I create drawings depicting an enchanting world inhabited by children and creatures. Influenced by surrealists and children’s book illustrators, I seek to capture the inner life of my childhood self, exploring themes of introversion, childlike wonder, dreams and nightmares, and identity formation.
Using pencil, I build this world from outlined shapes and embellish it with gradations of shading and cross hatching. I use a computer to digitally overlay it with color. Having been an introverted child, I feature characters, mainly girls and animals, with a similar temperament, having them serve as stand ins for my childhood self. Surrounding these characters, I incorporate architectural and natural imagery inspired by what my childhood self resonated with, such as the medieval structures I would see in children’s fairy tales or the forests of my home state of Minnesota. I arrange these characters and this imagery intuitively, generating symbols and patterns that give this world an associative context and, with that, underlying personal narratives.
Creating these drawings is my way of temporarily escaping the confines of adulthood and revisiting my childhood, a period I find captivating in that it reminds me of how magical and mysterious life can be.