Throughout my life, all of my passions have been centered around art. I received my BFA from California State Universisty at Long Beach in 2000, with my focus on drawing and painting. Upon graduating, I made it my goal to make my living and career in the art world. I knew that it could be really tough to make a living as an artist, but that made me all the more determined.  My focus on earning a living as a painter would require me to be creative, so I ended up with some interesting jobs that led to a surprising and unexpected career. 

One of my first art related jobs was with the education department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  I created and taught art workshops based on exhibitions at the museum.  I loved that work. There was always so much happening, so much for me to be exposed to and learn. 

While I was at LACMA, I was offered an internship at the Guggenheim museum in Venice, Italy. It was an exciting opportunity, so on a bit of a whim, I decided to move out of the country for a while.  At the Guggenheim, I learned the ins and outs of daily operation and worked with people from all around the globe.  Living in Venice was amazing and beyond inspiring every single day. I sketched and painted whenever I had the chance. 

Several months later, when I moved back to California I took a job in a studio for an art publisher.  My job was to layer oil paint on top of canvas prints to make them appear more like original works. The process is referred to as “hand enhancing giclee reproductions.” This was a particularly educational job, as I had to learn to emulate another artist’s hand.  I’m left handed and the artist I was working for is right handed. It was a challenge to figure out how to mimic the paint strokes and make them look authentic.  I had to mix and apply colors the way that artist would; not the way that I would if it had been my own work. That really pushed my artistic skills.  Also, it was the first time that the painting wasn’t about me and my personal perspective.  

Working at the studio exposed me to the commercial side of the art world, which was fascinating and eye opening in its own right.  Eventually, I was promoted to “ghost painter”. I created paintings from scratch in the style of another artist, directed by the artist and their publisher. The artist would add their own final touches and sign their name. At that point, I was so focused on continuing to work as an artist that I was even willing to let go of my own work and voice. Instead, I focused on learning as much as I could about the business and becoming a more proficient painter. 

After I moved on from ghost painting, I worked as the manager of a decorative painting company.  I learned how to run a team of artists, coordinate project schedules and manage client relationships. It was exciting and interesting work, and before long I realized that I was ready to start my own business. I soon launched my own decorative painting company in 2004, painting murals, faux finishes and custom canvases. I worked directly with homeowners and interior designers to create original works that complimented their home decor. I really loved merging my interest in business with my creative energy, and I made deep connections with clients that lasted for years.

In 2009 my husband and I decided to move from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. I considered starting my business again after the move, but I also felt it would be a good transition point to reconsider my own body of work. For several years I had kept myself busy with commissions and realizing the creative visions of others. Once we got settled into our new home I went to work on a new set of paintings. I participated in a few gallery shows in San Francisco, and received some painting commissions and sales. 

While my personal body of work was ramping up I decided to sign with an art publisher to promote and sell more commercial paintings. I had already been creating commercialized art for so long, it seemed like a smart way to keep my career moving. The publisher had a specific vision for what they wanted me to create. I was a bit torn because, once again, I was creating for someone else’s vision instead of my own. However, it was quite exciting to imagine my work being printed and sold in major stores; this time with my signature instead of another artist.  I hoped that I could eventually merge the publishers style and my personal inspiration. I worked diligently with the publisher to create batches of paintings, sometimes turning out a painting each day.  My paintings were mass produced and sold in chain stores like Bed Bath and Beyond and Target. It was exhilarating to get calls from friends who had spotted my painting in a store, but I just didn’t feel connected to the work. It wasn’t the work that I wanted to be creating because it wasn’t connected to my personal inspiration.    

After 12 years of commercialized painting, I needed to take a break in order to get some perspective on my own personal vision.  For a few years, I worked with my husband’s design business as a visual and UI designer. I learned to design interfaces for software and mobile apps.  

It was after our first child was born over a year ago that I started to find my way back to the easel and committed to creating my own body of work.  I stopped working as a designer, and worked to find a balance between motherhood and expressing my creative vision on the canvas. 

 

My inspiration comes from mid-century living, particularly the idyllic California lifestyle. We live in a beautiful and inspiring mid-century modern home that we have been renovating, doing lots of the work ourselves. I draw a lot of my inspiration directly from our living space and our lifestyle.  

 

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