My sister and I were latchkey kids. My parents didn’t think it was safe for us to play outside with our friends while we were home alone, so summer vacation meant playing by myself or with my sister at home. I got tired of watching TV, so I did a lot of independent art and craft projects.

One summer I created a company called Top Hat Art. I have no clue what I thought my imaginary art business did. I made a logo, letterhead, and invoices and I seem to remember some filing, but that was it.  

I really didn’t understand what being an artist meant, just that I was one, and that being an artist made me special. That’s a good feeling that I needed, and over time, it grew into something more.

I completed my BFA and MFA at art schools. I’ve been a full-time and freelance illustrator and graphic designer. I helped start an advertising school inside one of the best-loved ad agencies in the world.

I worked for art and design schools for over 16 years as a teacher, advisor, and admissions counselor. I’ve shown my art throughout the United States, in museums in New York and galleries in San Francisco. I’ve completed competitive art residencies and received the Murphy Cadogan award. 

I’ve paid off over $50,000 in credit card debt, over $20,000 in student loan debt, and another $6000 in healthcare debt. I’ve bought, paid off, and sold two cars. I still have over $100,000 in outstanding student loan debt, and I’m finding my way through it. 

I’m here to share some knowledge and tools based on my experience. I plan to help anyone out there figure out how to go from I want to be an artist to being an artist.

And I’m sick of the smart, talented, and capable people I know living on next to nothing. Artists are powerful agents of history, progress, and change. Artists work hard.

Artists Deserve Money.