What degree did you earn at the University of Michigan and what year did you graduate?
I have a B.F.A. in Theatrical Design and Production with a focus on Costume Design from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. I graduated in 2001.
How old were you when you began creating artwork?
I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a crayon! I have always loved drawing, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year in college when I realized I wanted to go into design. I transferred from Music Education to the Costume Design program. After I graduated, I ended up pursuing illustration.
When did you receive your licensing from the University of Michigan?
I became an official licensee in December 2017. Applying to become a licensee requires a lot of planning, a lot of paperwork, and a lot of hours! I still remember receiving the email that my application was accepted, and it was an absolute dream come true! At that point, I had been working as an illustrator for 10 years and had an agent in New York City and Chicago, but I really hadn’t found my path. When I started drawing Michigan themed work, something just clicked, and I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Why do you think it’s important to have diversity in your artwork?
Female students and alumni are the inspiration and subjects of the majority of my artwork, and it’s important to me to accurately depict the spirit of the University. All of the campuses of the University are very diverse, and I want all students, alumni, and Michigan fans to be able to connect and identify and see themselves in my illustrations.
What would you say was your proudest moment during this journey?
I’ve had a few orders from parents with very young daughters who bought prints to hang up in their daughter’s bedroom to remind them that if they work hard and do greats things, they too can go to the University of Michigan. When I hear those stories, I always cry and feel incredibly humble and proud.
What is the number one business tip you would tell artists?
You may not find your path or your niche right out of school, but if you keep moving forward with your art, you will find the way to where you want to be. Just don’t give up and keep creating!
How many stores is your work located in?
My products are in 4 stores right now. You can find my prints and note cards on my website, GoBlueArt.com. My prints can be found at The M-Den, McPherson Local (Saline) and Vie: Fitness & Spa (Downtown Ann Arbor).
If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
I would be doing this job. I love that what I do so much. I have young kids, and I have a great work-life balance. I have drawn over one hundred Michigan themed illustrations, and it’s such a fun challenge to come up with new ideas and new ways to express my love and excitement for the University of Michigan.