Tell us where you were born and about your early childhood.
I was born in Goleta, CA, but I only lived there for a few years. We then moved to Fremont, CA, then to San Jose CA, and then to Fairfield, IA to join a meditation commune. While there, our house burned to the ground, we lost everything. I was sent to live with my Grandma in Eugene, OR with one of my sisters to finish out the school year. From Eugene we moved to Bend, OR where I went to Jr. High and High School.
Do you remember some of the first things you used to draw?
Yes! I was obsessed with drawing the assassination of Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. I had an amazing marker set of 200 colors and I also took a lot of art classes in San Jose. Used to love to draw the shadows that my face and hair created when I bent over a piece of paper.
What were some of your first inspirations that made you want to get involved with the art world?
I spent a lot of time at the Library as a kid and loved the illustrations from Grimm’s fairy tales, specifically “The Little Mermaid”. I used to photocopy my favorite images from the books I read to hang on my bedroom walls. My best friend’s mom was an artist and she would set us up in the living room with giant pieces of butcher paper tacked to the wall, we would spend all night drawing lots of whales, Star Wars elements, and random doodles.
Later, when I was 16, I went to San Francisco with a friend and saw a B.F.A. dance performance at S.F. State that transported me. I decided at the moment that I would move to the Bay Area, because I wanted to be in the heart of the creative, electric, energy there.
What was your experience like at California College of the Arts. Did you have any favorite professors?
CCA Was a very difficult, intense period for me. I was an underdog for the first two years. Coming from a fine art background, the mathematical precision of design was a struggle. But there were a few teachers who took me under their wing and saw potential in what I was doing.
Eric Heiman really worked with me, he used to say that I had compelling image making skills. Eric helped me understand typography as another visual element, instead of a mathematical component. Once I changed the way I saw typography, my design career started to open up for me.
The following year Jim Kenney taught me motion graphics, and I was transfixed. I loved it immediately. MGFX Design incorporated graphic design, film, story telling, and choreography. It was because of Jim that I entered the Adobe Award competition. I didn’t think too highly of my abilities, and kept putting it off. Jim made an appointment to have one of the Adobe “helpers” sit down with me to fill out the application.
Lastly, Terry Irwin, Jim Kenney, and Michael Vanderbyle pushed, encouraged and helped me to be the designer I am today during the intensity and rigors of the thesis program.
See the whole interview here