What inspires your work?   My inspiration is an ever-evolving entity, I think of it as a big rolling blob that’s constantly moving and soaking up different artists like Henri Rousseau, Nick Cave, Marcel Dzama, Frida K, Matthew Craven, to name a few. Then it rolls over onto different cultural traditions like Mexican folk masks, Eastern European textile motifs and costumes, turn of the century Japanese toys, etc. It loves detritus of pop culture, like classic snack food packaging and sweet tennis shoes. It doesn’t stay in one place for long but it has amassed quite a collection of styles that I draw from quite often.   
  Along the way, what have been some of your biggest challenges when it comes to realizing your success?  The biggest challenge has always been weathering the droughts. A few years ago, in 2011 to be exact, I decided to throw caution to the wind and quite my restaurant job. I was in the last half of design school so I chose to focus on that and to work on “my craft”. I was incredibly lucky to have support from my family even though I think they thought it was perhaps not the smartest move, but I was supported. I made it work, but I did see how crushing the lows got when I had a long time between freelance work and gallery shows — I look back on the last few years now and I think “how did I survive?” but I learned to be really clever and to hustle because no one else was supporting me. I’ve gotten really good at being straight to the point when I’m asking about where my dang money is on certain jobs, which is a big help! Since I’ve stuck it out it has gotten easier, though I still have bouts of anxiety but it always, always works out.
  What do you love about yourself?    My motivation and work ethic have gotten really strong, and sometimes I even amaze myself with how much I get done or am able to set up. I have a strong empathetic streak which is why I love the people around me so hard, which can go full tilt and actually give me anxiety — but I think ultimately it’s a good thing? I hope so. Also I like a’ to make de jokes.   What don’t you love about yourself?   Oh boy, how long can this list go? Just kidding! I don’t like that I hold on to things, not grudges per se, but I let little things weasel their way into my consciousness and totally throw me off. Like, why would that person say that to me? Or do that? I let mole hills turn into mountains even though I eventually get over it and forget just as quickly as it comes up, yet I really do let things stew until I blow up. I figure it would save me a lot of time to get less wound up and to just zen out man, hang loose.  Also having big boobs is something I often don’t love, it makes trying on clothes so annoying!
  Describe your greatest professional achievement:   It’s like having children, and saying in a dreamy voice “All of my projects are my greatest achievement” but not really. Winning the one and only grant I’ve ever applied for, the Neddy at Cornish College was a huge thing for me. And for anyone that get’s it! I felt like such a young outsider when I applied, I was 24 and up against so many amazing and more academically and professionally accomplished painters. When I went through the interview process and then got word, It was a feeling of complete exhilaration followed by total terror. I kept thinking there was a type-o, and you know? Sometimes I still think they’re going to e-mail me and say they made a mistake. Until that day comes, I’m content to feel very humbled and proud to have received that generous grant.   Describe your greatest personal achievement:   I would have to say staying true to myself and my dreams — cornball alert! — and never stopping even when I tried to do other things. I took such a weird circumnavigated route in my schooling (private art school first, then community college after) that when I see where I am now, I knew in my heart of hearts that I was doing the right thing even though it was the unconventional way.       
  Talk about an instance in your life that made you feel vulnerable:   Quitting art school was sad for me, it really screwed up my whole plan. I deluded myself into thinking I was just “taking time off” after my second year. Eventually that idea faded away as weeks turned into months and the reality of the expense and the difficulty to start over hit me. I would be in regular contact with my friends down in the Bay Area and I got to hear about all of the cool things they were creating and fun things they were doing. And I was living in my parents basement. I tried going to a temp agency to get placed in a more “office environment” job because I thought I should do something with myself — and to make real money! — and I felt like a flattened version of myself when I went on a few interviews. I was like Office Administration Stacey doll, dress me up in stupid slacks and pose me how you want! After a particularly bad interview at a hedge fund office, I l went outside and it was dark and raining in classic Seattle style. I went into the downtown library into their children’s book section and just sniffled back tears as I was looking at all of the artwork, all of the beautiful paintings of classic kids books. So I never called that temp agency back and decided to fully go back into painting.      How did you keep your chin up?  I dip into the never ending reel of The Simpsons clips that are constantly playing in my head and I feel better.
  When is the last time you remember feeling incompetent?    When I actually tried being a graphic designer! I’m sure my instructors would love to read that. Okay, maybe I didn’t feel incompetent, I just felt lost and lukewarm about the whole situation, which I feel is akin to incompetence. I kept thinking, “When does this feel fun? A least a little?” I was so bored and not excited at all even after I had spent two years in school getting really ramped up to be in that field. It was a pretty big let down, actually.   Name one of your girl crushes, and why you are crushin’ on her:    Only one?! Oh man, that’s so hard. Maybe it’s because I just completed a project for her (the mural at the new RGB on Pine and 12th) but Rachel Marshall of Rachel’s Ginger Beer is very inspiring for me. I love a self-made business woman, and her vision and work ethic is rock solid. I like to model myself after those types of people, men or women.   What’s a meaningful piece of advice you have been given, and who gave it to you?  My dad told me “Draw every day” when I was a little kid and I completely took it to heart. And now look at me!
  When was the last time you were guilty of judging a woman too quickly?   I can’t remember the last time I made a truly egregious judgment of a woman, but I am very familiar with that passive aggressive dance we ladies get into. I do take time and study people, I take into account body language and attentiveness which helps me try to understand someone before I make an assumption. Where I go wrong is in passing: I make judgments on the fly when I’m walking around and I see a woman who’s very well dressed, very thin and has a general air of “coolness” I’ll think “Screw you!” But then if I actually were made to speak to them I know I would actually like them. I give most everyone the benefit of the doubt unless you actually give me reason to not like you, then...you’d better lock your doors at night.   What frustrates you about the way women treat each other?    The passive ignoring while in the same presence as another woman thing  is inexcusable. It makes my blood boil to be in a group of women and only a few will introduce themselves and there’s that one girl who’s purposely looking away as to not acknowledge, or talking over you as if you don’t exist. There was a notorious ice queen that a lot of my friends were acquainted with and when I saw her around I was completely baffled why anyone enjoyed someone so sour, so pretentious but I tried being friendly anyways. Nothing worked, it was like screaming into the void trying to chat up this person. So I made a point from then on to always introduce myself to her and ask what her name was every single time I saw her, like it was Groundhog Day every time she met me. It sounds kind of diabolical but it drove her crazy and she never forgot who I was after that! She even warmed up to me….just a little.   What do you love about the way women treat each other?  I love the feeling of togetherness we have for each other. I love feeling cared for and caring for the women in my life. I’m a pretty independent person so I think of all of my relationships, especially my female ones as absolute life bonuses. I realize I value thoughtfulness in women and the ones I know or whom I meet will always lend a helpful contact, give great advice or offer an evening together to just sit and chat. That to me means the world, to have that in my life.
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