I created this art piece a few years ago after a trip to D.C., where I was inspired by Jim Dine’s 16-foot charcoal and canvas “Name Painting” (a portion of it is below beside my piece). Dine’s work is gritty, raw and resembles Santa’s naughty list, which I really like. This is the first time I worked with charcoal and I was a bit nervous, so I played it safe. I titled this piece “Happy Thoughts,” which combines the objects and ideas that make my husband Alex, my son Kai and me the happiest, such as fancy cheese, cheap airfare and pirates. Last year, I was going through my “dark” phase and decided to pull out the charcoal again. I created the piece called “Inner Thoughts,” where I wrote all of the frustrations down and strung them together in a beautiful ironically clean circle.