When I was ten years old, I faced the idea of loss for the first time when our family dog, Tasha, passed away. She was thirteen, so I hadn’t ever known life without her, and the loss felt tragic... but then I had a dream. In my dream, I was walking on top of a mountain with Tasha and my family, and a giant white dog appeared and started walking with us. Without words, I understood that my dog needed to leave us and go with the white dog, and we watched them run off together. When I woke up, I felt so much peace about losing her. As years have passed and my interest in spirituality has matured, this simple, beautiful dream has always stuck with me.
Fast-forward to the year 2000. My aunt lost her long battle to cancer at the young age of 44. Her daughter had just turned 12 a few days before her mother passed, but showed a strength well beyond her age that instilled hope in the entire family. She continues to be an inspiration as she’s transformed loss into empowerment by working hard to become a healer, not a victim. She is now in medical school.
I’ve always been a seeker. If something scares me, I try to learn more to feel better about it. Having questions about death prompted a spiritual journey that continues to this day. I found myself intrigued by the near-death accounts of people all over the world, fascinated by the consistency of their experiences. In high school, I dedicated an entire semester to a 30-page term paper about near-death experiences, and revisited the topic again in graduate school in my psychology of religion class. I studied extensively and did my own research, interviewing folks who had experienced some form of life after death. In addition to my general interest in world religion and spirituality, the topic of near-death experiences has been this sort of constant thread and source of side projects for over a decade.
Halo draws from each of these experiences in my life, and adds in my passion for art. It was important for me to capture the comfort I felt from my dream, the strength inspired by my cousin, and the validated research about the afterlife while keeping true to a visual style I’ve developed as a fine artist over the years. With a formal education in painting, I wanted Halo to carry qualities that I would like to see hanging on a gallery wall. The illustrations for Halo layer different media- watercolor, ink, pencil and oil paint- and also focus on the movement of paint, which has been a trademark of my artwork.
Bringing art, writing, research and personal experience together into one project has been a journey in and of itself. I’m very excited to share this adventure with my readers!