What motivates you to mentor creatives?
What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?
I have always loved art, all forms of it.
Like most, I grew up in a small town and wanted to break out. I ended up going to AI in Minneapolis. I moved up there with $50 in my pocket at 17 and formed a new life for myself. I met the love of my life, and we had our two amazing daughters.
We worked on a graphic novel together called ShadowLords. I remember inking pages and the girls kicking my board when I was pregnant with them. As they grew, we would all have art days together. I didn’t have anyone to help teach me when I was growing up, so it had been so much fun arting as a family.
At the beginning of 2022, my husband passed away suddenly. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through, and it changed me.
I found myself trying to figure out how I would provide the best possible life for my girls on my own. What did I want to do?
I have a friend who introduced me to UX design.
I started researching it and came across a Kickass UX design program.
I’m very happy I did because the program was amazing. I learned so much from it. I can feel it in my bones that this is the direction I should be going in.
What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?
I’m very proud of the graphic novel, ShadowLords, that we made come to life.
We used to table at comic conventions, and creating art for people to enjoy always makes me happy.
I also really enjoy working on art pieces, mostly for friends and family. I can get lost for hours working on a piece.
What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?
I built my desk myself! I wanted to create something for myself to start off my new adventure. I don’t currently have a lot of space, but I made do with what I have and created a nice little work area for myself.
Where do you go to get inspired?
I get recharged by being out in nature.
Going hiking or paddle boarding, just floating on the water, makes me happy and gives me time to just enjoy some beauty that is around me for a moment.
The world slows down, and I can just be. I love exploring and seeing new places. This world is so beautiful, it’s good to stop and take time to enjoy it when we can.
Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?
I have the most motivation in the morning. I’m refreshed and can hit the ground running. I like to turn music on and dive into my work. Rocking out to music while I work helps me focus and get into a good flow to produce some amazing things.
My daughters inspire me to do my best. I want them to know that they can do anything, so I am trying to lead by example.
What’s an album that changed your life?
It is not an album but a couple of songs. Music is a big part of my life. I have it on 90% of my day, and it has a way of helping to elevate my day, heal my soul, and it gives me what I need when I need it.
“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World has been kind of like a motto for me for the past year and a half. It reminds me to keep going and that everything will eventually be alright and just fine. It’s the main text tone on my phone, but it also seems to play on the radio when I need to hear it.
“Ghost” by Justin Bieber. I’m not a huge Bieber fan, but this song played on the radio when I drove my husband to the ER. I remember liking the song, and I looked at him and just said “no.” He was never allowed to leave me.
Right after he passed away, it’d be the first song to come on the radio when I turned it on, or I’d be talking to someone about him, and it’d start playing.