Layering collage is one of my most commonly used techniques, and also one of my favorites. I love texture and color so searching through magazines or handmade papers gets me really excited. The vibe for the piece is set depending on what I discover. I rarely use scissors because I like the ripped edge look so it can take hours just trying to find where the pieces fit. It’s like a puzzle.

The three-dimensional parts are even more fun. This is where I get to explore with creativity. I usually get the most inspired from ideas on how I can make the piece 3-D. I’ve collected shells and beach glass my whole life. I could spend hours strolling the shore, and have. One day, as the sun was setting over the horizon I took advantage of what little light was left, collecting coral and shells from a favorite spot. I kept finding these pink shells, which I later realized were pink barnacles. They reminded me of mermaid scales. I was instantly inspired. I could make a mermaid tail out of shells! From there stemmed the idea to make her body into a mosaic from beach glass. Her body and tail were the most complex puzzle I’ve ever accomplished. This piece probably took the longest out of all the ones I have done so far.

Each piece varies from hours to months. Honestly, it depends on the size of the piece, how motivated I am, and the content of the work. Sometimes it just flows out of me, and on some I struggle. For instance, the tiger was really difficult to do. Creating the striped effect had me stumped. I wasn’t sure how to tackle it. I stared at that piece for hours. The most frightening, but exhilarating thing about my art is I just have to go for it. Sometimes I have to force myself to let go, trust my hands, and use my heart to do the work.