© 2017 by Ann-Monique on Wix.com

 

I was born in Iowa in 1973. My father is a minister, and my mother is a teacher. I also have one brother who is younger. I didn't do much in Iowa, for reasons probably only I can understand. I do have some wonderful memories of several very special people who I give credit to for some of what is the very best in me.

 

We moved to Florida when I was 15, after my freshman year of High School.

 

This was when my life started to take direction. My new school was West Orange High School with a total number of students usually ranging around 2,000. I wasn’t very active in school because of an intense social phobia. (I didn’t know until recently that that was my problem, I just thought I was weird.)

 

I did get involved with our church youth group.  It gave me a fun social circle and a lot of experiences that I look fondly back on.

 

I graduated from High School in 1991.  I entered Florida Southern College that fall.

 

While there I discovered my creativity and love of artistic expression. I credit Mr. Downing Barnitz for my becoming an art major.  It started during a basic Drawing course I took as an elective for fun.

 

During on early assignment,  Mr. Barnitz came up behind me in class. After studying what I was doing for several minutes (while I was getting nervous) he said, “You could be an art major”. And then he walked away.  No suggestions on what to do better, no critique. 

 

That was it, I began my life as an art student.

 

I couldn’t make it easy on myself and finish my art degree right away. Oh no, I had to start thinking (I do this to myself a lot. I’m very analytical by nature and when trying to be an artist, it’s a trait that can get in the way.)

 

Halfway through my sophomore year, I decided I would like to use my creativity in Interior Design. I applied and was accepted into the Architecture Department of the University of Florida. I might have made it if that particular summer hadn’t been one of the worst of my life.

 

The summer was 1993. This was the summer that I went into counseling and on medication for a bad depression.  I also lost all faith in the Church.

 

Not God, just The Church. Going into detail would take too long.  

 

Fortunately, I met my husband the same summer. He came into my life at just the right time. I know if I hadn’t met him then, I would have ended up in rehab or at least under observation in a pych ward.

 

We have a fantastic relationship that is still going strong and I thank God regularly for sending him to me.

 

Needless to say, by the time I got to the University of Florida that fall and started the design course, I had already had enough of life.  I was in serious need of a break.

 

Not the time to start a very intense course of study and design studio. By the end of the year, I was on Academic Probation. 

 

I decided to take some time off from school. Having been a High School Honors Student, this was not an easy decision, but it was the right one.

 

After a year off I decided I was ready to finish school. I returned to Florida Southern and spent 3 semesters and a summer finishing my original goal of a Studio Art major and graduated in December 1996.

 

Wondering what happened to the husband? We got married in September 1996 2 weeks before I returned for my last semester. That was a fun summer! 

 

My husband joined the US Navy the year before we married.  After I graduated I joined him in San Diego, CA.   The next decade or so when something like this:

 

  • 1996 San Diego, CA

 

  • 2000 England (Went to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Venice, Bath, Nottingham, Wales, Stonehenge...)

 

  • 2003 Bahrain (Spent week in the Maldives, visited Dubai)

 

  • 2004 Rhode Island - I get evacuated out of Bahrain and move in with Mom and Dad while pregnant with our son. Husband finishes tour in Bahrain.

 

  • 2005 San Antonio

 

  • 2008 Everett, WA

 

  • 2011 Tampa, FL

 

My art really developed in the UK.  Because of this, I finally started letting people see it via the web with my first website.  

 

If you don't know where Bahrain is on the map, look off the southeastern coast of Saudi Arabia just north of Qatar in the Persian Gulf for a small island with the capital name of Manama. That's Bahrain.

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While there in San Antonio, TX we bought our first home of our very own. I loved that! I could actually paint a wall (or 2 or 3) without having to get someone's permission first and pick out exactly what curtains I wanted on the windows. It was a blast.

 

While in Everett, WA I went back to school and work.  I ended up with Endorsements in Digital Illustration and Web Design and took 2 years of Ceramic classes. 

 

Learning to use a pottery wheel was the fulfillment of a childhood dream.

 

After 17.5 years of moving every 2-3 of them and living in 2 different foreign countries, I admit I was getting a little world-weary.  

 

Whenever I started to feel that I wasn't spending enough time on my art, I told myself that I had been absorbing a lot of potentially very inspirational life experiences.

 

In addition to being "settled" Tampa has also let me reach a goal I've had since graduating college. I now have a full studio set up including my own pottery wheel.

 

I'm excited to see how much more I can develop my art and style as the years progress.

 

FYI,

 

If you are under 18 (you’d better have your parents permission to be in here!!!) or a parent of someone under 18:

 

  • I didn’t get my first body piercing until I was 26.

  • First tattoo at 26.

  • 2nd body piercing I was 28.

  • 2nd Tattoo at 41

 

If you are wanting something like this done but your parents refuse, you’ve got plenty of time for it. Someday when you’re out of the house, and that will be sooner than you can imagine right now, then you’ll be able to do what you want.

 

Until then, most parents know what they’re talking about and cosmetic changes are a small issue compared to so many others.