My story

A portrait of me, drawing in my office
Photo by Jackie Perry

I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia but moved to Baltimore for school when I was 18, and I've lived in that area ever since. By now, both the Blue Ridge mountains and the Fells Point piers each feel so much like home that I miss them terribly if I'm away for too long. That leaves me feeling a little restless, often.

But that sense of belonging to two places, and sometimes being caught in between, has given me an interest in different points of view. I believe much of my work — design, illustration, and writing alike — has grown out of that curiosity for assembling bigger stories from a lot of small details. Or at least trying.

I'm fascinated by complexity, patterns, and memory. I love reading about geology, palaeontology, and astronomy because I love the perspective of "deep time" you get from trying to imagine things that happen over millions of years. Many of my paintings begin simply with things I see on walks around my neighborhood, but as I stop to look at a rocky outcrop or a creekbed, I like to imagine how they might have formed and changed over the eons. In some sense, any innocuous pebble or leaf on the roadside can become alien and extraordinary if you can just see deep enough into its history.

My Shelf of Interesting Things, with various seeds, pieces of wood, rocks, and a specimen of a juvenile Northern Snakehead fish.

My Shelf of Random Interesting Things, including a preserved juvenile Northern Snakehead fish and some seed pods.

These days I work primarily in a combination of traditional ink wash and digital compositing, "assembling" a final print from smaller drawings, textures, and other bits and pieces. I also occasionally do larger-scale paintings on panels with acrylic and ink, and lately I've been working on some ideas around narrative illustration and book design.

You can read more about my work, process, and other random thoughts on the blog, or check out my prints.