When people first see my artwork, they frequently ask, “So, have you been an artist ever since you were little?”

They’re always surprised to find out that I didn’t really discover my passion for art until I was a senior in high school, and that I hadn’t even used oil paint until my junior year of college. I guess most people think that you are either born with artistic talent or your not. But I’ve always thought of it as any other ability, that with enough practice you could eventually become good at it.

My senior year of High School my family moved to a small town in Colorado. Until that time my high school experience had been purely an academic pursuit. I wanted to be valedictorian and I wanted a scholarship to college, so I took AP and honors classes. However, in my tiny new school there was no such thing as AP or honors, and so I figured I’d take some art classes. It was there that I learned that art was much more than just making something look “real”, it was about communicating a message. This idea really spoke to me and I knew that from then on I was going to be an artist – I had a lot to say, I wanted to speak to the world.

I went to school at BYU-I from 2002 – 2006 and obtained a BFA. At first, college was really overwhelming. I was at the bottom of the talent totem pole, and I had a lot of catching up to do. I also was pressured to maintain a 3.95 GPA to keep my academic scholarship. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own, and so I went to God for help. I had faith that He would magnify my efforts and turn me into the artist I desired to be. I went to the studio at 4 am to work and began each day with prayer. I gave my whole heart and soul to the process of becoming. At the end of four years I was amazed at how far I had come.

It’s now been 10 years since I graduated, my husband and I have lived in multiple states, and have had four children. Motherhood, by far, has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Trying to juggle my career with the demands of being a mom is very challenging. However, I find that my children inspire and enhance my artwork as well. They have given me the depth and the vulnerability to explore my deepest emotions. I thank God every day that I get to paint and that I get to be a mom.