Of all the questions I've been asked over the last two years, the one I find hardest to answer is this:
'But, what's with all the bears?!'
I don't really consider myself someone who thinks too deeply before they speak and that has led me to answer this question so confidently in so many different ways.
Some answers I've heard myself say...
"I love the texture of their fur."
"I like their contradicting nature."
"I really relate to their hibernating ways."
"Anthropomorphism means anyone can see themselves in my work."
I think in the beginning I really was drawn to the texture as I find inking fine details meditative. Over the past year though, these bears have come to represent all of the above and more.
Nowadays, a new question has began floating my way with regards to my work:
"What's with all the seeds and cranes?!"
This one has been easier to answer. I love that they evoke potential, a world to come and trust. Its the idea of living inside the work and the process- whether its everyday life or its goals- and actively making the effort to not worry about the end results but choosing instead to watch God construct for you -from that work- your new reality. It's not always an easy process and the illustrations deal with the ups and downs of stepping into that philosophy.
When I began sharing my work outside of my close circle of friends and family in 2018 I didn't have a concrete plan in place. I knew I wanted to draw for a living and I thought that was a good enough place to start. Not having a plan has its (many, many, many) stresses but it also has its upsides. It has meant I got to experiment and try different areas of illustration work- from editorial and book cover art to exhibitions and teaching workshops.
The work I've taken up over the past year has shown me that my interests lie in illustrating for middle grade and graphic novels and going forth, this portfolio site will be mainly about building a body of work that is character focused and centred around storytelling.
I've always had one foot in and one foot out when it comes to social media and online presence. I find myself forever straddling the line between wanting people to enjoy my work and wanting to remain anonymous. It's not something I've come to peace with yet but it is a working progress.