When it comes to art, I never really had any other option. It chose me. From my very first breath, it grabbed hold, wove itself into the very fiber of my being. As soon as I could hold a crayon in my chubby little grasp, I have been drawing.

Yes, art chose me. But I chose illustration.

My childhood gave me the chance to dream of all sorts of different careers. A nurse (that didn’t last long), a musician, an animator. Finally, in college, I settled on a degree in Studio Art, with a focus in graphic design. I enjoyed the way design allowed me to use my art as a way to communicate and draw people in. Graphic design allowed me to move into a full-time career of development (a bit of a jump away from the art field, I know, but I have mentioned I am also a huge geek!) — but always, my passion has been to illustrate.

Why picture books?

Simply, I love children. Growing up, I was always the child who mothered the others in her class. I often played the mom every time we dressed up. Later, I stayed behind to assist with children’s church when the rest of my friends moved up to youth group. In youth group, I stayed behind to become a youth leader. During college, I worked at my church’s preschool center, when led me to an art teacher position at a preschool for a year on the east coast.

So, for me, marrying art and my love for children seemed natural. Not only do I love art, but I love telling stories (both with words and with pictures). Illustration always seemed the have that perfect combination.

No matter what I choose as my career, no matter what path life takes me down, I know in my heart I will always be an artist.