Friday, February 27, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Teresa Woo-Murray

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Ann!  I'm honored!
I attended the Fine Arts Program at the University of Washington, Seattle taking ceramics, graphic design and filmmaking. I always knew I wanted to be an artist, but could not decide which kind of artist, so I tried a little bit of everything! After college I somehow became a professional musician and I played piano with bands that traveled through out the country for the next ten years until I decided to return to art as a career. I got my first "real art job" as an in-house production artist and worked my way up to senior designer/art director in 8 years. After that, I struck out on my own as a freelancer and immediately had great clients and plenty of work. I attribute this to being an in-house artist where I was able to soak up everything I could from my very talented colleagues, on-the-job training, I suppose. The company believed in giving their artists improvement opportunities and I jumped at the chance to take Photoshop and multi-media courses. To this day I continue to take as many continuing education classes as I can. The most recent courses were in Textile Design at Otis College of Art and Design. 

Do you work in just one medium? Several?

I mainly work in digital, but many designs begin as pencil sketches just to get the ideas flowing and then I will either ink my design elements or go directly to the computer. Occasionally I will paint with watercolors or gouache.

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?

This is one of those tough, but easy questions because the best answer is - it comes from everywhere.  Books, magazines, conversations, nature - I love animals! - or just sweating out a deadline.  Sometimes I'll look at other artist's work, but that can become distracting. If I do look at other artists they tend to be illustrators from the 50's and 60's like Mary Blair and the Provensens. I'm a huge fan of Mirosav Sasek and I am trying to collect every single one of his books!

What are you working on now?
I'm starting to work on Christmas and after that will work on Everyday. I just finished up some Valentines. These designs are for specific licensees.  I hope to have time soon to work on some new collections, just some ideas I've been dreaming of doing and hope to drum up interest later. 

Anything else you would like to share with us?
I was exhibiting last year at Surtex and had a few samples out on the table. While I was away from the booth, a former licensee from a few years back stopped by and saw one of their products. They said they'd return later, which they did. While looking through my portfolio, the art buyer said, I want these three designs! I reminded her she had licensed them years ago and the contract had expired.  She said I don't care, I want them again! That's the beauty of licensing!

Advice? There is a plethora of art licensing advice out there these days in the form of personal coaches, seminars,  blogs, linkedin groups, online courses, etc. which is great. The most important thing is to try and find your own voice/style or styles that reflect who you are. Next, get yourself out there! This is advice from someone who is shy and embarrassed to toot my own horn. As a freelancer, I didn't have to do that because work steadily came from recommendations. Art licensing is a business and the artist must learn the business of making, licensing or selling art. I've also been slow to use social media and promote myself, but if they can't find you, how are they going to know you're there? I've been getting a little better at using social media. Isn't that how you found me Ann? (Me: Yes!!)

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Early riser. Contrary to my musician days.

What is your favorite food?
All food. I cook almost everyday. It's great way to relax and get away from the computer.

Thank you again for featuring me! I can be found at these following places:

Facebook.  Please stop by and like my page and leave a link to yours:

Linked In:

If you are interested in licensing my artwork and wish to see my online portfolio:
Call 818 242-3465 or email me at

THANK YOU for stopping by my blog!
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