Many artists and creatives share similar beginnings. I was that kid who: always carried a sketchpad and a pencil (almost) everywhere I went, got really excited to go to art class, always tried to incorporate cartoon characters into class projects, and would obsessively doodle on the margins of school text books (guilty!); I actually did that all the way to my college years.
I knew I always loved drawing characters, but I started learning how to draw cartoons in elementary and middle school. In the 90's, I was (still am) a huge fan of Archie comics, so I used to try to draw Archie and Jughead. Then I discovered "Cartooning with Blitz." Cartoonist Bruce Blitz taught the viewers how to 'cartoon' on a show that I watched religiously on KTV2 (I know, ancient history). Blitz was the person who showed me that I can use markers and ink pens to draw with instead of just pencils. I also searched constantly for "how to draw cartoons" books at the school library and the now demised Family Bookshop. Since resources weren't as available as they are now in the internet era, finding ANY cartooning book meant that I had found a treasure.
Despite this obvious gravitation towards art and drawing, I went on to study civil engineering. Yes. I know. It was a challenging 6 years, even though I loved the university I studied at (AUS). Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, I had applied and gotten a job as a contract engineer. It was no surprise that I decided to quit, but I'm glad I did that sooner rather than later; I actually spent a mere year and a half at that job, then bolted. I just couldn't see myself continuing at a job I wasn't enjoying one bit.
I started attending workshops and seminars on the topic of startups and small businesses. The first F2o Shop opened in the fall of 2011, and I also decided to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts degree in 2017 - one of the best decisions of my life!