As the middle child between two brothers, there were no shortages of rambunctious games to participate in (and I sometimes would). But I much preferred entertaining myself in my minds imaginary worlds and drawing them out on paper.
From an early age, I've been blessed with parents, teachers and extended family that have supported and encouraged my creativity. Circa 1990-something, my Primary School Art Teacher, Mrs. Tognilini, told me that my art had "a sense of humour in it."
Struggling to envision a way to make a career with my art, I opted to study Psychology at Murdoch University, with the hope that it would lead me into Art Therapy. During this time, I was hired to paint murals in businesses and homes focusing on children’s spaces. For the first time, I realized it was possible to earn money through art. Unfulfilled by my studies and daunted by a 7-year degree, I said goodbye to the University. For the next year or so I worked odd jobs and travelled a bit, taking my sketchbook with me everywhere I went. It was in these pages my technique began to take shape. I used a “stippling effect” to create shading in my ink pen drawings and coloured circles to shade in areas when using my coloured pencils.
In 2005, while experiencing a period of restlessness and feeling directionless, I spent three months in New Zealand with my Godparents. During my stay, I read and completed the book “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. I dedicatedly followed the assignments set in the book. These activities drew out so much inspiration and led me to create some paintings that I entered into a local art show. My paintings sold before opening night! Inside my heart was a little fluttery feeling that perhaps I could do this art thing after all.
2006 led me to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, NSW. It was a time to reinvent my life, move out of my home and give my full attention to my art. I would paint all week and then sell my creations at markets on the weekends. At my first market, I made $13 profit. I was over the moon - I had sold art! I nannied for local families to help pay the bills while I continued to paint, paint, paint.
By 2008 it was time for another change. I stored my belongings and went travelling overseas with a friend on a life-changing trip to Guadelajara, Mexico. During our 3-month stay, we visited children’s homes and orphanages where we would entertain with puppets, mime, and dance. I frequently visited a locally run art morning for kids and enjoyed creating art with them, re-igniting my interest in art therapy. The vibrant colours and glorious traditional art of Mexico spoke to my heart and soul. I witnessed poverty for the first time in my life. The children I met didn’t have much, but they had the biggest, most genuine smiles I’ve ever seen. This trip instilled my strong desire to be of service and contribute to the world in a positive way.
I relocated to Melbourne, Australia in February 2009 to study at the Phoenix Institute and received my Diploma in Transpersonal Art Therapy. A perfectionist at heart, I dedicated all of my time to my studies while also emerging myself in the city’s bustling art community. By the time I graduated in early 2010, I was desperate to pick up that paintbrush again.
The same week I graduated, I met my to-be husband, Adam. He was a Canadian guitarist with the sweetest heart I had ever met. I just knew. For the next couple of years, we hopped between Canada and Australia where I continued making my art and selling it at markets. In late 2010, I created my Facebook Artists Page. By 2012, I had joined the Etsy community. I was now able to reach a worldwide community and sell my art online.
In May 2012 I officially moved to Canada, with my entire life packed into three suitcases and three boxes. For the next few years, I continued my art exploration, sharing this journey with my growing online community all over the world.
In 2015, an article about my Mandala Stones went viral. Overnight, my stones were viewed by millions of people. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that my art would reach so many. At my core, this is what my art is all about- sharing. I want to brighten your day, inspire you, and encourage you.