I have been drawing and painting all my life, but I began my professional career in 1994 when I was approached by a company called Wizards of the Coast to contribute work to the popular collectible card game Magic: the Gathering. I worked for W of C and many other collectible card game companies for the next several years, until I became tired of bringing to life other people’s art visions and wanted to paint what I wanted to paint.
The decision to cease being a contract artist was not an easy one to make. Contract art can be very lucrative, at least in the short run, and I was making fairly good money. Unfortunately, the work was not as satisfying to me as painting my own ideas was, so I quit being a contract artist and became a “print artist”, meaning I would paint whatever I wished, make fine art prints of the images and sell them. As a “print artist” I was free to paint whatever I wished, but with that freedom, came the understanding that I wouldn’t have a steady paycheck waiting for me, and because of that, anything I painted had to be at least a little bit marketable.
My inspirations are many and of course like so many artists, I find great inspiration in the works of the great painters of the Art Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite periods. When it comes to my own works I always seem to be painting things that I find beautiful–beautiful women, beautiful dresses, beautiful flowers, these are themes that find their way in my paintings again and again and again.
For the first ten years or so, I worked exclusively in watercolor, with a touch of acrylic on some pieces. In 2004, I became enamored with digital art, and the more I studied it, the more dissatisfied I became with my own paintings. So, I set aside my watercolors, bought a digital art tablet, Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop and began experimenting. My first digital pieces were actually hybrid works where I mixed watercolor elements with digital ones, but eventually I became comfortable enough working with the art programs that I completed the transition to fully digital works.
In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to license out many of my paintings, and among many other products, there are puzzles, T-shirts, stickers, jewelry, figurines, ornaments and now most recently, dolls.
Currently, I am working with my husband on a multi-part fantasy novel featuring many of the characters I have painted over the years. The series is called the Zarryiostrom, and we have published the first three books of what will be a nine book series when it is finished.
My husband and I live in Oklahoma City in a one-hundred year old 3 story house with 8 cats.