Were you itching to learn more about me? That makes sense because this is the about me page!
I have two completely different professional personas. By day, I work in Corporate HR in Organizational Effectiveness; by night, I paint book characters and geek out for pay. How did I end up with two such opposing careers?
My business-patriarchy-stomping ambitions and free-spirited-artist-bookworm personality always seemed to be at odds with each other. For college, I had the choice to get my business degree at a top university or go to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago – as I got into both. At 18, I chose the business route, and I have NO regrets. I stayed through my master’s degree in leadership and am passionate about what I do in HR.
Art has always been my hobby. However, I didn’t take kindly to my high school art teacher criticizing my whimsical choice of subject matter, so I tended to rebuff *Art Authority*, and thus decided a structured art university was not necessarily the right fit for me. Don’t worry; I made my extra cash to buy novels in college by painting royal pet portraits, so the whimsy never left me.
Flash forward to 2020/2021. I got COVID (sad trumpet noises). I got it bad and am one of the countless COVID Long-Haulers. For about four months after my illness, I was bedridden for 80-90% of the day. So other than working my regular job from my laptop in bed, the only thing I wanted to do was read. So I read and read and read. And then, I decided that I had really strong images of each character in my head, so as I got my energy back slowly, I started sketching. I filled up notebooks of Sarah J Maas’s characters and dipped my toes into drawing Jennifer L Armentrout’s character portraits, Jay Kristoff’s heroes, and more. And from those, I got my first bookish art commission. I bought an iPad, taught myself digital art on the fly, and have had a whirlwind time ever since.
And now we’re here! And I love what I do. I still work full-time in corporate, but my nights and weekends belong to bookish art.
- I married my high school sweetheart, Shayne
- We have two dogs (named after book characters) and a bunny (who has her own bedroom)
- I got married in a castle in Scotland
- I’ve lived in several states in the US, Mexico, and Italy
- I’ve read over 700 books
- I’ve seen over 100 bands in concert
- I’ve been making digital art since May 2021
- I once sang a pop-punk karaoke song in a dive bar in Kansas in front of one of my favorite bands
Q: Are you an artist full-time?
A: Nope! I have an entire 9-5 corporate career – so art is more of a hobby or side hustle.
Q: How do you choose what to make?
A: Unless it is a commission, it’s whatever I feel like! I don’t accept direct requests unless they are commissioned. If I am open to suggestions or ideas, I will post them on my Instagram stories to crowdsource.
Q: Can I repost your art?
A: Yes! BUT you must clearly credit me in the caption and/or tag me in the post. You must include “@Alicia.MB.Art” in the caption. If it is a piece I have created for someone else (like a shop or author), you must also include that information in the credit. For example:
“Artist: @Alicia.MB.Art, commissioned for (SHOP NAME OR AUTHOR TAG).”
Q: What does it mean that you are Sarah J Maas licensed?
A: It means that Sarah and her team approve of each piece of art I make of her characters/books to sell. I give Sarah royalty fees for each sale I make of one of her characters.
Q: Can I get a tattoo of your art?
A: If it is a personal design or doodle I’ve made that is posted to my account: most likely, yes! Just send me a note before!
If it is a design that I made for someone else – you have to get permission from the commissioning party. If they say yes, then I say yes! For example, Jennifer L Armentrout and I have let someone get the Fire & Ash symbol I made for her tattooed – it turned out super cool!
Please get in touch with me to ask first – while I will likely say yes, I need to ensure that all appropriate parties have been consulted first.