Connie grew up mostly in Illinois, but her family fluttered around a bit — Florida, Virginia, Texas, Idaho and Missouri — before landing in a western Illinois town along the Mississippi. She also bounced around after high school — from Butte, Montana, to St. Louis to Chicago — before landing on Anna Maria Island. She's called the island "home" since Labor Day 2005. Connie fixed her interests on art in high school and never turned away. She studied art at Blackhawk Community College in Moline, Illinois, and picked up her pursuits at Truman College in Chicago, where she studied watercolor, photography, graphic design, American film, life drawing and art history. Connie holds an associate's degree in art from Truman, graduating from the college with Phi Theta Kappa Society honors in 2005. She's worked in a variety of mediums, but photography is her passion. “It’s like an electrical charge when there’s a connection to the subject,” she says. Connie’s current focus is on natural Florida, especially the feathered in Florida. She also works on Anna Maria Island at Ginny's and Jane E's at the Old IGA, where she's the head baker.