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My Story

Art captured my heart at a very young age while watching my grandma, Barbara Garrels, create beautiful oil paintings and regularly attending art classes with her at The Art Center of Burlington growing up. I credit her as the most influential person as I aspired to become a professional artist myself. I eventually pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design, which I received in 2008. I then began working in the interior design field right out of school.

I hadn't put my fine art skills to work for several years out of college, but after gifting my cousin with a drawing I did of her daughter in 2011, I began to receive other custom requests. From there, I have sold my work and even donated at the following events and locations:

- The Greater Burlington Partnership Chamber Annual Dinner Live Auction

- Snake Alley Art Fair

- The Art Center of Burlington

- Mt. Pleasant Arts IMPACT

- The Burlington Fine Arts League GALA Live Auction

- Louisa County Art Show

- Art in the Park during Midwest Old Threshers

- Online at and other online art websites.

Continuing to grow a small art following, I found myself yearning to do more with my artwork. There was a sudden car accident involving my grandma in 2018 and we had lost her. I found notes of hers that were for an art class she was teaching at the Art Center of Burlington. Many of them inspired me but the quote that grabbed me the most was: "Go for that dream. The experience will make you feel excited, frustrated, discouraged, joyous, hopeful, fulfilled and most importantly, it will feed your soul!"

Deciding to listen to her advice and to feed my soul, I took on the roll as a full-time artist during the pandemic which allowed me to enhance my skills as an artist, more than double my following, and stay home with my kids. This also inspired me to go out on my own and start my own interior design company!

I currently own and operate an interior design company in downtown Burlington, Iowa full-time and continue to fulfill artwork requests on the evenings and weekends as they consistently come in. An interior designer and an artist have been career dreams of mine since I was very young and I'm so grateful that I'm able to chase both of those dreams!

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