimsical flair.
My dream is to see my illustrations licensed on products at nature centers, botanical garden gift shops, state and national parks, National Geographic, stationery companies, wrapping paper companies, fabric companies, packaging for cosmetic companies.