DISCLAIMER: Someone read over my previous bio and informed me that it was “too long,” so I decided to re-write it to be about five times longer. I apologize in advance.
I grew up in Longmont, Colorado. If you know where that is (without cheating) you have probably either a) lived in Colorado or b) a fascination with memorizing geographical details, and you could quit your day job go work as a street performer and guess people’s hometowns based on their zip codes. But I digress.
Being Coloradan, we were outdoorsy. My dad was a hang-glider pilot, and I spent a lot of time in the mountains, camping, hanging out on the launch site, or bumping along in our beat-up 4-Runner, tracking him down. To this day I’m still more comfortable in a campsite than a city and I draw on the nature around me as a source of endless inspiration.
Drawing and writing stories were two of my favorite childhood activities. I was considered a “good draw-er” in elementary school by the other children, a phrase that even then I found grammatically bothersome. I created my first picture book at age eight, a pop-up book entitled “Skeleton Dog.” (Really cool.) A year later I tried out the nonfiction market with a book about owls.
Approximately nine years after that I attended Scripps College where I tortured myself with Japanese classes and somehow earned a BA in fine art after making some huge fiberglass monsters. (They were also really cool. One is still lurking on my parents’ front porch. Its long tendril arms have since been amputated, but it’s still weird enough to creep out the Fedex guy.)
After graduation I took off on a Thomas J Watson Fellowship. I traveled solo through Asia for a year and researched folk tales. I sang karaoke in Kagoshima and ate Khao Soi in Chiang Mai. I traversed the Himalayan foothills by donkey and sipped chai under an Indian sky as local musicians played their Ragas long into the night. I brought along a travel watercolor set and some sketchbooks and thus inadvertently began my illustration career.
Some other fun facts:
I live with a three-legged cat named Mignonne, and a two-legged husband named Jonathan.
I dance the Argentine tango, because I enjoy doing things that are difficult and require years of suffering before any semblance of competence can be achieved. Kind of like watercolor.
I live in rapidly gentrifying Boulder, Colorado, but sometimes I pretend that I live in the country with a big overgrown yard with chickens, and perhaps a ramshackle old barn and a resident barn owl named Mr. Miffles. (See illustration.)