Here I will attempt to explain who I am, what makes me Me, and why I love art.
So here goes…..
I was born in Salem, MA and raised in New Hampshire. I was born with Nager Syndrome (nay-gr) which involves multiple physical challenges. Throughout my life I have had many surgeries, maybe up to or more than 30 in my lifetime. When I was little I used to use sign language to communicate with others, but grew out of it as I learned to talk more. I used to not be able to walk, until I saw my sister walk. She is a year younger. One day, I guess I decided I was going to walk. And so I startled my parents when they saw me running down the aisles in the congregation at church for the first time. When I was born, doctors had thought I would be deaf until the day I died. But one day, when I was still a baby, my Mom came into the room I was staying in and a doctor or nurse said something to her. As soon as my Mom spoke, I jerked my head in her direction. So, I guess I’m not deaf after all hm? I currently wear a hearing aid to hear.
I was always a very shy little girl and still very shy into high school. But there was always something that I had, something I could use, to show people that I am more than just a cute little girl who is physically challenged. And that was my drawings. I drew anywhere and everywhere where I had a piece or pad of paper and writing or drawing tool. Later on, sometimes my writing would catch peoples’ attention as well. I am very thankful that I have been given this gift, because, thanks to my drawings and writings, I have been able to develop and open up conversations and friendships.
Growing up, I have always set out to prove people wrong, that I can do it. That I don’t need every helping hand that comes my way to help me do things that everyone else can do on their own. I have always hated the term “disabled”. Whenever I thought of that word, I thought, “Oh, I’m disabled? I guess that means I can’t do it!”. But I knew that wasn’t true. Whatever obstacle came my way, I did not see it as me being disabled, but as a challenge to overcome and push through. I suppose I am still like that today.
All of my life, I have always held a fascination with movement of objects, animals and mostly people. For reasons I can’t fully explain, I find beauty in the simplest movements and shapes and perspectives of people. I love to just sit and stare and study study study. That’s partly why I also love animation as well. They’re chock full of animated ‘people’. So if you see a lot of photos or drawings or illustrations with a sense of movement, now you know why!
In 2003 I attended Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio. In that year I learned so much about life and art. I matured in my art and personal self. I grew less shy and stronger in my art. In October of 2005 I attended Goodbrain Academy (school of Web and Graphic Design) in Manchester, NH, where I received a Certificate in Web & Graphic Design.. For the full 16 weeks I attended the school my eyes were opened to the wonders of graphic design. Before that, it was very intimidating because it seemed there was so much to learn about graphic design programs, such as Adobe Photoshop. Thanks to Goodbrain, it has opened up many doors in my life.
In November of 2006, I decided to start my own business designing digital and mixed media Christmas cards. I started out with four unique designs with a choice of inscription messages. After the first two months, I’d already sold almost 2,000 cards. In fact, my first customer was a great brother of mine who ordered 500 Christmas cards to send to his clients. At the time, he worked Liberty Mutual. Some other coworkers also ordered some from me for the same reason. In 2008, I was honored and chosen to work with an adoption place in CA to design their 2008 Christmas card and sold about 1200 cards. That was quite an experience I will never forget. I learned so much from that.
I truly enjoy seeing people light up when they see something I have created. It makes me happy to see them happy.
It has been a long road. And the road is still going. But I am very excited to see what the future holds in my art and my life from here on out.