My life has been a series of stories, stories that I now get to tell through visual expression. I grew up in the South, where stories are a way of life. They can range from folklore passed down for generations to an eventful trip to the grocery and everywhere in between.
I was creating art before I even remember creating it, and that theme remains constant throughout my life. I found myself under the guidance of artists who pushed me creatively and technically. Early in my life, my mentors nurtured a sense of creativity that follows me to this day; in high school and on into college, I was challenged technically and creatively to become the artist I am today.
After college, my professional life continued to mold me. As a set designer, I worked on some amazing productions telling other people’s stories. As a teacher, I taught students of every age, giving them the vocabulary they needed to tell their own stories. It took almost ten years to listen to what I had been teaching others and to begin telling my own story.
As the sun set on 2019, I found myself in a strange new place; I was finally creating work that excited me: work inspired by the flora and fauna of the South, the land where I grew up. I found myself working with longtime friends to create art that celebrated the stories of families. I found inspiration in folk art from around the world, using representational colors that created palettes I found stimulating. I began creating patterns, using motifs from artists I had studied for years, but now I used their language to create my own story. At that time, I began to find my rhythm, my style, and my voice.
Over the last few years, I have used my voice to tell many stories. I celebrated with families as they started new chapters of their lives by renovating old homes on HGTV’s HomeTown. I illustrated the beautiful words of Erin Napier in The Lantern House, becoming a New York Times Bestselling Illustrator. I began to tell the story of my home state of Mississippi through an exhibition at the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience in Meridian, Mississippi. Most importantly, I have continued my story through my collections at the Caron Gallery, a place where even more stories come together and diverge through other Mississippi artists. I am so excited for the future as I continue pushing myself into my craft, creating new and beautiful work as I find more stories to tell.