Duration: Five years.
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Education: BFA in illustration, Alberta University of the Arts, Calgary, Alberta. I’ve also taken classes through SMARTschool and the Illustration Academy to learn from illustrators I admire.
Career path: I have always loved drawing and creating, and I first studied ceramics before illustration. As a practical person, making something creative as well as useful for a specific purpose appealed to me. Functional ceramics and illustration have a lot in common in this regard, as both are useful, specific and creative. I like being given a problem to solve with parameters to work within while still having the opportunity to solve it creatively with my own voice.
Cultural influences: Though I was born in Calgary and currently live here now, I grew up primarily in southern Africa with parents who worked as missionaries. I have an appreciation for the richness that cultural diversity can bring, as well as for my Christian culture that also impacts my approach to work.
Favorite projects: My collaboration with Fish Coin Press and a group of artists to create a set of Advent-themed biblical cards that included illustration and text. As I mostly work on my own, it was really satisfying to collaborate with other illustrators on a project that I was also passionate about.
Work environment: I work from a small home studio that is relatively organized. It’s important to me to make my workspace one that I enjoy being in. This has come to include simple routines, such as starting the week by finding some type of bouquet that brings something fresh and alive into my studio. I also start my workday of with some “free-play” time in a sketchbook. These small but valuable routines make a big difference in my workday and environment.
Approach: Maintaining an element of investigation throughout the process of making work is important to me. Discovery and exploration with things like color placement or shape details keep the project engaging. I also enjoy playing with positive and negative shapes, as well as lost and found edges in my work.
Aspirations: I love books and stories and would love to do more of that—particularly book covers and children’s books. I’ve had various opportunities to work with Africa-based nonprofits that focus on education and producing quality materials since becoming an illustrator, and this is something I would love to be able to do more frequently.
Philosophy: I want to create work that helps people see the familiar and mundane with fresh eyes and a new perspective. It’s important to me that my work be honest and well-crafted, and that it brings something of value to those who engage with it.
Represented by IllustrationZone.