Let me start by saying that everyone who knew me as a little girl is not surprised by all of this. I was always creating art, designing and making clothes, and changing my outfit at least three times a day.
My life took a direction away from fashion and art when I attended Wellesley College, majored in Political Science, and played on the field hockey team. After graduation, I moved to DC and got a “real” job. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my favorite part of each day was getting dressed up for my new role as a professional. I used my morning commute as if it were a catwalk, strutting down the street amid a sea of serious DC suits.
I was starved for that feeling of satisfaction I got when making something with my hands. My Closet in Sketches was born in the middle of this creative drought. I had put together an outfit for a meeting the following day and made a quick drawing of it in my notebook. I looked at that sketch later and thought, why don’t I do this all the time? Suddenly everything came into focus. Those years of “practice” could be used to tell the tales of my ever-changing closet. Each evening after work, I committed to dreaming up and drawing endless outfit creations. I loved fashioning a story for an unknown, mysterious woman who existed simply through the creation of a look. The child in me was completely absorbed by this approach, losing all track of time (the best kind of focus, you know?), and through the process of this dedication, I taught myself how to draw professionally.
During my path to becoming a full-time illustrator, I recorded outfits I wore as an operations manager for a small non-profit, a financial educator, a barista at a cafe (which led to other jobs as a menu artist and muralist), a stylist and closet consultant, and a freelance fashion illustrator for the now (sadly!) defunct Lucky Magazine. The early concepts of 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf and 50 Ways to Wear Denim were foretold in these posts years before I ever dared to believe that I would have the opportunity to write and illustrate books.
This lifelong appreciation of design runs in my blood. My mom is an architect who taught me how to draw in perspective as a kid. Sometimes she allowed me to draw details like a stone wall on her blueprints (I often use her scraps in my sketches). She also taught me how to dig through sale racks at bargain stores and thrift shops long before I ever wore adult sizes, and to always scope out the men's section.
It wasn't until I began combing my grandmother Enid's closet that I truly grasped how much my love of fashion draws from her lineage. Bursting with treasures, I began to combine my every-day basics with her show-stopping pieces, such as a fuchsia Christian Dior suit or a black alligator clutch. Wearing her clothes and accessories are like talismans, lucky charms from above, and I try to wear something of hers every day.
Enid was proof of the adage that I was learning to embrace: that how you present yourself to the world, through clothes, makes a difference in how people view you, and how you view yourself. I believe that personal style is nothing more than having confidence. It's not about following trends, it's just learning to be comfortable in your skin. I believe sometimes you have to ignore the frightened voice in your head that says “you shouldn’t wear that” and throw caution to the wind.
My ultimate style icon is Susan Sarandon’s character in Bull Durham, the mix of boy meets girl - Chuck Taylor's with a pencil skirt and a baseball jacket.
Because fashion is often not precious, and I tend to spill things, I frequently rely on a black dress.
I find that applying makeup is as enjoyable as painting. It's not superficial if it can be a tool of empowerment.
I’m relentlessly devoted to my Prismacolor markers.