Monday, September 30, 2013

Sarah Beise

How is it that you came to be an illustrator?
I really had no choice.  From my earliest memories I was creating,  inventing and building (or making messes as my mother said!)  One of my favorite things to draw my inventions or tell a story through my drawings.
Did you go to art school?
Yes- Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Were there 1 or more individuals that were an influence in your becoming an illustrator?  
 Early on it was a fellow 1st grader named Van.  He and I always  volunteered to put up the 1st grade bulletin board during recess. One day, while we were cutting out construction paper and gluing and pinning all kinds of things together as we designed  our masterpiece, he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I did not know.  He said he wanted to be an artist  so he could always put up bulletin boards.  I knew at that moment I wanted to be an artist too and have never wavered from that day.  My high school art teacher Deborah Cooper, also pointed me in the right direction, as well as serving as a very important mentor.  
What inspires you now?
I am inspired by everything around me from the beauty in nature to the magical digital universe.  
Is there anything you would like to share regarding your technique or style of work?
I typically start all my projects with paper and pencil but quickly move on to the computer for completion of the image.  My work definitely gravitates towards children, animals and lightheartedness.  I need to be able to smile at my own characters and images before they are ready to greet the world.
What types of markets do you do illustrations for?
I have been so fortunate to create images for all kinds of fun products!  Children's books, Children's educational products,  App and Web characters and animation, Paper product ( greeting cards, gift bag, wrap, plates, napkins and cup etc), Scrapbooking, Fabric, Puzzles and a few 3-d characters that light up for Halloween!
Are there links to to your images you would like to share?

My site which is set up mainly for manufactures:
Children's Publishing Agent:  
Licensing (outside the USA)

For updates on my latest releases check out my FaceBook page:
Do you currently have product with your images on the market?
Yes, I do!  I have 3-D Fuzzy  Puzzles that just arrived at Target,  A few books (Addition Annie, Don't lose your Shoes and I Can!), Greeting and Box cards, Gift bags, Gift wrap and I actually designed a Bulletin Board Set (Dress for Weather)!
 What is the thing you love best about what you do?
I wake up excited each day about drawing the next character or telling the next story.  I still can not imagine anything else I 'd rather do!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nancy Overton

How did you become an artist?
I never really thought about it. By the time I was seven, I just knew that’s what I was meant to do. I’m 71 now and have rarely given it a second thought.

Did you go to art school?
I am a proud graduate of the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, Class of 1965. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a major in painting. It was a wonderfully diverse and intense art education and one that supplied me with the basics of drawing, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, silk-screen, lettering and painting. Over the years, I have used just about everything that I learned there in some form or fashion.

Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
My mother and her mother were always taking art classes and always included me in their projects. There were always supplies, places to work, time and support.

Is there one or more artist whose work is an influence?
When I was a painter, I was enamored by the paint quality of Richard Diebenkorn, the subject matter of Wayne Thiebaud (food), the collage techniques of Robert Rauschenberg and the doodle approach to painting of my teacher Roy De Forest. I’m sure they all influence me in one way or another today.

What inspires you?
Nature inspires me…vistas, beaches, trees, plants, animals, flowers and fruit, vegetables. I love to cook and I love to garden. There are too many beautiful subjects and not enough time to consider them thoughtfully in any artistic detail. There is never enough time.

Would you like to share your work process?
In an overview look, when I wake up around 5AM, I spend half an hour to an hour each morning snuggled in bed, reviewing projects, renewing projects, planning projects and thinking about what to fix for dinner.  I check email and then usually work in the studio from 6 to 7 and then I walk or go to the gym for an hour. When I get home, I make breakfast for my husband, read the paper, pick up the house and get back to work by 10. This is studio time or time organizing submissions to potential licensors, galleries and shows. Depending on the season, the work gets interrupted by some weeding or watering and always by a lunch break. I usually work until 3, review mail, study product catalogs, check Pintrest, search Google Images, do research until time to make dinner. I watch TV with my husband while I read magazines or I sketch or make wire bird bodies for my 3-D birds and I’m in bed by 9 or 10.

In the specific, I guess over the past ten years I have become a dedicated paper artist. I collect handwritten letters, recipes, sheet music, stamps, hotel bills from Las Vegas in the 60’s, foreign dictionaries, anything to add interest and texture to my 3-D birds or 2-D posters. I make my papier mache 3-D birds, dogs, cats over wire frames. I make my 2-D posters of purchased and found papers glued to a 12” x 16” watercolor block. I use Elmer’s School Glue for both.

For posters, I draw on tracing paper, size the drawing on my Canon copier, trace it to colored paper and tear it out. I spend hours tearing out paper shapes to add to the basic paper shape and in the end resort to scissors to cut out eyeballs, mouths, or whiskers. I develop the context and background, once the cat is meowing, or the robin is needing a perch and then I finally glue it all down.

Are there links where your art can be seen?

