My sketchbooks — filled with dead insects, pasted plants, watercolor paintings, drawings, writings, coins, ticket stubs, and other assorted ephemera.

I kept these books for a number of years, but stopped abruptly when I was robbed at gunpoint in Central America in 2003. The robbers stole a bag containing a sketchbook with over nine months of work, and it was at that point that I stopped painting and started using code.