When making art about something (a work of literature, for example) it is difficult to avoid being contrived. My method is to spend time exploring my materials with no agenda other than discovery. This allows me to develop a broad visual vocabulary. Then when I sit down to “illuminate” a story or poem my ideas are phrased in this visual language rather than direct one-to-one symbols. I hope this language grows more subtle and complex as I continue to develop my practice.