what was your first job and how did you end up making paper goods?
My first job was as a counselor in training in a sleep away camp which I had attended since I was 8 years old. My first assignment was to help the counselors with the four year olds during group activities. I love children and remember having a blast making arts and crafts with them, playing kickball, swimming in the lake with the muskrats and going to our farm. Perhaps the most exotic animal we had was a goat, but hey, we had a goat! When I think back to this first job and subsequent jobs thereafter, there is definitely a theme that emerges - children and/or whimsical play, arts and crafts and nature.
When I think about how Screech Owl Design came about, I definitely lead back to my mother’s words, “follow your heart.” She rarely helped me make decisions through life, but rather guided me with that phrase. Either I learned that early on or I am just learning it now, regardless, it may be the most important lesson yet.
What is your favorite piece/group/series among your own work?
Impossible question. I tend to be very critical of my own work. Perhaps my favorite piece is from a series called the “swimmers”. They came about after a long recovery process from an intense surgery I had a few years ago. I think making the swimmers series felt refreshing and free to me which was symbolic of the time.
Who, past or present, most inspires you?
Is it too cliche to say my grandparents? I hope not, because they truly are my biggest inspiration. My grandparents are survivors of the holocaust and came to this country with my mother in the 60’s. They landed in the Bronx and began creating and building their new lives there. Considering all the atrocities that they experienced and witnessed during the war, I was always amazed at how graceful, patient, kind and generous they were with others. My grandmother in particular was extraordinarily nurturing and willing to accept and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I have always admired them and are inspired their willingness to look on the bright side of things, & their ability to forgive. They
were truly remarkable.
What 3 web sites do you visit daily?
The New York Times
Describe your perfect Sunday morning.
A perfect Sunday morning is an extra hour or two of sleep before rising (my inner-clock typically wakes me at 6 am daily somehow), a half hour of laps at the pool or lake, 20 minutes
for meditation and stretching and then home to read the Sunday New York Times on my couch where there is always beautiful soft light pouring through in the morning. Of course it
would be most perfect if my cats were nestled cozily on my lap while I read.
What do you see outside your studio windows?
In my studio space I have four large windows which provide tons of light and very different views. There is a beautiful old building outside my favorite window to the west with a
crenelated cornice that looks very much like a building in an Edward Hopper painting. This window is always inspiring and pleasing to my eye. I often turn to this window for peace of
mind and reflection. From another window I see this sad (in a good way) little house whose roof appears to be sagging and neglected overall. It’s got this massive tree out front which is a
hotbed of neighborhood bird activity. From another window I see a row of treetops which block a parking lot for eighteen wheelers in the spring. Thankfully in the winter, when the trees
are bare, I get a perfect view of the east river and the manhattan sky line. I love looking out the window, but I love watching my cat hangout in the catnip more!