I developed two obsessions very early in life: drawing and animals.
If I wasn't laying on the carpet scribbling critters in my sketchbook, there's a good chance you'd find me outside trying to lure wild raccoons near with half eaten sandwiches.
My family and I moved around quite a bit before I entered high school. I didn't realize it at the time, but having a skill I could share, like drawing, helped me assimilate at each new school. I remember kids looking at me like I just did a magic trick the first time I sketched a realistic looking hand or cat. Art seemed to help me make friends pretty easily (though moving a lot in general makes you pretty good at that too.)
Suffice it to say, the positive attention I received for my early scribbles, combined with my innate love of art, pretty much sealed my fate as an artist.
In 1992, I graduated with a degree in "General Art" from California State University, Long Beach. Classes were so impacted at the time, it took five and a half years just to get that degree, let alone a fine art degree. So rather than continue with more schooling (or work towards what sounded like a more legit degree title), I decided that half a decade was enough school for me, and got out into the working world. But before I did, thankfully I learned more about drawing and painting from two of my CSULB professors, Beverly Naidus and Marie Thibeault, than any other individuals in my entire life.
After graduating I pursued my art on the side while holding down various day jobs, from entering subscriptions at an early tech magazine, to doing a little digital illustration work. I showed my work in group shows here and there, and sold the occasional landscape or figurative piece. All the while forcing my roommates to put up with an "art studio" in the living room. God bless them.
During that time I was laid off from three day gigs, all in a row. Each company went bankrupt. Which led to the realization that perhaps "corporate" jobs weren't as stable one might think. So I eventually found my way to being a full-time, freelance graphic designer.
While a designer, I ended up painting a portrait of my CPA's dogs as a trade for some tax services. The resulting portrait began a 13 year career as a professional pet portrait artist, eventually allowing me to quit graphic design altogether. Painting pets combined my two early obsessions, art and animals, which felt precisely up my alley, after years of bouncing around with different subjects that never quite stuck in my craw.
But after a successful decade of painting clients' dogs and cats, I felt the need to push myself as an artist again, and try something different. So I made the tough decision to step away from canines and felines in order to begin work on large-scale, domestic farm animals series. The Farm reinvigorated my love of painting, and reintroduced me to the entire animal kingdom as a constant, unending source of visual inspiration.
I continue to use animal imagery in my work because I think animals connect us to our own humanity through our shared love of them. Whether it's the animals in our own homes, or in the wild, they continue to be a source of fascination for me.
Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Aimée currently lives and works in southern California. Her paintings hang in collections all over the world, from the U.S. and Canada, to Europe and South America.
For Aimée's CV please click here.