I grew up in rural Mississippi in indiscriminate poverty. I have always been one part dreamer, one part do-er. So I spent my childhood chasing the sun through the trees and drawing unicorns and bugs and birds with colored jewels in their foreheads. I managed to work through a Bachelor's degree in art but by my graduation my health was failing. I took a detour from grad school and managed with teaching and making art in the field until I finally got the news.
The spinal cord injury I have as an adult likely came from the bad decision of an anesthesiologist when I had surgery at age 20. I went 10 years before a neurologist discovered the mass in my spine. It is inoperable, but life threatening if it continues to grow. I went through radiation to chance stopping the growth. Afterwards, I've lost most of my ability to walk and constantly deal with severe chronic nerve pain.
In many ways I'm tremendously reclusive. I don't think I made a conscious decision to start making art that was extremely personal but it somehow became my means of communication and conversation. Making a beautiful piece is part of my perfectionist personality, making a piece that says something personal is my way of connecting. I do that through a formula of one part reality, one part surreality.