always knew I wanted to be an artist. If you’d asked me when I was in first grade what I was going to be when I grew up, that would have been my answer.

I grew up with a pencil and sketchbook in hand. I grasped at anything art related like it was water in a desert. Drawing was a way to discover the world. To unwrap its beauty. To discover its secrets.

People were the most interesting of all. Of all the secrets to unwrap, they were the most complex and compelling. I couldn’t help but constantly try to solve them. I was on a quest to draw the perfect portrait.

When I went to college, I chose to major in fine art, with a specialization in painting.

Even when my professors did their best to push me away from people as a primary subject, I kept gravitating back. I know what they wanted from me, but I had yet to achieve the goal of my quest.

I realize now that goal was misguided. In fact, it was impossible.