RP: Kristen, when did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?
KV: In high school. I didn't take art until junior year, and my art teacher sent me to these academic meets. I never expected it, but I would always place. I had never been really good at anything, I played sports, was decent in school, but I never felt I had a talent for those things . Once I discovered I actually did have a talent--it instilled confidence. To this day, I think art gives me the confidence to do many of the things I do.