The big reveal, I'm leading a double life!

I going to come clean and let you in on a
little secret.

Some of you know me as an Artist, Illustrator or Visual Storyteller and some of you know me as a Realtor and Home Stager. I've kept them separate to avoid confusion. But, as both careers progress it's become counter-productive. Now I have clients that are on two mailing lists and I  constantly have to switch hats. It seems like I'm hiding something. It's becoming confusing. So, here's the scoop. I do both. I love both and the combination fits my life very well.

My creative/art career came first. Should you be curious, you can learn more on my illustration website: or my real estate site: . No denying it, with the exception of being a mother, painting and creating art is my passion. Watercolor illustration seems to be my main outlet. And, as much as I love my work, it sometimes appears more like a curse than a gift. I wonder some days why I can't just get a 9 to 5 like 'normal' people?

About 3 1/2 years ago, after many small book and commission projects and tons of networking got a phone call from a publisher. I landed a trade book project,  pulling my illustration career further into the main stream. The years of networking and small projects were finally paying off.

On the same day I got a second phone call. My husband had quit his job. (Life is what happens when you're making other plans.) Over the next 6 months while pouring over story boards and thumbnails, creating characters and living my dream, my marriage dissolved. By Christmas of the same year I found myself a single mom of three teenagers, with two cats, a dog, a mortgage and a beautiful children's book about a dolphin, 'Dizzy' (Stonehorse Publishing, 2007). The creative process kept me sane, but as anyone in the publishing industry knows, you're not getting rich on your first book and a small advance.

All feel good aquatic creatures aside, I needed a job, a 'real' job! I needed money and flexibility. Hymmmm....Looking for a silver lining, I talked to a college friend who had the same education background was selling real estate quite successfully. It seemed like a good fit.....housing/architecture, interior design, urban planning had always been an interest of mine. I remember housing plans, real estate trends and pricing fluctuations like many men remember baseball statistics. It made sense. She encouraged me, I called her broker immediately. I got my license in June of 2006 and started working for Windermere Real Estate at the same time my second set of final illustration spreads were due for my book. Needless to say, it was crazy. But, keeping busy then was a blessing.

Three years, several sold houses and commissioned paintings later it seems to be working. Throw into the mix the current state of our economy and I think you have the makings of quite a journey.

The two professions have proved to compliment each other quite well. I live in Pullman, Washington which is home to Washington State University. Because of the cyclical nature of our housing market our busy time tends to be Spring/Summer. For that time, I sell! sell! sell! Then, things ramp down in the Fall. It can come to a complete standstill in the Winter months. It's when I put on my wool socks and pull out my sketch book and snuggle into a new art project.

I'm thankful to have a new listing and a couple buyers right now. But, I've turned on the fire place and am getting ready to pull out my watercolors and sketch book. I am in a bit of denial that I have to wear shoes again, but there's something nice about the Fall once I finally 'cross over' to acceptance.

So, that's it...the big secret it out. I lead a double life.


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