Truthfully, I enjoy the research into my subject’s natural history almost as much as illustrating them. A series of owls in pen and ink was my first project on my career path 20 years ago, but my passion lives on. Whether it’s observing green sea turtles just inches from my nose, finding salamanders under rocks deep in a forest, or studying specimens in a university collection, I get lost in the magnificent details of plants and animals. Currently, I am at a point in my career where I am branching out. I continue to create detailed, highly accurate work, but allow myself to deviate to focus more on the energy of the animal in its environment. The scientist in me demands that a subject is morphologically correct, but the artist in me likes the freedom of combining subjects that may not live together, exhibiting movements or behaviors that may not be scientifically accurate. I think that is why I am drawn to whimsical nature illustration as well, because I can stretch my imagination and merge the two sides of me. Pursuing this merger of artistic ventures allows me to take my scientific and artistic training and bring life to the lesser-known animal groups.