You have a massive range of work. In the past year or so, what are the mediums that you’ve dipped into?
I’ve been hopping out of the computer and painting on all sorts of things. Windows, Timberlands, denim, skateboards, and canvas.
Illustrator, designer, artist, creative human… How do you describe yourself?
I think I’ll go with: a creative, who at the moment, is hyperfocused on illustrating her little heart out.
Could you give a bit of high-level background on your professional trajectory from college to present?
I graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2004 with a graphic design major. After a few small shop stops, I accidentally dosey-doe’d my way into advertising. I was able to design and play the role of an art director. My last full-time title was Associate Design Director, which is cool to tell your parents. Ultimately, I learned that I want to be the one making the things. More specifically, I want to be illustrating the things that in the past we would’ve hired someone else for. I recently signed with an illustration rep, Closer&Closer, in hopes of getting the type of work that is best suited for me and my style.
How did you know it was time to go off on your own and do your own thing creatively? Any advice for someone considering making the jump?
If I’m being totally honest, it’s because I was going on too many ‘calm yourself down or you’re going to blow up’ breaks at work. Things became too complicated and layered, and I personally believe that with creative, and a lot of things in life, it really doesn’t need to be that hard. I was tired of killing myself night and day for an agenda that didn’t align with my own. So, I popped smoke. I immediately developed a stress rash, which is to say that it’s not as effortless as it may sound. But, I continued to work my tail off, only this time for myself, and it was all ok. My biggest piece of advice is to try to be easy to work with. The connections I made along the way really helped me on the other side.
What’s your typical illustration process, from concept to completion?
I like to start every project the same way: feel so overcome with potential and perfectionism that I freeze up, panic, stress eat a bunch of candy, and consider finding a job as a professional shopper. Eventually I face the reality that professional shopper isn’t a thing, and I get past it. It’s helpful to set up a good mood board on the front end, and to start by sketching like crazy and not being too precious, which is easier said than done. I bop back and forth between computer and paper throughout the process.