Artist Statement

My Work

My illustrations, designs, and images explore themes with animals, nature, and character-based narratives which are guided by my response to the natural world and personal experiences. Experimenting with color and stylized aesthetics helps me create a whimsical and imaginative experience for a wide audience. I also render realistic styles from direct observation when I explore the outdoors. My goal is to convey the educational and inspirational value of nature, as well as the beauty and entertainment that I find in my life. I use my processes and artwork to escape stress, and I hope my viewers may benefit and feel more uplifted as well.

Process

Whenever I go hiking, I draw from direct observation and shoot photographs for reference. Then I decide if I want to develop my initial work into an illustration with a cartoony, playful approach, or into a more detailed, colorful painting. I may also study references from books and online sources to help me create what my imagination conceives. I take great care in determining style, mood, and color choices necessary to portray the meaning I want for the final image.

I focus on creating with Photoshop and Illustrator, but I also work with traditional media when I explore a new place or feel overwhelmed by digital screens. I especially enjoy pen, ink, and watercolors because they strengthen my confidence in drawing and painting; one stroke becomes permanent quickly, so I must plan my drawings and paintings carefully. I love working digitally because of its extensive capabilities and efficiency (hooray for layers and the “undo” button!), but it is refreshing to devote time to traditional artmaking. Ink and watercolors are also capable of beautiful effects that I want to incorporate with my work, which can be difficult to achieve digitally. I plan to experiment more with my techniques as I continue developing methods of bringing my artwork to life.

Inspiration

I have been passionate about the natural world and its creatures for as long as I can remember, from having outdoor adventures with my siblings to exploring local parks through nature camp. I have also always found joy in watching animations, playing video games, and reading comics because they uplift me and help create cherished experiences with family and friends. My collective interests and experiences, including participation in my first art+biology program in spring 2016, have cultivated my artistic preferences and how I choose to express them today. Overall, I like to think of my work as my way of sharing my interests with the world, and if I can brighten someone’s day or encourage them to explore the world a little more, I feel like I’ve done something right.