Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Welcome! Come on in!

Hi Guys,  I've decided that it is about time that
I open up to you all about my real life and let you in a bit. As you may have noticed, I have been very sporadic with my posts. Please do not think that it is because I have not been creating or working. The reason that I have been so bad at posting is because I have clinical depression and an anxiety disorder. The last couple of years have been kind of intense for me and the thought of posting something and especially the thought of letting everybody in on my life, was overwhelming. After a lot of personal growth and reflection, I feel ready to expose my true self to you. So without further ado, here goes...
  I have not had an easy life. I am the youngest of nine children. I grew up working very hard on a farm in Montana. My dad died of Pancreatic Cancer when I was seven, leaving us nearly destitute. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and on the same day that my dad died, my oldest brother received his call in the mail to serve a mission for our church for two years in Finland. He had a hard time deciding if he was going to actually go or not. He decided that he would and honestly I can see how his decision really blessed our family.
Look at me as a baby! Aren't I so cute?
  I got through the years of not having my dad around through art work and creating things. We never had money to buy toys but that didn't bother me. I always made my own homemade versions of all the cool toys I wanted. The one I remember the most is making a Skipit out of the ring that I cut off of an ice cream bucket lid and a shoe. And when I was in Eighth Grade I built a working candy vending machine out out cardboard.

  When I was about twelve we moved to Manti Utah. I continued to create and draw and paint throughout the years. When I was in Eighth Grade the English department of my middle school made everyone participate in a children's book competition. We all had to write and illustrate our own children's books. I wrote a story about my dog named Chuckey. (He was an awesome dog and he looked just like Petey from The Little Rascals except for the eye circle.)
Here is a picture from the interior.
I was late turning in my book because I was taking so much time to make it perfect. It wasn't supposed to compete because it was late but, the Teacher's Aid from my class thought it was so good that she went and talked the judges into entering my book into the competition. I won a silver Caldicott for it! And I would have gotten gold if it would have been on time. At that moment I knew that I wanted to be an illustrator. I worked from that moment on to improve my art skills and move toward my dream. Thank you Mrs. Winch and Miss Madsen!
The book!
  I went onto high school and then college. School was a long hard road. When I graduated from high school I really thought that I was hot snot on a silver platter. College was very humbling. I learned that even if a person has talent their artwork will look like crap if they don't understand the elements of design. I was shocked when I got a D out of my first design class. I went through times when I wondered if I had what it takes. I still sometimes go through that. I've learned that what it takes is a passion that won't let you do anything else. I have to do art. It is almost as essential as air for me. I get through it all by just picking myself up and doing whatever I need to do to accomplish my goals. Even if it means reinventing myself and starting over again (like I had to do with some art classes.) I also learned that my teachers were all so right when they would say that it is all about mileage. I used to have a really hard time with sketching until I took back to back Old Testiment and New Testiment classes at BYU-Idaho. I would go to class for six hours straight four days a week for seven weeks. Drawing was a huge help for my anxiety while sitting for so long. I filled pages each day with drawing after drawing and after only seven weeks my confidence and skills improved by leaps and bounds!
Some of the actual sketches.

  Being a business owner has been a bit challenging just for the fact that I have to "brag" about myself and because I have to talk to potential and current clients. (Did I mention that I have an anxiety disorder?) You can really see by my random posting that I have hid myself from the world. I have worked as a freelancer for the last three years. I used to live in Layton where I had various "day jobs" and freelanced in my free time. Then in the beginning of 2012 I decided to move back to Manti to be close to my mother. I had a very hard time with my depression while living there because I was alone for the whole time I lived there. Also, while I was there I was in a serious relationship with an old friend. We even talked about marriage but, it was a bad relationship and we ended it. It was one of the hardest things to lose my best friend like that and it amplified my loneliness and depression.

 My life all turned a corner for the better when in November I was offered an "in house" illustrator position at a trading office from Lindon Utah called Apiary Investment Fund. I get to work from home for them and I worked for them from Manti November through December. Then to be closer to the office (and to be near single people my same age and to escape the memories of Manti), I moved to Provo Utah.  Life has been so good for me here. I love my job! There is nothing better than providing for yourself by doing what you love!
Here is a spread for a book that I did for Apiary Fund.

  This summer I have been very active by hiking on the weekends. I love getting out and moving my legs after sitting all week long.
Here I am at the top of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon with my brother.

July was kind of a whopper for me this year. I went to a family reunion with my siblings and came home sick. It knocked the wind right out of me. It took me a month to feel well enough to get through the day without napping. But, now that I'm better I have been getting the itch to do some of my own projects again. Yay!

  I feel very grateful to be where I am now and I feel like I can get through anything. I have a lot more to say but, I'll save that for tomorrow. Thanks for reading this all!


Jessica W. Clark said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm glad things are going better and that you have an illustration job you love, that's great! And your work keeps getting better, keep it up!

Keara said...

It was great seeing your work tonight at the auction! I am very disappointed I was unable to afford any of it but I enjoyed discovering your talent!