I am a cartoonist.
There, I said it. Why is it so hard to say that when people ask me, "What do you do?" I write stories with words and pictures. I draw stories with pictures and words. I love stories. One of my favorite cartoonists - Marjane Satrapi - says this: "When you have the talent to write and draw, it seems a shame to choose one. I think it's better to do both." So I do both. Together. The result is called comics!
I used to do more painting, but it wasn't the best way for me to tell stories (I love stories.) I remembered how much I loved reading the Sunday comics in the newspaper when I was a kid, and reading comic books and graphic novels when I got a little bit older. I decided I wanted to make comics, so I did. I started a daily diary comic called Easel Ain't Easy which I still sometimes draw (though not daily at all!) I started writing a long comic story (a graphic novel) called Picket Line which I finished in 2011 and published with a Xeric Award. In 2016 I put out a comic memoir called Hey Baby which is about my experience with the pregnancy and birth of our first kid. And I am currently working on a new graphic novel for kids called Trespassers which will be published by Scholastic/Graphix in 2020 - I am so excited!
It takes a lot of time to make comics, and it can feel like running a marathon. One of the best pieces of advice I ever read was a quote by another favorite author of mine, E.L. Konigsburg: "Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don't talk about doing it. Do it. Finish."
What else? I grew up in Wisconsin but now live in Portland, Oregon with my husband, our two kids and our cranky but lovable cat Charlie. I sometimes do concept art and instructional comics for businesses. I love chocolate peanut butter ice cream. I play the drums. I'm working on a sci-fi podcast. And don't be fooled by the cartoon on this page - I'm not a runner.