Inside/Out
 

my journey

born in indiana, my roots were formed in the rich soil and the brilliant greens of summer, the sweet pinks of redbuds in the spring, and the tracery of bare limbs against the white winter snow. long days spent solo in the woods in back of our home (which my father built, cutting and laying each stone by hand) were my regular. i’d clean out the small creek that traced the bottom of the ravines, i’d hunt for old arrowheads in trees and for the morels hiding under the may apples. flat on my back i’d contemplate the sky and the clouds grasping handfuls of grass to keep from flying off the earth—or so it seemed. and i would read. a lot. backpack full of books, i’d retreat to my favorite hollow tree, crawl in and disappear into alternate worlds built of words.

and yet i contained a deep longing to escape and bathe in other adventures and geographies. i took early graduation and left home at barely sixteen to start my training in visual merchandising at FIDM, concurrent to working in the California Apparel Mart and the fashion industry. The pendulum swing from small town to downtown los angeles proved too harsh—as was the fashion business—and i went back to art school where i graduated in photography and printmaking. lengthy careers in the visual arts followed: first as a grants specialist placing artists in schools and then as a curator, and eventually, a gallery director in alternative spaces. i had a radio show on the side. moving from indianapolis to st. louis to atlanta, i eventually longed to be back in california. it always felt like home and i was eager to return.

almost upon landing i started working in the art department on music videos, film and television, advancing from coordinator to assistant art director to art director. after nearly 20 years in this field (sixteen of which were spent on the CBS show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), i sustained a serious injury on set from which i contracted a chronic medical condition, my mother’s alzheimers was to a point my brother and i moved her near us and began taking close care of her, and i was diagnosed with cancer. the high level function of so many years in the industry was addictive and exciting and i wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it was universe’s way of telling me that i had other business and i needed to get to it.

i had taken up studies in horticulture at ucla while maintaining my career.

I look forward to meeting you.

Debra