Born and raised in San Diego, California, rourke new from an early age how important tool painting could be, not only towards her artistic expression but also towards communication. She noted that her parents weren’t aware of her hearing loss until she was 6 years old, she was born deaf. Her parents weren’t well versed in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community, they didn’t know ASL. So she found a way to communicate with them and others through her art. Constantly creating new pieces, she went on to pursue her artistic endeavors through higher education at the National Technical Institute of the Deaf in conjunction with Rochester Institute of Technology for painting and graphic design. Post-grad her career has taken her passions far and wide, working as a graphic designer for over 20 years working with notable companies such as; Xerox, 20th Century Fox, and Microsoft. After she was unfortunately laid off from Microsoft, she fell back into her other passion of painting, it wasn’t until 2010 that she began using Deaf culture and history in her work, forever changing her style, helping her rediscover her passion.