Thursday, April 16, 2009
I grew up next to a redwood forest. I am very lucky to still live on the edge of that same forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains along California's central coast. As a child I loved to draw. I grew up and decided to go into art. I was going to study illustration in college but then a very inspiring professor changed my direction to graphic design.
After graduation I went into the design field and worked in advertising agencies as a production artist. Those were the days before computers, when everything printed was pasted together. I remained in the production field through the advent of the computer. On a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium bookstore I found Hannah Hinchman's book "A Life in Hand, the illuminated journal" in the bookstore. Wow, the book inspired me, but I was very intimated because I hadn't drawn in years. I bought more books (all those by Cathy Johnson and some by Claudia Nice and Claire Walker Leslie) Then a friend and co-worker, Christina Lopp, went to Paris and came home with an illustrated journal of her trip. Though not a professional artist, her drawings were so charming. I loved seeing Paris through her eyes. I went out and bought a watercolor kit and a cheap book and started keeping a journal. That was 12 years ago and I have been drawing and journaling ever since. Amazingly as I drew regularly my drawing skills improved.
Journaling has changed the direction of my life. Christina Lopp and I started teaching illustrated journaling in 1996. Now I combine my graphic design background with my new drawing skills to create wayside panels for State Parks in my interpretive design firm Wildways illustrated.