An Oklahoman born and raised in OKC. Later an art student who began as an art education major, received a bachelor’s degree in 2-D fine art and then a Master of Education. Left the town of Weatherford, Oklahoma, in 2008 with no certain direction. Become a teacher? Do art? Go back to school for design? The latter Aughts in America were hard times for an overeducated and financially indebted twentysomething. The dream was to continue working, getting into galleries and shows, selling those works—to be a full-time artist—but the price of gasoline and the low tips were weighing. That’s when the notion of moving to South Korea became a clear answer. Thus, for over a decade, I worked at an international kindergarten as a full-time teacher and after-school art instructor. Got to travel to countries I had never planned on seeing. Lived in an international neighborhood that I’ll never forget and maybe had too much fun in. Now, probably because of my grandmother’s prayers, I somehow landed a job as a full-time elementary art teacher and coordinator in Topeka, Kansas. Anyone who is an art teacher knows: you’re a teacher first. And if you’re a teacher, you know how much energy goes into caring for your students—before and after working hours. I am no longer young, but my dream is still to make as much art as possible and somehow be an active participant in the world of art.
I have never liked these, probably because I never know exactly how to answer the question “What kind of artist are you?” But I’ll do my best. I am a product of the ‘90s and late ‘80s. I grew up with some of the best Saturday morning cartoons, video games, and McDonald’s toys, when they were still cool. During my elementary years I used my allowance to buy cartooning books, and for hours I would draw cartoons and dream of being a cartoonist. With that in mind, I guess you could say some of my works are a little cartoony and too illustrative for le fine art. A professor once criticized me for this. I was hurt, and it may have blown my confidence as an art major, but now my veil of insecurity is now removed. Kind of. Many people my age, and younger, consider cartooning, animation, and illustration to be just as prestigious as, say, oil painting: anything with high levels of detail reflecting the natural world, or whatever, is considered fine. Today, with appropriation being a contemporary element of art, and with technology in art considered worthy, I say my traditionally drawn works—of paper, pencil, ink, and assorted colorful media, and with my focus on creating texture with found objects and manipulating media, all by hand—should be considered classic and fine. I enjoy fashion and find inspiration in the patterns and textures of textiles, the layers or intricate folds constructed by designers. This may be why I like to replicate textured embroidery in nonobjective works. I also appreciate walking around neighborhoods untouched by industrialists, where the crumbling walls and steps are marked with graffiti or stippled with old, chipped-away paint, and you can see and feel the waves and bumps of time that showcase beautiful faults—contrasting holes, uncovered bones and joints, unweaving frays, sprinkles, and ripples. These are the kinds of consistencies I like to replicate in my own works, by either using recycled found objects I find enticing to the eye or collaging photos I have taken while observing the places I walk through. So, what kind of artist am I? One that likes to create. There you have it. That is my art, and this is my statement about my art.