B. West was born in Portland, Maine in 1991 and grew up in southern Maine and the Canadian Maritimes; the landscapes and cultural histories of these places have a profound influence on her work. After graduating from the University of Southern Maine, she turned her attention to writing, and has several published short stories. She lived on Peaks Island for several years; the island's strong community of illustrators supported the launch of her illustration career. In tandem with her other pursuits, West has continued to make expressive/fine art, intersecting with her interest in narrative and storytelling. Her work has been shown at USM Art Gallery in Gorham, ME and is held in many personal collections, including Dr. Theodora J. Kalikow (former president of the University of Southern Maine). She extends her passion for all kinds of making by teaching youth-centered art & creative writing workshops (she has worked with Friends School of Portland and OUT Maine). West currently lives and works in midcoast Maine.
I find questions are more important than answers. I relish tension, whether the tension that leads to an excellent joke or the tension of opposition and critique. I’m fascinated by myriad forms of self-description—the balance of physical and emotional, personal and cultural. I strive to capture the tranquility I find in small detail: my process often settles into a rhythm of noticing, welcoming and placing emphasis on the small beauties that may go unnoticed if the goal is attaining the perfect object.