As a sensitive and quiet child, I realized at an early age that how I made sense of the world felt about the world and communicated with the world, was through pictures in my mind. Not through words or numbers, I am dyslexic. Not through sounds, I am tone deaf. But through sight, which is ironic, since I have been blind in my right eye since birth and my left eye is nearsighted.

I picked up a pencil around grade 3 or 4 to illustrate stories in remedial reading & writing classes to help organize my thoughts. It was not until middle school that I had my first experience of how picture making could affect others and me. On one family vacation I was drawing an airplane. Someone next to me noticed and asked if they could have it. For the first time I understood that pictures could make someone, other than myself, happy. I could connect to others through pictures and I did not need to be alone.

Throughout my school career, from grade school to graduate school, the art room became my safe place. My other academic classes suffered as I tried to overcome my dyslexia. As all children, adolescents and young adults, I was motivated by looking to others for artistic direction, techniques and inspiration. Trying my hand in portrait painting, landscapes, pencil & pen drawings, poster making and photography gave me a foundation to visually interpret the world.

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