Who are you and what do you do?
I am a retired manufacturing engineer that has always enjoyed being creative.
My passions are my family and my cats. I have been a cat lover since I was very small. I have had several dogs too, but cats just seem to fit me. Yes, I admit it, I am the resident cat lady.
We currently have 2 Bengal cats and 1 Savannah cat. They are very active cats and provide me with endless inspiration for my designs.
When and why did you become an artist/designer?
I was fortunate to have an early retirement in the spring of 2011. I had been active online prior to retirement and had been making elaborate avatars and fun images with my cats. I got a lot of complements and started getting requests for images and decided to see if there was a way to sell my creations. By the end of summer I had joined both Zazzle and CafePress with a few images on products.
There was quite a learning curve for me to design for PODs. I was used to making the images in whatever size I wanted. I also knew zero about SEO and promoting products.
What type of media do you create in – photography, digital, mixed media?
I learned Photoshop and Autocad while on the job and used Corel Photo Impact at home. Photo Impact was discontinued and now I use Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop Elements. I also use DAZ 3D with some 3D characters to add to my designs.
I love photography and as an amateur photographer, I love my Canon Rebel and my Canon t2i.
All my designs are in a digital format. I am constantly learning new techniques to expand my skills.
Who is your intended audience?
I believe all my designs are family friendly and people really love my cats. To date, most of the people who have purchased products with my designs have been women but not all my sales have been cat themed designs. So that shows, not all my customers are cat ladies.
Where do you get inspiration?
My cat’s crazy antics and facial expressions are quite an inspiration for many of my designs. I also enjoy making designs from photos taken on trips that I have been on. Another inspiration comes from when something funny happens to me or a family member.
What is your preferred subject and why:
My cats are my favorite subject. They usually bring a smile to someone’s face when they see them. I love to make people laugh or go awwww when they see a sweet kitty’s face. So many people tell me “I just love your cats!” which really makes me happy.
What artwork of yours is your favorite and why?
My shop, Over Rainbow Bridge on Zazzle has a few of my favorite designs. The story of Rainbow Bridge came from an anonymous poem about pet loss. It tells a lovely story of a pet and their person being reunited after death. This has become a source of comfort to many who have lost their pets. My shop has several cat designs and a few dog designs. I have to be in the right frame of mind to design for this shop. I put a lot of feeling into these designs. I have several comment that the designs have brought tears to their eyes.
I try to put a little joy in the designs too. This kitty has gotten a pair of angel wings and is stretching up high trying to catch it’s brand new halo.
What advice would you give a new artist/designer beginning their POD adventure?
Anyone wanting to try to sell their art or designs in the POD world needs to be willing to try new things. Try new styles of art or design, new software, new mediums. Some people put up a few designs and walk away, that will never bring any measure of success.
Learn that what works for someone else in this business may not work for you but at the same time, be willing to try some advice given by other people that have been designing for a while. Some people are lucky and find success much faster than others but most of the people I know have worked at this for a few years and at different levels of what they perceive as success.
Do you have an online portfolio, shop or a blog where we can view your work?
An animal lover shop where animals are our pals so they are Anipals. My Anipals and other pet themed designs are at Friends Of Fursplace shop
And for fun, if you could; what superpower would you have and why?
My super power would be to actually be able to talk to all animals and translate from human to animal and animal to human. I think that would really help people and animals live in a more loving world.