I fell in love with drawing and became mesmerized with fairy tales from the time I learned how to hold a pencil at two. As an only child this was how I spent my time. Drawing was a new language to express vivid imagery these tales evoked inside my mind. My drawing books told stories without words, filled with endless princesses, mermaids, fairies, and bird people. Much to my delight, my family and friends were fascinated by my pictures and encouraged my imagination by commissioning pictures of all sorts to adorn everything from refrigerators to walls to placemats.
I went through school, illustrating class posters and projects until going off to major in Studio Art at Scripps College. Right after graduation, I enrolled in Rhode Island School of Design with the intent of pursuing an additional BFA in Illustration. Instead, through a big stroke of luck, I wound up with my first agent and picture book contract at the age of 22. Book projects came in quick succession, but in 2000, my husband and I welcomed our first-born children into the world – triplets. My illustration career was put on hold for a while, and 21 months later I gave birth to my fourth child. Life was a whirlwind of activity and crazy job related moves back and forth across the country, but I finally settled back in Southern California where I am now able to devote more time to my work.
I spend many parts of the day wondering what really happened to the younger me who was once so prolific. Then I quickly remember that having four children in less than two years is pretty much a guarantee that it will be a while before I can count on 16-hour painting marathons. But maybe that’s a good thing. Sometimes we need a little time off in order to get back on track with our work. With that realization, I can return to my sketchbook as a therapeutic and well-deserved reward focusing on things I like best – telling fantastical stories with pictures.