Friday, November 4, 2016
Artist Spotlight - Cathy Braffet Richardson
Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
Art to me: The constant appreciation of visual awareness is something that inspires me every day... whether working on a freelance project, creating my own line of designs, hosting a workshop or collaborating with my kids on an art project or dreaming about starting a creative business with my daughter Melissa, art and the creative process is part of my soul.
Looking back to my drawings and paintings as a kid, I have always loved bright color, whimsical line and bold shapes. From a very young age I remember creating art.... when ever I could. I vividly remember how I felt looking at colors in the sky at different times of the day, and the negative space/composition looking up into the sky through canopy of leaves in a tree. Nature’s lessons shaping my passion of graphic arts and design before I even knew what that was. I believe my creative connection with others, a relationship with nature and a spiritual trust have all built my foundation as an artist.
I received my BFA from Syracuse University's School of Visual Art, where I learned creative discipline and confidence that I could be one day be successful doing what I love. THIS, and supportive parents were the key to the start of my professional life as an artist. After college I studied abroad in Europe through a post graduate semester at Parsons and found my passion of printed fabric and architecture. Both geometric, and organic forms and the repetition in both design disciplines have also shaped my style and visual presence. During my early 20s I lived and worked in NYC. My first graphic design position was at Kick Design where I learned what licensed character art "was". The impact of how the design process of licensed consumer goods was a field I would eternally be connected to. In the mid 90s I was hired by The Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles as a staff designer at Disney Consumer Products. This to me was an artist's dream come true.
Learning about licensing, design in consumer markets from my mentors during this time of my life helped me build confidence in own art style and brought me to where I am today. My licensing agents, Paul and Marcy at Creatif have been wonderful helping me grow as an illustrator. My clients help me to grow professionally but also allow me to keep current in market trends and in technology.
Most importantly, my family teaches and supports me daily with creative balance and bless my life. This is an art of itself.
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
On a daily basis I work in Adobe Illustrator and have a love affair with vector points for sure. That said, it is my natural joy to paint and draw in a mixed medium format with acrylics/dyes/pens brushes and textures in my sketch books. Creating art with others in either a one-on-one or workshop format “fills my cup! And gets the creative juices flowing”.
What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I find inspiration from my kids; their interests, their lifestyle markets in apparel, home goods, social media trends, music and actually their dreams and desires. I also have always found inspiration through color palettes in fashion and in nature, amazing visual artists, activists and yogis and of course our beautiful Texas Sky....
How did you start licensing your art?
Throughout my career I have worked with entertainment licenses ie Disney etc, designing art for a license OR designing art-product for a licensee. I thought for many years, if flowers I create for Minnie Mouse can sell and be admired, "MY" Flowers for Cathy B. can sell too! Creatif, my agents and I found each other at a perfect time and the story moves on and up from there :)
What are you working on now?
Currently I am freelancing for The Disney Stores and saving up my pennies to start a creative business with my daughter Melissa. We are so excited to create & sell "our art line" on t shirts and other products! Its WIP and very exciting!!!! I am also working on a line of baby prints in a watercolor style which is sort of new for me.
Any great advice for our readers?
My advice to any creative person, is DON'T GIVE UP! And to have an open mind to see and hear others in a creative process. I have learned there are MANY ways and many directions to take something and always areas to grow - a project, a career direction and a dream. Knowing or experiencing what you "don't like" is just as important as knowing what you LOVE. Don't be scared professionally to share your art with others. Supporting other artists, trusting in creative collaboration is amazing! Respect, have gratitude and embrace the "art" of communication and connection with others, with your art and with your creative environment.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
I would love to ask the reader a question, What is your life purpose and what is your mission with your art? This is something I have been working on personally for the past few years and has been extremely important to me in my creative and professional journey. What I have come up with is this: AND I LOVE it. It have brought a deeper purpose into my art and my direction.
care. create. communicate
This is my mission and my creative purpose.
Gosh, I'd love for you all to check out my website. In the new year, it will be updated with some really fun new and current projects as well as a link to "our store" My daughter and I are opening up a very special little business! www.cathybdesign.com
Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I am a total night owl and some of my best work comes from working all nighters and sometimes even last minute deadlines! (shhh!) :) Finding your groove with sleep patterns/creative process for sure helps with starting and or finishing a project! Now that took years to figure out.....
What is your favorite food?
Dark chocolate, my daughter's chocolate chip cookies, "The Fountain" veggie juice from Juice Land and yellow tail sushi.
You can find Cathy Braffet Richardson:
I also have a little word of mouth local"ish" side business creating personalized gifts that might be worth checking out: http://www.facebook.com/cathybdesign
Creatif Licensing: http://www.creatifusa.com/
Lastly, I want to thank Annie for connecting with me through linked in, this is such a powerful networking platform. Used correctly with a little elbow grease and communication skills, connecting with professionals here has been very successful. https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathybdesign