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once upon a time...

Alice aged 4 drawing with her little sister

...there was a little girl who loved to draw.

Yes, that’s me in the photo. I’m the one on the left with the red pencil, and the one on the right is my little sister. (My brother wasn’t born yet when that photo was taken.) We grew up in Toronto, in a house full of books, including great volumes of art that I loved to explore.

Drawing for me was the best kind of enter­tainment: I loved the endless possibilities of a fresh blank page, and my parents made sure we were never short of paper!

My father used to read to us every evening, and naturally you would usually find me, pencils in hand, bent over a drawing as I listened. And sometimes my sister and I would tell each other stories as we coloured—craving that combination of pictures and plot.

I had many other interests—including a more-than-slight addiction to puzzles—but somehow it seemed inevitable that my first order of business upon graduating from university (Fine Art and English), would be to set out to find work as an illustrator.

Chances are the girl in that photo would be surprised to learn where all that drawing would eventurally take her. After all, when I was a kid trying to answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, I couldn’t have conceived of a future in which the strokes of the pen I was holding would conjure a digital image on a computer screen, nor imagine that my addiction to puzzles might one day translate into playing with CSS and JavaScript. But here I am: a Wacom-stylus-wielding artful coder, painting with pixels and getting giddy over the latest innovations in web design...