"I loved to color, create art, read and look at books with beautiful illustrations when I was a kid. One of my earliest memories is coloring in a giraffe with watercolors and having a sense of wonder at the process.
During grade school, I was a fat and fairly unpopular child, so art-making was an empowering experience in which I could live and create a happier place. I appreciated the pictures in textbooks because they helped make academic lessons more memorable and less stressful.
When choosing books to read, I was very sensitive to the imagery within them. I loved the Dr. Doolittle books by Hugh Lofting, but detested his line illustrations for the stories and would cover them up with my hand when I came to them!
Having been born in Scotland, I have much admiration for British illustrators, especially early ones such as Arthur Rackham, Beatrix Potter, and many lesser known artists who could be found in the children's "annuals", yearly books from the 1920's, 30's and 40's. Probably the biggest influence on my style to this day has been the British children's comic character, Rupert the Bear. The Rupert annuals had endspapers painted by Alfred Bestall, depicting incredible and fantastic landscapes that sent my imagination soaring.
I probably decided to be an artist by the time I was ten, and I was lucky enough to follow through on that dream by going to several art schools. I enjoyed the schools because even though some of the assignments were difficult they were always interesting and would reveal aspects of myself that surprised me.
I love the idea that my activity books can help children learn and that they make it fun and interesting to do so, just as art did for me.
It is also my intention that some of the books can empower kids through inspiring their own creativity."