So we’re going to start with the difficult question: sum up your creative process in one word/phrase, and explain why!

Unpredictable yet deliberate. Unpredictable because I never know when or how many times a day I’m going to get inspired. I have so many unmade painting ideas that I’ll hopefully get to in time. I email descriptions of them to myself so I won’t forget what I saw I my head. Deliberate because I don’t have as much free time as I’d like so I have to prioritize and work on the paintings that are really calling to me the most. I also have to be in a certain mindset and feeling my best on days or nights when I paint.

Were you always an artist, even as a child? What was your path to becoming an artist?

I’ve been drawing all my life. My parents put pencils in my hands when I was two when we lived in Germany on an Army base — I think in an effort to get me to sit still, and it worked! Creating has always been a calming force in my life. I was a part of art programs in middle school and high school, and used to spend hours sketching fashion designs growing up. I was also in a math and science program, so I ended up not pursuing art in college or after. About five years ago, I started figuring out how to paint and got back into art. Art makes me really happy.

What is your medium of choice and what drew you to this particular medium?

It used to be pencil, but all I want to do now is paint. I liked that it was a challenge since I had no experience with it but also thought it was such a beautiful process – envisioning, mixing colors, blending paints on the canvas before they dry, and watching it all come to life little by little.

Is there any particular experience, person, place or thing that inspires you to create? Tell us about that.

No, there are so many! I’m inspired by people and experiences that have impacted me – both positively and negatively. I’m also very inspired by music, song lyrics, poems, travel, the sky and the meaning of life. I’ll be listening to a song and remembering something or looking at something interesting that catches my attention, and then I’ll see a painting in my head that connects all of those together. Then I feel compelled to make it. The painting that I start on next is always the one I’ve been obsessing over or seeing in my head the most.

What is it like showing your work to people and what do you hope people take away from it?

All of the art that I make has an encouraging message and a story behind it. I’d hope that at least some of the people who see my art can find comfort or inspiration in some of it. The main things I’d hope come across to someone are that they are stronger than they know and that there is good in every experience – no matter how it seems at first.

What advice do you have for other artists who may be looking to get their work exhibited?

Just to be optimistic and to start taking steps – sharing work online, on social media, networking, and going to other shows. It’s not as intimidating as it seems. Also sharing your goal out loud can help. I had some close friends who really encouraged me to get started in shows rather than waiting like I originally planned.