How did you get your start as a designer/illustrator?
It seems so clear in retrospect how I got from point A to point B. Along the way, I was just figuring it out as I went. I studied fine art and design at the University of Michigan, which included studying abroad in New Zealand during my junior year [shortly after 9/11]. That experience opened up my world. I was living in an apartment complex with students from India, Brazil, and China, and it felt so vital to me at that age that whatever I did with art and design, it had to be about the world. It had to be about taking my experiences — the stories of things I got a chance to do that a lot of my friends and family couldn’t do — and sharing them to open other people’s worlds. And so when I came home from that semester, I knew that National Geographic was where I had to be. My career in visual journalism unfolded from there.