Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I'm originally from New Jersey, where I grew up amidst woods and ocean water, in a very small and rounded-corner town. I now live in Brooklyn, NY where I am happily exploring parks, museums, and getting to know some beautiful strangers.
As a self-taught artist how did you become involved in art?
I began seriously painting and drawing a few years ago, when I graduated college and began working full-time at a publishing company. The 9-5 life wasn't enough to sustain my creativity and innate desire to make, make, make, and so I began remedying that problem on my own. It's been a sometimes-frustrating, constantly-awakening experience as I began to develop and hone my style, but I feel really blessed with where its taken me. I've unearthed many layers of myself through my work and am grateful to have found another way to connect and interact with others.
Tell us about this series.
The paintings from this series, Elephant and Moon, were painted to accompany a short story of the same name. The story accompanies Elephant as he searches for his sense of self and belonging in this sometimes-big-and-sometimes-scary world. Elephant faces mystery and longing, strange loneliness and small, sparkling moments of tranquility. I wrote and illustrated this book for a very dear person; this project and the entire creative process behind it is very close to my heart.
This series illustrates a poem you wrote. What is your process for writing and illustrating?
When pairing words and illustrations, or when writing small books like this one, I always write first. Once I have the words down, I choose which concept I'd like to bring to life, and set about painting them. Although the Elephant and Moon paintings were created to accompany a story, it was really important for me to create each painting as a standalone illustration. I wanted to make sure each painting had a fully-fleshed skeleton, a backbone -- and that it evoked emotion and it's own story without relying on words to hold it up.
and for this something-special-somewhere he traveled.
This series stands out from your body of work which is very colorful. What made you decide to do these paintings in black and white?
I chose to do this series in black and white because it felt a bit more raw to me -- without color, these paintings have nothing to hide behind. Elephant and Moon is a very emotionally-driven series, and by painting the series with nothing but black ink, the sentiment behind each drawing had a chance to step out and say hello. The monochromatic scheme also allowed for a soft dreaminess to cast its magic over the series, which I am both surprised by and thankful for.