When I first started taking art seriously, I was heavily influenced by Frida Kahlo, various surrealists and fantasy artists I discovered through online communities, and the gothic aesthetic of Japanese visual rockers in the late 90s and early 2000s. As a result, both my acrylic paintings and my colored pencil drawings were either gothic or folkloric and somewhat visceral in content, full of sharp color and contrast. More recently, I have found inspiration from religious iconography and folk art as well as abstract art, although I still favor bold colors, high contrast, and fantastic imagery. Flowers, trees, and twisting vines also frequent my paintings, not only because my gardener's heart wishes them to be there but because I sense that they are reaching out in longing just as the human spirit dreams and yearns for something deeper and greater in life. Something in the act of painting (and frequently in the act of viewing) awakens these deep, ineffable wishes and worries in the human spirit and makes them almost tangible, and therefore easier to name and carry.