I’d like to believe I possess a pretty balanced ego. I also make no excuse that the occasional compliment and words of appreciation from students whose creative career I nudged at just the right time also feed my soul. But I’m not one of those personalities whose worth is defined by what others believe about me or my work.

Having said this, I am beside myself to have received such praise and well wishes from instructors, artists and patrons alike at tonight’s “Steampunk: Beginnings” grand opening gallery exhibition. I pushed more than one boundary by participating in this event. My work was one of a handful “traditional” painted pieces in a room filled with digital art. Quite ironic when just under 20 years ago I curated my own graduate gallery show and ALL my own work was digital. In fact, this was the first all digital illustration gallery show at Cal State University Fullerton.

An hour before tonight’s event, I was searching through my closet filtering leather, wool and metal to assemble my version After all, my outside appearance should match my internal appreciation and transformation of  Victorian culture. In the spirit of the event, I literally wanted to dress the part. Later at the event several attendees complimented my “costume” which in turn sent a chuckle through me since everything assembled from what I wear everyday. What really blew me away was when a couple high school girls walked up and asked me to sign their event poster. Their courage to walk up to a stranger, an artist, a woman old enough to be their mother and ask for an autograph made me feel so humbled! Not only I had created a sense of approachability and likeability to these young girls, but I had naturally, effortlessly become initiated as a member of this fine art community.