I was born in sunny southern California, the second of six children. The full household was not an easy place to grow up in especially for a shy, sensitive little girl. Creativity was my outlet and my solace. I can't remember when I wasn't making something. I was 6 when I won my first art award and my writing gained the attention of the school principal to whom I was often sent to read my work. I never considered art a particular talent of mine, just something I had fun with, until early in High School when I was accidently enrolled in, not the beginning art class I had asked for, but an advanced life drawing class. Too shy to tell the teacher of the mistake, I stayed on and found I could not only accomplish the projects but really enjoyed them. It wasn't until my first year in college while taking another art class "for fun" that a persistent professor convinced me to change from a Writing degree to an Art degree. It was the second best decision I made in my younger years.
THE WANDERING THAT STARTED IT ALL
The first best decision was to move from California when I graduated and start a nomadic adventure that would last for over 6 years. I had completed my Art degree as well as starting both a line of handcrafted bead and leather jewelry and a small press literary magazine. But having lived my whole life in Southern California, I felt a pull to leave and expand my experiences. I ended up moving 18 times through three states and 9 cities, looking for inspiring images, experiences, people, and ideas to feed both my art and writing. And I found all that in abundance.
My stint in the rugged, open lands of New Mexico, the lush hills and cultured urban areas of Northern California, the majestic mountains of Colorado, as well as many, many miles on the open road all over this great country has continuously inspired my creative ventures. However, New Mexico influences my imagery more than anything else. The colors and flora of the deserts and arid plains are where I suspect the recurring tendrils, shimmering mineral shades, and sharp shapes in of my work are rooted. The desert is also a harsh and unforgiving environment where both the natural and manmade that tries to set up a home there can be very quickly broken down, leaving decomposing and disentegrating detritus with amazing texture and color scattered all over the landscape. It helped me gain a sincere appreciation for the full cycle of life and the physical world.
My wanderlust was eventually halted by the desire to return to school for one more degree, this time in Writing. Writing was my first passion and was what made me realize that I could help and influence others in positive and very satisfying ways. I wrote my first book at the age of nine but said no to it being published (silly child!) I eventually started publishing as a teen in small magazines before getting into publishing myself as an undergraduate. I even worked a waitressing job into a writing job writing classes and training material which started my 20 year career as a freelance writer and educational specialist.
MY LIFE WITH POLYMER CLAY
I had never been as obsessed with an art material as I was, and still am, with polymer clay. Four months after picking it up, I entered my first art show and sold out the handful of pieces I brought. Two months later I was juried into the biggest genre art show in the US, selling all but one piece at that show. I had recently abandoned freelancing for a corporate job but gladly gave up the the steady paycheck and the nonesense of that world to become a fulltime artist and writer. And I'm still at it.
Now I balance my art and my writing with the publication of the magazine, The Polymer Arts, as well as the writing of the internationally read Daily Polymer Arts blog and other related projects. Yes, I stay busy (maybe a bit too much!) but I love the life I have and hope I can do this until I take my last breath.