Many of the skills on display in my artistic process are ones I picked up early in life and have continued to develop: folding paper into creative shapes, drawing imaginative creatures with fantastical elements and intricate details, and illustrating my stories, my school notes, and my growing collection of sketchbooks (one or more of which can almost always be found on my person). While drawing remains my primary focus, many of my pieces include cut-out animals or plants, moving pieces, found objects, and backgrounds composed of handmade or recycled specialty papers, pages from old books, pressed leaves and flowers gathered on my wanderings, and metallic foil accents. I enjoy the tactile intimacy of tools that allow me to work closely on the precise details at every stage; a good inking pen is like an old friend. I source my materials whenever possible in ways that support other skilled people working in a creative trade who take into account the impact of their processes on the environment and strive toward responsible and sustainable practices.
Words and pictures have always been essential tools for humans to share our experiences and ideas, and the stories we tell with them reveal a lot about us. Heavily influenced by dwelling on the threshold of the Montana wilderness, with its bounty of wild creatures and stunning natural landscapes, my work focuses on the common mythic threads running from the earliest cave paintings, through the elaborately illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, all the way into today’s expansive array of comics, graphic novels, illustrated texts, and animation. I draw from a variety of influences including creative calligraphy, Celtic knotwork, and current issues of social justice and shared responsibility.
Each one-of-a-kind piece I create works as a coded mnemonic for the story embedded within it: if “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then narrative art is evoking the echoes of those thousand words in the details of my illustrations. Many of the tales I take inspiration from are ancient, but the truths they contain still speak to a contemporary audience, and many have travelled across cultures and centuries to reach us in multiple forms, each with their own particular insight to offer. The stories we choose to tell are so much more than mere entertainment; they become an integral part of who we understand ourselves to be and how we relate to others. By being curious and vulnerable enough to trust others with our stories and learn theirs in turn, we forge necessary connections of empathy with other people - shared illumination in the dark.