Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your history and your experience with art before arriving at the Academy?
I started painting in high school and studied fine art at the Rhode Island School of Design for my freshman year of college. After a year, I transferred from RISD to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I graduated with a BFA in Interior Design, and my career in interior design has been a successful one. I worked for Hirsch Bedner and Associates, the top hospitality firm in the world, as well as smaller architecture and interior design firms in New York, Georgia, and California. Everywhere I worked I was always the one who did the architectural illustrations that were presented to the
client. I eventually started a freelance business doing architectural illustrations, and most recently co-authored a textbook on perspective drawing for Pearson/Prentice Hall, “Perspective and Sketching for Designers.” The textbook focuses on perspective drawing methods and has been published in English and Chinese.
Soon after graduating with my BFA in Interior Design, I began to paint again. I studied in the studios of artists whose work I admired: George Benedict in New York, Sarah Hughes and Chris Didimezio in Atlanta, and Jeff Watts and Janet Cooling in San Diego. I was very excited to enroll at AAU’s online program in 2006(!) to study painting. I took classes slowly (one or two at a time) while working full-time as an instructor at the Art Institute of California – San Diego, where I teach undergraduate interior design classes. The MFA degree seemed so far away, I wasn’t really focused on it. I tried to enjoy my classes and learn as much as possible to become a better artist.