1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I grew up as a quiet, introverted kid in Florida with my parents and 7 siblings. Honestly, in a lot of ways, I felt out of place there. There’s a large focus on physical appearance, which made me very insecure as a child. I hated the heat and humidity. People there can be very pompous and showy with their wealth, which is unattractive to me. But that said, I found solace in two things: a loving, supportive family and our backyard. We had a lush, biodiverse property and I spent so much time exploring it. I would catch lizards, snakes, frogs, tadpoles, even grubs for fishing. It was the best.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I still feel like I am early in my career, especially as an illustrator, so I think my aesthetic still varies quite a bit. But generally speaking, I’d say it’s colorful, poppy, and lands in a middle ground between graphic design and illustration.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
For work, digital. I work quickly, I like to have total and easy control over how a piece looks, and the industries I work for need artists who are adaptable on a timeline. So professionally, I exclusively work digitally. I use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Fresco mostly. When making personal work, I just use whatever I have on hand: acrylics, pencils, markers, india ink, etc.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I’m very visually inspired. I’ll start with a loose idea of what I want to illustrate and then I’ll source a collection of images to inspire my composition and color palette. The final product is often very different from my inspiration images, but I find them helpful in guiding the overall mood of each piece as I create it.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Nature, obviously, is a big influence for me. Some artists that have been inspiring me a lot lately are Kenesha Sneed, Igor Bastidas, Lilian Martinez (BFGF), and Kristin Texeira.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art is and always has been an essential part of my life. It makes me feel things, it helps me understand things in ways I never could have otherwise, and it gives me a sense of belonging and purpose in the world.
7. Where did you study?
Off the record, I would prefer not to share this as this school recently has been vocal about their anti-LGBTQI+ opinions and I do not support or share those viewpoints.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I try to remain open about where my career takes me but at this point, I could see myself in one of two situations. The first situation would be full-time freelancing. I’ve done it before, I really enjoyed it, and I would do it again. The second situation would be working for a company with a large presence in the art and design world. But this, too, is something I remain fairly open about. If a company is doing work that excites me and I believe in, I don’t care so much about the size or industry of the company.
9. What about in ten?
Honestly, the same answer. Maybe just in a more senior leadership role than I would achieve in five.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Connection. Connection with people, connection with nature, connection with little and big moments of life. I think that’s ultimately what art does for me, makes me feel more connected and alive. If other people can feel that from my art, even in a small way, that makes me feel very fulfilled.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Dessert-wise: Ice cream 100%. As for savory, it changes all the time. Right now, chicken congee sounds perfect.
12. Favourite book?
The Little Prince. I’ve read it many, many times.
13. Favourite genre of music?
14. What are your hobbies?
Cooking, walking my dog, exploring my neighborhood
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
My usual answer to this is marine biologist, which is a little bit of a joke because I’m low-key terrified of the ocean.