Give us an intro, please tell us about yourself!
Hello! I work in the Higher Grounds roastery. I grew up in rural Leelanau County about 15 miles from Traverse City. I currently reside in Traverse City with my partner and our cat.
Why / how did you become an artist and what inspires your art?
I’m a musician first and foremost: I’ve been singing and playing piano since I was four, and currently have been fronting local rock band Little Graves for four and half years. I'm also writing a solo indie album. A long time lover of the visual arts, I also dabble in design, drawing, painting, and photography. I tend to draw fantasy nature dreamscapes with bright color palettes, and often incorporate water, cityscapes, tropical fauna, and the sky. I would consider my style maximalist for sure. I have also always been inspired by horror movies and the alternative, punk and goth scenes. Musically I listen to a lot of synth/electronica, alt rock, new wave, pop, alt rnb/hip hop.
What do you love about coffee? Describe your daily coffee ritual.
I fell into the coffee scene almost 10 years ago, working primarily as a barista. I love the coffee scene as a community in general. Cafes are an important hub in many people's social lives, and serve as a remote office for many. I always enjoyed getting to know customers, and learning the rich history and culture surrounding coffee. At home, we French press our coffee the night before. The first thing I do every morning is fire up a cup of coffee in the microwave (Norandino is my favorite, followed by Coast) and add a little oat milk to cut the acidity and bring out flavor notes. I'm also really liking Bold Glory and Revel these days.
Why did you partner with Higher Grounds on creating the t-shirt design?
Originally, Chris (Higher Grounds’ owner) noticed me drawing on my iPad on my lunch break and found some of my art on my Instagram. He expressed interest in having me do an illustration for a t-shirt for the cafe. I have done a bit of design work for my band over the years, but mostly photography-based, so I downloaded Illustrator for the first time and just hoped it wouldn't be too dissimilar to Photoshop which I'm more familiar with. It was a great opportunity to try something ambitious and new to me, and definitely a cool learning experience to add to my roster.