Stories My Mother Hid From Me

Stories My Mother Hid From Me

Wow, it’s been a while since I last updated this blog, but this last semester of school was crazy! Between camping out in the thesis room until 3, or 4, or 5 a.m. almost every day, trying to pass my last few classes, a job, visiting New York, a surprise visit from my trans-continental sister, and way too many caffeine and donut runs, I almost can’t believe that it all happened in twelve weeks. And that my pants still fit; I think that’s the greater mystery, actually. All in all, regardless of the stress and major minor melt-downs, I’d still say it was my favorite semester of art school. Thanks to the awesome company of close friends, those long studio nights were never lonely and I was always inspired.

So since I just graduated yesterday, I thought it’d be cool to wrap this semester up with a blog post about my thesis, Stories My Mother Hid From Me.


For my thesis, I decided to illustrate a cover and a spot illustration for  six fictional short stories that all had a common theme of not only being strange and a little dark, but were also stories that  dealt with harsher issues in life that one might shelter their child from.  As someone who had, not a horrible childhood, but a very un-sugar-coated one, this theme really resonated with me.

Beside my pieces, I displayed a small note I had written to further explain the project:


If you are lucky enough to have a mother who read to you every night, be grateful. If you are fortunate enough to have a mother who spoke proudly of you, be honored. But most importantly, if you are so blessed to have a mother who told you she loves you, be wary.

A mother who has the audacity to utter the words, “I love you,” will do anything to protect you from the scary stories of life… my mother tried.

Stories My Mother Hid From Me is a collection of illustrations based on short stories that embrace the darker truths in life, stories that wouldn’t be read before bed. On the surface these stories are about  witches, masquerades, cults, and demons. But deeper down they speak to harsher realities such as mourning, mortality, regret, dissociation, conformity, and upward mobility. My illustrations illuminate these truths, giving voice to the unspoken.

For my mother, my only mother

who told me, “I love you.”


Alongside the framed paintings, I also arranged each cover and spot illustration into a double-page spread layout so viewers could understand the relationship between the pieces done for each story, as well as how these could possibly be used in publication:

Sisterhood of Night

The Semplica-Girl Diaries

Reeling for the Empire


Masque of the Red Death


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