Writing didn’t suddenly come to me, I found it. At 8 years old. From an older boy I had a crush on. My sister’s friend. He was never without a black Mead notebook. Always writing, doodling, and musing in those pages. A hefty secret and one I so wanted to be a part of. After many weeks, I was given that chance and seized it. His misplaced notebook became mine for a time, and it opened my world to the marvelous art of poetry. The notebook was not in my possession for very long – a day or two – but its imprint has been everlasting.

For over 30 years I have been privately writing poetry, short stories, and essays. All scribed in secret and then kept safe on a shelf in my studio. Even as I dedicated 20 years of my life solely to a successful career in the visual arts, writing has always been my solace. My comfort. My first love.

I’ve now reached mid-life. And it’s become increasingly clear that at this stage, my direction has changed from a strictest road to one of pliability. Here I will be able to evolve my voice and my artistic visions. Experiment with the thematics of human nature, psychological states, and environmental issues. I can play. I can dream. I can do.

Liz Mares (b. 1978) currently works in the NW Indiana and Chicago Metro area. Despite lacking formal training in writing or art, she has honed her skills through self-education, with books serving as her mentors. While writing professionally is a recent addition to her career path, Liz has been a visual artist for more than two decades, with her artworks in public and private collections on six continents.