"As a teaching artist I am on a mission to create opportunities to explore the collision of art, history and culture. My role is to guide others to interpret their world, cultivate discussions, and in return, inspire their community. The studio, no matter its form, is a venue to be an active participant rather than a passive recipient of the images and messages that bombard us on a daily basis."
How did you get your start as an illustrator? My love of surface design started pretty young in my mom’s sewing room. She had stacks and stacks of fabric in literally every crevice of the room. While she sewed, I would sit on the floor and unfold each piece to look at the different patterns, textures and colors. But it wasn’t until I saw the Henri Matisse retrospective in the early 90’s at the MoMA that everything clicked – I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I spent over 15 years as a teaching artist, and it’s now, during this second career act, that all my experiences and passions are converging.
What inspires your style? My love of art (and design) history has shaped my illustration style. I am inspired just as much by a Saul Bass illustration as I am Moorish tiles which I think is why I use collage so much. It allows me to draw from multiple sources, recontextualize them, and tell a new story that reflects my time and place. I love to juxtapose not only images, but techniques and materials as well, and then ground it all with color and pattern.
How do you jump from idea to final piece? I start by creating individual elements or a color palette and build from there. I’ll spend a couple days playing with materials - cutting motifs out of black paper, making inky contour drawings, printing textures, just experimenting really. The final composition grows from there and eventually all the elements are digitized and brought into Illustrator or Photoshop as the final step.
How do you keep your work current and on trend? The bigger question is do I want my work to reflect or influence trends? My goal is to produce work toward the latter, but I recognize the need to delicately balance both. So, in order to do that, it’s really an exercise in social observation – and taking note of what’s missing. I pay attention to social movements, what’s happening in the art world, undiscovered travel destinations, stuff like that.
The name See Three Studios is sort of a play on words. The first meaning or concept is quite literal - the eye is for seeing, and as an artist my job is to observe. The second references the third eye (or mind’s eye) responsible for perception, openness and imagination. The last concept comes from a brainstorming of ideas that I wanted to cultivate in the studio: creativity|community|collaboration & collected|cloned|captured = C3