Throughout high school (1995–1999 in Omaha, Nebraska), I loved art history and fashion. I didn’t have the confidence to pursue upper level studio classes but enjoyed learning about artists, style, and how to sew (basic) forms. I entered undergraduate as a fashion design major in 1999, but quickly felt a distaste for the high brow field of fashion and an immediate love for drawing—just charcoal to paper, no frill, no pressure to get things “right” but just to feel the lines, thanks to my first drawing professor. I switched majors to studio-art drawing with minors in art history and English, which complimented my interests in history and writing. Most of my undergraduate drawings were based on self portrait photographs that I took myself with a film camera, using charcoal, pencil and/or pastel. I didn’t know it (though got asked many times by professors), but these self portraits were an exploration of my self that had continued since I got my first camera at age five and began taking self portraits. My concentration was less on “realism” than on feeling, line and expression. My big inspirations were Jim Dine, Egon Schiele, Alice Neel, and Anna Sui.
While in the library doing research, I came across the SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas, and my feminist art curiosity was piqued. After graduating, I actually “gave up” making art to fully support other artists—working at galleries and museums doing administrative and fundraising work. Once I had my first baby though (out of two), I felt the urge again and came back to making self portraits, drawing my babies, and getting involved in the art scene.