What types of markets do you create art for?
I create one-of-a-kind 3-D birds for 10 California galleries. 
I create collage posters and 3-D birds and animals for licensing in the gift industry, though currently I have only one licensee, Creative Co-Op. In the past I have worked with a licensing agency but found I had little control over the end product, no control over the companies they chose to license to and in the end the compensation was not worth the work.  I like representing myself, but do not spend enough time marketing my designs. 

I recreate my posters into greeting card sizes for bookstores and gift stores and have two reps that sell my cards in California, Washington and Oregon. I’m never sure I want to be wholesaling cards, as it is all about quantity and packaging orders. It’s time consuming and I don’t make much profit.
We participate in Open Studios each year (my husband is a landscape painter) and we fill every room in our home with art for sale. For those two weekends in June, we are appealing to the fine art market.

Do you do other things regarding art like teaching?
I teach bird making and collage greeting card classes in my home. People enjoy learning about my art process and seeing my studio (the family room). I enjoy teaching and the people interaction. It is also another source of income.

Do you pursue other creative interests like writing or music?
I like to sew and venture off into stuffed animals, hot pads and pillows once in awhile. I like working in wood and am making some reproduction toys and some small furniture. I used to write a lot for craft publications and have had several craft how-to books published. I am an expert in creative embroidery, but now only embroider an occasional baby gift.
Though gym time may not be considered creative time, I feel regular physical exercise is essential to keeping the creative mind humming. I have always lifted weights and walked good distances. I may not find inspiration in the gym, but I always find something wonderful on a walk and feel a strong body supports my creative efforts.

Where can your art be seen?
My work can be seen in gift shops and home stores that buy from Creative Co-Op. My original work can be seen in several Bay Area galleries and always in our home.

What do you love best about what you do?
I work for myself on my time, doing what I want to do, when I want to do it. Selfish, selfish, selfish! Lucky, lucky, lucky!
I love that I have always been able to work with my art and my art education to make a living. I have been a painter, an art director, a New Product Development Manager, a technical craft writer, an author, a teacher, a product designer, a collage artist, a licensor of my art.

My artistic work life has taken me to Haiti, China and all around the United States.
I have been so fortunate to have the support of my husband, my family and friends. I have had spaces in which to work, resources enough for supplies and tools, teachers and mentors to reinforce the belief that I came to this life as an artist.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lori Siebert

How did you become an artist?
I was shy growing up and I was drawn to anything creative.
I have loved to draw,paint and make things since I was a little girl. I began taking private art lessons when I was 7 and learned to use pastels and oil paints. I took art all through high school and then got a degree in Graphic Design from The University of Cincinnati (which is an excellent program and allowed me to co-op at various places all through college.) I started my own design firm in 1987...just 3 years after I graduated.

Was there anyone that influenced you in becoming an artist?
I won a ribbon for a painting I did in a local art fair when I was around 6. My Mom saw that this was what I loved to do ,so she enrolled me into the lessons when I was 7. There were several architects and painters in my family history, but not in my immediate family. Art was just something I was naturally drawn to.

Is there one or more artists whose work is an influence?
I am an extremely curious person,so I LOVE looking at beautiful things...all the time. I am influenced by many,many things. One type of art that I LOVE is folk art...especially Outsider Art.
I also love art created by children. I am drawn to things that are whimsical and somewhat naive.

What inspires you?
I love going to antique flea markets and finding amazing ephemera or old books. I love is what I turn to when I can't sleep at night. I am inspired by my artist friends.
I am inspired by artists like Paul Klee, Matisse, Modigliani, and Picasso. I am inspired by fabrics from around the world...(I have a passion for pattern and texture.) I am inspired by new mediums...I love to learn new things and play around.
Would you like to share your work process?
My process changes with every collection that I create. Sometimes,I am inspired by words,
sometimes ,it is a new medium to try. I often start with a theme that might relate to a vintage art style. I also ,sometimes start by making something 3-D. I suppose I get bored easily,so I mix up my process all the time.
Are there links where more of your art can be seen?
I recently started a blog that lists a few of my manufacturing design studio also has a
What types of markets do you create for?
I create for several,home decor,tabletop.fabric,baby,and garden.
Do you do other things regarding art like teaching?
I will be hosting my first workshop,along with 3 other artist friends this September 18th to the 22nd in Destin,Fla. The website for the workshop I am VERY excited about this. I hope to more in the teaching area.
Do you pursue other creative interests like writing or music?
I love to write,but I mostly write for my licensing collections. I also love to cook,especially baking.
Where can your art be seen?
It is mostly on product. I may start selling my original pieces at some point. I wrote a couple of books early in my career as a graphic designer. I may go back to that along the way...I have a few ideas.
What do you love best about what you do?
I feel incredibly blessed that I get to create EVERY DAY!! It is what I am passionate about. I also love when I can give some of my products to friends and family. They get so excited. Several friends text me when they see my products out and about. They are very supportive. I also LOVE the community of artists. It is great to get to know like minded people and share our creative lives. Just like doing this interview...I was honored to be asked to tell a bit about my story.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Susan Eaddy

How did you become an artist?
I have always loved to draw, from the time my mother framed the rooster I drew in kindegarten. In school I was always the kid in the class who could draw, so I took art lessons and every art class in school I could fit into my schedule.  My parents  bought me art books and kindled any talent I had while encouraging me to pursue what I loved, whether it was a money maker or not.

