- Hometown: Pacific Grove, California
- Major: Environmental Science
- Minor: Art
- Further Education: UC Santa Cruz Extension, Certificate in Science Illustration
- Current Occupation: Freelance Illustrator - parsonsillustration.com
I wanted to go somewhere out of state, and when I visited Bellingham and Western it was just so beautiful I had a feeling I would feel right at home.
A Different Kind of Education
When I reflect on my time at Western, I mostly think about the amazing experiences I had outdoors on field trips in my Huxley classes—going to Mt. Baker and taking tree core samples, visiting Olympic National Park, and many more! It's these experiences that made my education special—I'll never forget what I learned because of the unique circumstances in which I learned them!
Working with other students on projects and talking one on one with professors helped me develop communication skills which are essential to being a successful science illustrator.
Going out to Canyon Lake Creek to set up and monitor mammal cameras in my Field Methods in Vertebrate Ecology class with John McLaughlin. It was spring, so there was some snow left and I remember how beautiful and quiet it was out in the woods. Spending that time with my classmates I made friends too—I'll never forget it!
A Point of Pride
I'm most proud of pursuing my dream of being a science illustrator and freelance artist. I think there are many people out there who enjoy both art and science, but don't know how to put the two together, or don't think it's possible. I'm proud to represent the worlds of both art and science and show that it IS possible to combine whatever interests you are passionate about.
A Vision for the Future
I think if you have dreams, life leads you in directions that are so interesting and fulfilling. Professionally in 5 to 10 years it would be great to be making a living doing what I love--it sounds basic, but living off of doing art and say, environmental education doesn't come without hard work. I want to really work at putting myself out there and becoming known, because in the arts that's crucial to marketing. I hope I will also be doing some teaching and work in the community to supplement my artwork. Overall though, I just want to be happy!