It all started with a conversation a friend and I had in high school. She had mentioned that she sometimes imagines her heart as a house where she keeps her valuable things locked away. I was so infatuated with the metaphor that I went home after that and dreamed about what my own heart house would look like. By that I mean that I had a literal dream and the following morning I wrote it down and then painted it. That day in Fall of 2011 was the first time I created a Heart House and ever since I have kept with the tradition and made one Heart House per year based on how I feel like my year has gone and has shaped me as a person. For years I have released the drawings as they are completed with descriptions (sometimes) of what they meant. But rarely, if ever, did I share all the introspective work that lead to the creation of the Heart Houses. Like most people today I tend to post what I know the algorithm will approve of as well as what will be “acceptable” to people’s positive only short attention spans. What I’m hoping now, with this being the 10th year of Heart Houses is that I open the doors a little bit more than I normally would to show you all the introspective art, writing and poetry pieces that I’ve kept locked away. Somethings I will show unedited from when they were created and some I may adjust here and there to be ready to be seen in order to protect myself, other people’s identities and to improve them since, you know, some of these things were done by a teenage version of myself.