I believe all children are born artists, it’s just a question of whether or not they’re given the space and encouragement to develop creatively. I’m fortunate that I was. I sold my first painting in the 5th grade–I couldn’t believe the teacher paid me $20 for my watercolor of a potted fern! I loved making life-like renderings of plants, animals, portraits and human anatomy, and I went through phases of everything from graffiti to illuminated manuscripts. But I chose not to go to art school or pursue it professionally because I didn’t want the love beaten out of me.
Although I’ve taken a few classes and workshops along the way, I consider myself a self-taught outsider artist. It’s been good to have these skills in my back pocket for earning cash, illustrating my writing, and creating gifts for family and friends. Art is my first love. I work on anything paint will stick to–rocks, fabric, shoes, bee hives–but my favorite mediums are latex house paint on particle board, lino blocks, colored pencil, and good ol’ pen and ink.