Borders are interesting… liminal spaces, neither one thing or the other, or both at once. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, on the border of the United States and Mexico. With family living close by on both sides of the border, I feel I was given the exceptional experience of simultaneously growing up in two separate countries, with two distinctly different cultural foundations for most of my early life. One of my earliest memories is of being fascinated by patterns of light sparking on the condensation of a green bottle of Sprite, in my family’s kitchen surrounded by my siblings, parents, and cousins. The other very vivid memory is of walking with our family dog, who I adored: my right arm perpendicular to my body, resting on top of his furry brown back. (I only vaguely remember my pet duck.)
Undecided between a career in music, theatre or art, I made the decision to pursue writing and illustration after reading Bambi, by Felix Salten sometime in the middle of third grade at Hillside Elementary School. Upon graduating from high school, I moved to Brooklyn, New York to study fine art and illustration at Pratt Institute where I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 1994 I illustrated my first picture book project, Say Hola to Spanish. In 1995, The Birthday Swap was published, which I illustrated and also wrote. I’ve since illustrated a number of other trade-books/textbooks for companies like Whitman, Dutton, MacMillan, Harcourt Brace, Bebop, Penguin, Scholastic, etc.
In 2012 I returned to my border hometown in the desert southwest. I spend my time working as a fine artist/painter, designer and illustrator. I also teach art classes at the Las Cruces Museum of Art in nearby New Mexico.
I continue to be captivated patterns of light, and by large furry dogs. My favorite time of day is twilight (neither day-time or night-time, or both at once). I also enjoy baking pies and stargazing.