The magic ingredient to creating is believing in yourself and your creative power. It took some time for that to land with me, and once I did my creativity took off. When I start to trash talk myself (as we all do), I stop, look in a mirror and say ‘I have a strong creative voice’. It’s super dorky and it works. Gotta feel your own work for others to feel it too.
I considered studying law because I’m a natural debater, but ended up studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. I started drawing before I could talk, and so I made the right choice (phew!). After graduation, I worked at a screen printing shop in San Francisco that prints a max of 7 solid colors, which gave me a deep appreciation for what can be achieved with flat shapes and a limited palette. I then worked as a communication designer at a local food/tech startup, which was highly collaborative and design thinking oriented. It was fun, but adventure beckoned, so in 2016 I quit my job to hitchhike, volunteer and couch surf my way around the world. I wasn’t lost, but certainly wandering, and it wasn’t until last year that I decided to give illustration my all. It took me a while to arrive at illustration because I waited until I had something to say, which solo traveling in 22 countries has given me in spades.
If you don’t know what your style is, look beyond other artists, beyond the visual and into yourself. Gather things that bring you joy or are a part of you: where you grew up, music, food, books, films, personal strengths, vulnerabilities, etc. Create a giant mood board, and once you see everything together, identify the patterns and big ideas. Bring these elements into your work and your authentic style will begin to emerge. Even your weaknesses lead you to create in a unique way, and if you’re conscious of them, you can push them to play to your advantage.
I’m currently a nomad, but I’m from San Francisco and what I love about the Bay Area is the street art. New work on top of old, mismatched squares of cover-up paint, dirt and tattered wheat pastes create unexpected masterpieces. That, and the famous tolerance, that you can literally walk around naked playing an accordion and strangers will join you, are very inspiring to me. My dream is to scale my work, making murals and immersive experiences. I also want to do more editorial work. Dream clients (to name a few): New York Times, Vice, a Google Doodle, NPR, Medium, Nooworks, so many. I try to embody positivity and empowerment in my work, and so I like working with organizations that do the same.
Pushing my craft, collaborating with talented artists and spreading joy through illustration. I would love to have gallery shows to deeply explore a theme through a body of work.
Expanding jellyfish dancing towards the light.