I’m Abby, and I love life.
I’m a self-taught artist and have been drawing since the day I could pick up a pencil. I’ve designed mission patches and space-related artwork for rocket companies like ULA and Aerojet Rocketdyne, have written and illustrated multiple children’s books and comics, as well as illustrated books for other authors, like Marsha Thauwald. In addition to art, I have a background in psychology and neuroscience. I’ve been a performance coach since 2012, am a local STEM consultant in schools, worked with hospital management teams as a leadership development consultant and curriculum writer, served on the Board of Directors for local charities, and am an experienced public speaker. I’m also an avid research geek and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) communicator. Seeing kids’ eyes light up with awe and excitement is why I do what I do. I believe art is a powerful way to communicate scientific concepts and ignite interest in STEM-related fields, so I’m working on children’s books right now and love presenting at schools! In fact, you can check out my latest book HERE. Feel free to take a look at my portfolio, artwork, scroll down to read more, and connect on social media! I am currently booking presentations at schools and libraries. Please contact me by email at email@example.com to discuss a possible speaking event at your venue!
YOUTUBE: STEMX Art YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiXN1hYcpL9qqTTkZyQj8mQ?)
PERSONAL INSTAGRAM: @stemxart
GO FOR LAUNCH ART INSTAGRAM: @goforlaunchcomic
STEMX FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/stemxart
GO FOR LAUNCH PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1727851607513741
MORE ABOUT ME: Like I said, I’ve been doing art since I was probably 3 years old and have loved space my entire life. I grew up in the shuttle era and remember watching launches on TV when I was a kid. In fact, the Columbia explosion occurred over Central Texas and I could see a trail of smoke high above my house. I remember hearing the sonic boom from shuttles upon atmospheric reentry, as well as running outside to see STS-88 (Endeavour) fly over. Growing up aware of spaceflight influenced my creativity, as I often turned ordinary toys into rockets, airplanes, and mission control-type setups. I turned my play kitchen into a rocket… the sink faucet was a steering mechanism, the phone a control pad, and the stove burners controlled thrust. My little brother was “cargo” and fit inside the “pod bay.” When we were ready to launch, we would tuck in the table, close the “pod bay door,” and go through countdown. What can I say, I was a creative kid!
I loved visiting Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. I think this photo was from 1996, as I’m wearing a ’96 Olympic team jacket.
Here’s one of my first drawings. I was three years old.
My first space drawing, that I know of. Mercury Redstone, around six years old…
And some cows… probably from 1st grade. This drawing cracks me up every time I look at it!
More recently, I’ve been incredibly involved in the Greater Waco community, serving on the Board of Directors for a local non-profit (McLennan County Pack of Hope), collaborating with executives and organizations as a member of Leadership Waco, and supporting other organizations that promote equality, wellbeing, and unification of diverse communities within Waco. I’ve been a Certified Life Coach and Performance Optimization Coach since 2012, and my background in psychology research combined with my experience working with various individuals and groups has enabled me to assist initiatives that create positive change. I am passionate about the wellbeing of our county and want to see it and its people thrive.
Luckily, I also grew up about 30 miles from a rocket testing facility! SpaceX purchased the old defunct Beal Aerospace/Rocketdyne/US Navy facility in McGregor, TX in 2011. This facility was originally a World War II bomb manufacturing plant, which is evident from overhead views of bunkers, ordinance sheds, and random ground disturbance from explosives. Rocketdyne, the company that created the Saturn V and Space Shuttle engines, also owned the site from 1959-1978, followed by Hercules Incorporated (1978-1995), and then Beale Aerospace (1998-2000), who constructed the iconic Tripod test stand before ceasing operations. SpaceX leased the property in 2003 and began constructing test stands and conducting Merlin engine tests in 2007. On November 22, 2008 late at night, SpaceX conducted the first 9-engine full mission-length Falcon 9 test on the Tripod. This loud test alarmed tons of Waco residents, partially due to acoustics influenced by low cloud cover, and is known by some as the “test that woke up Waco.” The combination of my love of space, STEM, and Greater Waco makes me a passionate supporter of SpaceX.
Now, I speak at area schools to encourage kids to dream big and learn about STEM fields, illustrate children’s books, comics, and do space art. I like to combine my passion for psychology research with creating art. For me, it’s not about the art itself, but the message behind it. It’s about the emotion art can invoke in another person, inspiring them into action. My mission is to educate and empower through my art. If my art stirs something powerful within a person when they look at it, then I’ve successfully done my job.