Did you got to Art School?
I didn't. I was raising a daughter by the time I started school and I got great scholarships and grants to attend the University of Tennessee. They had a really strong Art Dept, and some wonderful professors, and I worked on the school Arts magazine and did some great illustration internships.

Was there anyone who influenced you to become an artist?
I had an Uncle who taught college Art. He was a ceramicist, and his home was filled with the most fantastical art. When I was 9 he made a wonderful dragon for me out of clay, and I still have that dragon in my studio today. Even though he didn't live close by, he was a role model for me, as every aspect of his life was filled with creativity.

Is there one or more artists whose work is an influence?
That's hard. There are so many I admire! I have been fortunate to accompany my Art Professor husband on his school trips to Italy, and I love the altar reliefs of Nicola Pisano, the Brunelleschi Baptistry doors, the Della Robbia reliefs and statues, I am in love with Romanesque and Byzantine art, and am inspired by the simple naive figures, the romanesque carvings on columns and baptismal fonts, and the early mosaics of Ravenna and other Byzantine churches throughout Italy.

What inspires you?
Everything. That's what I love most about being an artist, I think. You get to USE everything you see, and by creating something, you get to fully explore any objects, person or landscape that fascinates you. I also like NOT knowing what I am doing. I am always trying to figure out HOW to create my reliefs, and love the whole discovery process.  
I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old in my life, and they inspire me. The kids I see at my school visits inspire me. my garden... nature...

Would you like to share your art process?
First, when I am given an assignment, I start to research. Research is one of my favorite things to do! I sketch as I gather material, and slowly start to build my composition to the dimension assigned, often using Photoshop to alter sizes and rescale my scanned in drawing. I end up with a very detailed drawing. It is my road map for the final

When I am happy with the sketch I send a jpg to my client, and make any changes they need, then I print 2 to 3 copies  on 11"x17" paper . I put one on my wall above me, one on my drawing table, cover it with wax paper, and just start layering on the clay. Backgrounds first, then, each object at a time.

When I finish the  piece, I shoot it in my studio with a professional digital camera, load into my computer, adjust raw files in Bridge and Photoshop.( actually just starting to learn Lightroom) and send my client a hi res digital file via FTP.

Are there any links you would like to share?
Yes,Thanks! Here are links to my website, my travel blog, my Etsy shop and my youTube channel where I show sped up versions of works in progress.

What types of markets do you create art for?
My work is primarily for Children's Trade Publishing, both book and magazines are my primary market. I have done ad campaigns, CD and book covers and editorial in the grownup world but children's work is my passion. I also spent 8 years as an Art Director in Educational publishing, and have about 80 books in that field. In addition, I do some licensing with puzzles,wallpaper,wall stickers, and greeting cards.

Do you do other things with your Art like teaching?
I don't teach, but I LOVE to do school visits! I love meeting the kids and seeing their creations. I love to travel and try to use the chance to do school visits anywhere from Alabama to Hong Kong, from Indiana to Taiwan! I keep  a travel blog with sketches and observations from my trips and school visits.

Do you pursue other interests such as writing or music?
I don't do music, but I do write. I am thrilled that I recently signed a contract with Charlesbridge for my first picture book as an author! My clay art is not a good fit for Poppy's Best Paper so the illustrations will be done by the wonderful french illustrator, Rosalinde Bonnet.
I also have a lot of fun with iMovie making totally amateur videos of my art process.

Where can your art be found?I have several picture books, Papa Fish's Lullaby, by Patricia Hubbell, and a board book series with the Smithsonian- First Looks at Trucks, Aircraft, and Rescue Vehicles. I also do a lot of work for the Carus publications, Babybug, Ladybug and Spider. I have puzzles with various manufacturers, and wall borders with Chesapeake Wall covering. In addition large 18" x 24" room prints of my work are available on Etsy

What do you like best about what you do?
wow. What's not to like? Maybe the best is just always being on the lookout to turn everyday experiences into art. I like it that the wheels are always turning, and I figure if I can make an illustration fun for myself, then it will be fun for somebody else too. I love working at home in my attic studio, getting my hands dirty as I knead and mix colors, the excitement of seeing a piece take shape. Of course there is always the frustration when it DOESN'T work... but I even appreciate the struggle, even though the struggle is no fun... I always hope to learn by it. 
But maybe the the best part is seeing my work in the hands of kids, and feeling like I am contributing to their lives in some small way.