The whole thing started when I was five. I got a box of crayons for Christmas, fell in love with the array of waxy colors I beheld and immediately commenced to scribbling on every surface I could reach. By age seven I was skulking about the basement, deep in piles of Walter Lantz "How to Draw ..." books, hoarding and hiding my precious boxes of crayons from siblings and friends and scheming over ways to get my father to mimeograph drawings for my first hand drawn coloring book.

Between ages eight and fourteen my mother was constantly inundated with "fashion" drawings of a dream wardrobe I begged her to sew for me and frequently annoyed by melted crayons in cars, unwashable stains on my clothing and pleas for more coloring supplies. At age eighteen I received my first paid commission, admittedly hired out to me by my father for his office brochure, but - nepotism be damned - I proudly cashed his company check for the grand sum of $25. Not really a bad sum considering it was 1969 and it took me half an hour. I spent it all on my first set of real, artist grade Caran d'Ache pencils. Oh, the colors, all those colors!

I couldn't go into an art store without severe withdrawal from all the pens, pencils, markers and pastel sets I wanted but couldn't afford. Let me be clear about this, I wasn't poor, I just wanted EVERY DRAWING SET in the store. Show me a pristine set of Faber Castells, Prismacolor or Caran d'Ache and I lusted after them. It was a blood lust too, not a fickle flirtation. Wave a gigantic set of markers in front of me and I salivate. I was seriously transfixed by coloring supplies, deep into an addiction that there is no twelve step program for, driven by inner demons of creativity and I loved every periwinkle, rose madder and chartreuse moment of my unbalanced obsession. While others of my age aimed for dates, I secretly grew my collection of art mediums and plotted ways to add to my booty. They had hickey trophies, I had the largest set of Derwents.

At that point I knew I was not normal. Normal does not covet and crave that first sharpening of a pencil point. Normal does not despair when the orchid color has been decimated down to a stub. Normal does not inhale the scent of markers like a starving person inhales the smell of frying bacon. I not only was not normal, I was normal challenged. Some DNA marker in me was a Sharpie.

Somehow I had to feed my habit and find a way to make it feed me back. So I fed my need by attending art school. Then fueled my desire, my art supply fund and myself by becoming a commercial illustrator. When I finally began my own line of published art, products and books my grand obsession took conscious control and the coloring gene (now mutated to the more expensive Copic marker) went super active. These days I color everything, from books to art to clothing. If it can be colored, I'll find a way and an art medium to color it with then go get a huge set of every color available, or maybe three.

Coloring is my hobby, my profession and a lifelong love. For six decades I have colored and sketched my way through life, surrounded by copious of sets of coloring apparatus as evidence of my affliction. It's not curable and there is no chance of rehabilitation if you don't want to quit. And I don't. I've loved every moment, every doodle, every sketch, every minute of bringing an idea into reality, placing point to paper and coloring my world happier.

Yes, I confess, I am a serial colorer.