Henry David Thoreau said, "Live the life you have imagined." And since a very young age, I have imagined myself living the life of an artist. In fact, my very first career aspiration in preschool was to be an artist for children's books.
Like Thoreau's Walden, I grew up in a cabin in the woods and credit this nature-filled existence with my love of flowing lines, rich color, and affinity for creatures (especially cats) all seen through my paintings. Both my mother and grandmother are artists and encouraged me to draw for recreation and expression, so I spent most of my childhood drawing. I began winning national level art awards as early as first grade.