Whenever I feel the need to tighten up my hand-eye coordination and muscle memory, I always bring it back to portraiture. It’s my “home.”

As a kid, drawing comics and cartoons came very naturally to me. I was hooked. Oftentimes, I would practice by copying comic books, Marvel cards and anything I could get my hands on.

In second grade, I showed up to class with a stack of my photocopied artwork (thanks, Mom!) ready to sell them to other students for one dollar each. One of my classmates complained and my teacher killed the operation, but not before buying some artwork herself.

By the time I reached high school, I was attending Cooper Union’s Outreach programs. Teachers stressed the importance of accurate observation, and discouraged developing a “style” too early—comics had to go. This opened the doors for something much more difficult: nude figure drawing. Ever since then, it has remained the king of all exercises for honing my skills.

Whenever I don’t have access to classes, I look towards friends, family and favorite musical influences for inspiration.