1. I really like the textual aspect of your work. Why did you decide to include text in your paintings?
I think great art makes you think, and I starting adding text to create another level in my work. I wanted to create three "truths": my truth in what I am thinking in regards to the text, what the viewer reads into it, and what it actually means.
2. When you create a work, do you have the idea for the text before you start painting, or does the text occur to you as the visual part(s) of the piece comes together?
It all depends on the piece. Sometimes I create the visual first, and sometimes I know exactly what I am going to write before I start the visual. It all depends on the amount of time I can spend working on a piece at the time.
3. How did you find time to create your art when you were working elsewhere--and did you leave your job as a sous chef to be able to focus more your art?
I have always been creative and doodled and things like that. I worked for a sous chef for almost 15 years, but I had to give it up in 2006 when I was hospitalized for a mental illness. The kitchen was too stressful for me to return to. But then my Grandmother required a full time caregiver, and I stepped in. Been doing that ever since. I love it, and it gives me time to paint, when she doesn't need me.
4. What and/or who has influenced you as an artist?
Warhol, Maude Lewis and Basquiat. But mostly life. All the text in my paintings come from real life or some of my delusions.
5. What keeps you motivated to continue to create art?
It's basically an obsession. It's not something I could stop even if I wanted to. They are not all perfect, but it feeds my need to tell my "story."