Heavily influenced by character-heavy artists like KAWS and Takashi Murikami, I took on a new approach to making art. After taking on my first few years of a career in teaching I was feeling this need to make art accessible, no esoteric. I also was struggling with integrating what I felt like was important issues in my artwork. I felt this renewed sense of empathy for individuals battling traumas, socioeconomic disadvantages, and systemic racism. I wanted to teach art to everyone, not just the "art kids". I wanted to make art for everyone, not just the "artists".
Somehow I stumbled upon a llama to be my character of choice (even though I grew up on a sheep farm...). I coupled it with a Sturm and Ruger 9mm. In 2014, the 9mm was the most commonly seized handgun in Chicago by police.