Illustration is about illuminating. My Catastrophe Quartet self•life•picture•book project lights my experience. It is interesting to me that in our language, to say you are bringing something to light is to mean that you are bringing something to knowledge. I find it curious that light can be a synonym of knowledge, as well as to have the connotation of goodness. To not know is to be in the dark, and the dark is identified as a scary place, a bad place, full of monsters. The word monster, from its original latin roots, means something that is not understood, and something that is yet to be taught. Monsters are not necessarily bad, then, because they bring new knowledge, and knowledge is the light. Monsters can be good! We avoid them because we are afraid of the knowledge of situations that might be painful, but understanding conflict and knowing how to avoid that pain or recover from it is far more important than trying to pretend that bad things do not happen. I know that we need our pretty worlds, because I love having one, too. Yet I also want to become educated on crisis control, and others should be, too. To dance with monsters is to learn first aid. We hope we do not need the information, but we must be prepared. My experience with trauma as a result of victimization is horrifying and beautiful, and I want to let it illuminate the life of anyone who chooses to read my work.