1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I’m a freelance illustrator and educator born and based in Minnesota. I have three cats that are very good and strange, but not very useful in helping me get work done.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
Cats? Can cats be an aesthetic? They’re blobby, weird, fun, and don’t seem to have a a solid form. That’s the spirit I try to emulate with my work. My favorite parts of making an illustration are color and composition, and I’ll play fast and loose with perspective or structure to make those other elements work. I draw a lot of blobs, and then try and turn them into things.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I work almost entirely in photoshop, but a lot of how I work in the program is inspired by printmaking and painting with acrylic.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I like working reductively – I use really rough blobs to assemble a composition I like, and then slowly refine those blobs into more structural shapes that eventually become things that are recognizable. By working this way I can really focus on the color and composition first and foremost, and worry about making things look good later.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I get really inspired by travel, both in nature and in cities. Nature influences the visuals of how I work and my excitement for it, while learning about history of cities and places and people drives me more conceptually.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I feel like it makes me appreciate little moments in life that I probably would normally not pay attention to. I get really excited sometimes about the colors I see, even just in the same places I go everyday. I think it’s really great to find excitement in your everyday life, even if it’s about really mundane things.
7. Where did you study?
I got my BFA in Illustration at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2013, and I spent a semester studying at the University of Brighton in 2012.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Probably back in school and getting a master’s degree. I love learning and trying new things, and I think it’s only a matter of time before I get the itch to try something different.
9. What about in ten?
If I’m being realistic, I’ll probably have at least two or three more cats by then…
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I think the best thing is making people happy, and sharing my excitement about animals and ideas I have with people. If I can make something that makes someone laugh or smile, I feel like I’ve achieved a lot.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Potatoes. In any form. Especially fries. Someday I’m going to grow my own potatoes.
12. Favourite book?
Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories’. It was a really influential book for me during the time of my life when I was really developing both my artistic voice and personal views.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Right now I’m listening to Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’.
14. What are your hobbies?
Hiking and camping. Since I spend all of my time in front of the computer drawing animals and nature, I really like it when I get the chance to actually spend some time in nature and see some wildlife. The other way I spend most of my free time is remodeling my house with my dad. I’ve been learning about how things are built and how they work, and how to fix things. There’s something really satisfying about destroying something and then making it better than it was before.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Professional cat sitter. For sure.