I guess you could say my artistic journey started young, but it didn't feel that way. I grew up on a farm in a very small town in Northwest Illinois. Yes, there were chores, no I didn't milk cows. But being an artist was an abstract idea - out of reach. My days were filled with games (everyone in my family including myself was an athlete) student council, and day to day farm activities or yes, chores. And I think that's where it started.
At a very young age, I learned how to do basic electric, to use power tools, and to drive. I learned how to work. Work hard. And unbeknownst to me, work creatively. I like to think of my parents as innovators. I always looked up to them and my grandmother. I am a 7th generation farmer. Yeah 7th, wild. That means I come
from home grown, hardworking and tried and true. When something is tried and true, it leaves room for privilege, I mean creativity. My dad taught me how to work my ass off creatively, to find inspiration in every small task. "How many kids do you know get to do their work from a loader tractor bucket?" He would say as he hoisted me 10 feet in the air to clean the barn gutters. Chores like that turned into, "okay now that you've pressure washed and primed the (entire) barn, you get to choose how to paint it." He was a real life Tom Sawyer, turning fences, or barns, into a canvas. He sparked my creativity. Each project was an opportunity and it felt revolutionary to me.
Suddenly, I was always creating, innovating and it felt good.