When I think about how my being an artist began, I'd start with my earliest memories. Growing up in Riverside, California, I was always making or drawing something as a kid, often relating to what was around me. I think the idea of becoming an artist started with drawing on the various walls in my childhood home as well as the walls of my elementary school. Not too long after getting in trouble for that, I was enrolled in private art classes. I was told I needed to learn the fundamentals of fine art and to stop tagging everything I came into contact with. I resisted initially, but soon discovered that I had much to learn. Since those first lessons, I have felt that an innate talent is great, but learning from those that came before me is of tremendous value. How can you break the rules, if you don’t know what the rules are to begin with? I learned that an artist must hone that initial talent into a finely developed style. Never stop creating and never stop learning! When I sold my first painting (albeit reluctantly)at the age of twelve, I used that money to purchase more art supplies. I was hooked and knew I would be creating art for the rest of my life.