Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I grew up in Covington, KY, and recently relocated to Newport, Rhode Island. My heart will always be in Kentucky, but I'm discovering new charms and beauty in New England.
You had a show (with Yelena Bryksenkova) last November. What's changed since then?
I've had some big changes in my personal life and professional life. Aside from moving and getting married, I began working freelance full time. It has it's challenges, but I'm happy to be doing what I love all the time.
An Illustration by Becca for the New York Times
When you are feeling stuck or uninspired what do you do to spark your creativity?
Wonderful things happen when I'm relaxed and painting for myself. Things go stale when I get caught up in making something look perfect. My whole body tenses up when I obsess over a painting. It's also easy for me to become isolated in my home studio. A visit with friends or even a walk around town is always refreshing. When a change of scenery isn't enough, I find inspiration in books and films.
I see inspiration in this series from the Far East (Japanese Matcha tea in "Tiger") as well as early American dishware. Why did you chose these themes?
This started as just a food-themed show, but changed after I got into painting the dishes. I've always loved the color and pattern of kutani dishware, and kimono fabric - I find myself looking at these designs for inspiration time and time again. These paintings showcase my love of these things as well as some items from my own personal collection.
What's it like juggling illustration gigs and personal projects? I know that you've had a really busy year.
This year has been my busiest yet and I can only hope for the same level of work in the future. Nevertheless, I have little time to make personal work. When I get busy with illustration jobs, I try to relax and focus on what's exciting about the task at hand. I have to view every job as an opportunity to make something new, no matter what it is.
I've seen photos of your home on your blog, and I've spotted collections of globes, pots and hand sculptures. What other things do you collect?
I have what I like to call "mini collections". -pincushions, nesting dolls, herbariums, butterfly specimens, and cat shaped tea pots, to name a few...
What's your favorite tea?
It's a toss up between Harney & Sons "Tropical Green" and "Paris".