I’m a natural introvert, and spending hours indoors with a book has been my favorite activity from the time I was a little girl growing up in suburban Minnesota. My dream was to become an artist or a novelist, and I ended up earning my BFA in painting and drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. (Plus I happened to take a book arts course while there which would later prove fortuitous). My paintings were mostly images of difficult relationships from the past.
I didn’t feel good about exhibiting my paintings, which I felt were becoming more and more a form of personal art therapy rather than anything I’d want to show or sell. But I continued to love drawing in a sketchbook which could be open when I wanted and closed when I felt more vulnerable. As a struggling artist, I went through years of odd jobs, including horse-carriage driving for two years, selling luggage, stuffing envelopes, a three week stint at The Gap, and of course my last job outside the home, working as a gallery guard at an art museum.