Hi Annie! Thanks for the opportunity to be in the spotlight. It’s a honor to be here and share with you and your readers. - My absolute pleasure! (Annie)
Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have been “self-teaching” since before I can remember. I grew up creating art and little gift products to give and sell to friends and family. My parents were very supportive and encouraged me to take some extra art classes, and enrolling me at University of Colorado when I was 16 years old to study painting and life drawing during the summer break. I won numerous awards for my art and enough scholarships to put me through a few different degree programs in college. I took classes in ALL the art majors and as many non-art electives as possible at a total of 4 colleges! In 4 years, I had earned the equivalent of a triple BFA in Illustration, Graphic Design and Fine Art with a minor in Leadership and emphases in French and Biblical Studies. You can probably tell by now that I LOVE to learn. I have never stopped taking classes in areas of the arts, business and marketing. Every job I do and every person I meet is an opportunity to learn something new. I feel very blessed for all the teachers, bosses, and clients that influenced me. I also follow current artists/designers of many disciplines, including the many greats that came before us. There is so much out there to explore and learn if you make a point to do it.
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
Combining and mixing media tends to be the best method for me. Water based media like watercolor, gouache and acrylics, are just fabulous for the way I like to create. Inks are also a favorite to add to the mix. Colored pencils, pastels, markers, and even 3D elements like paper collage, fabric, and embroidery have made their way into my works over the years. Working digitally is also easy for me. I enjoy using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but prefer the handmade look and feel of traditional artwork. I’m always looking for a new way to approach a medium and add it to my art making toolbox. Recently, I have been exploring gold and silver leafing. Someday, I wish to do some more encaustic painting, as well.
What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
Thinking and problem solving is what I do most, thus an idea can come from just about anywhere. Nature, especially florals, and COLOR are a great influence on me. Experiences that I’ve had or idealized experiences and stories can be a great jumping off point for a new collection. Traveling is very influential when I get the chance. My hard drive is over-stuffed with thousands upon thousands of photos of my curious explorations from Canada to Mexico and from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and everywhere in between.
What are you working on now?
All kinds of things! I just finished teaching an intensive 8-week class on Illustration Marketing that I developed for Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. I’m working on some 3-D garden decor pieces, stationery items, repeats for fabric and home accessory items. We just signed a deal for stamps to go with our Something to Cherish® stencils. I can’t wait to get some to play with! I’ll be posting about these projects and more on my blog (www.SomethingtoCherish.com/blog) and on Instagram (www.Instagram.com/cherishart) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/SomethingToCherish) in the coming months. Stay tuned!
I am also excited to be co-leading an art retreat called ArtBizJam this fall (www.ArtBizJam.com). It’s the perfect 3-day getaway for any art licensing artist who wants to re-energize their creativity and level-up their business. I’m honored to be teaching my top art marketing tips and tools alongside of very talented artists Lori Siebert and Phyllis Dobbs who will be teaching from their areas of creativity, product design and licensing expertise. The best part is that we have a marvelous guest speaker, Susan January, art director VP at Leanin’ Tree. She will be sharing her expertise about the greeting card industry all 3-days, looking at portfolios and answering questions of all the attendees. It’s going to be a marvelous opportunity to learn even more about the world of social expressions in a small classroom environment.
However, the project that takes up most of my time that I’m super excited about is the ArtLicensingShow.com. It’s thrilling to hear back from so many artists who have signed deals by using the site. The art directors are loving how easy it is to login and see lots of FRESH, NEW art for licensing. It’s free for art directors/manufacturers who license art to join (similar to joining LinkedIn for example, once you are in, you can connect with the artists). Any pro in the business is also invited to sign up for a free listing in the Ultimate Art Licensing Directory (artists, agents, attorneys, vendors, coaches etc…). You never know who will be looking for you! Also, for artists who are super serious about both protecting their art online AND submitting it to key art directors at the same time, this is the place to be. There are several affordable membership levels that allow you to upload and privately share your work with the people you want to work with most. Best of all, you keep 100% of your profits from any deal you sign from using the site. It really is a virtual art licensing show. We have many things in the works for our upcoming 1 year anniversary! It’s an exciting time.
Of course, you know all about it Annie, since you lead our most popular group on Art Licensing Show called 2nd Thursdays (http://artlicensingshow.com/groups/2nd-thursdays/) Thanks for asking me to share a little update. ;)
Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Night owl is my original nature, but lately with the winter cold, I’ve enjoyed getting up early to enjoy more warm sunlight in my studio.
What is your favorite food?
Chocolate, of course! I especially like the dark kind with a fruity pairing like orange, cherry or raspberry. I also drink a lot of herbal tea. :)
Any great advice for our readers?
Do whatever it takes to find the courage to follow your dreams. It’s not easy, but life is short and precious. It’s worth facing the fears, it’s worth the sacrifices, and it’s worth the extra measure of forgiveness to have an open heart and free mind to focus on your passionate callings. Take every opportunity you can and MAKE even more opportunities to be the person you are created to be.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
I just want to say that I’m profoundly grateful for all the incredible people in our vibrant art licensing community. When I exhibited at my first international licensing show, I knew that I had finally met “my people.” Having been in and around people in this business for so long, I know for a fact that the creatives who make it in this business are the hardest working artists on the planet. They are extraordinarily passionate about making a contribution to the world. They are incredibly dedicated to do all that is required and they are always willing to lend a helping hand to someone on the way up. Hats off to ALL of you! May your generosity and kindness be rewarded and your creativity never fade.
You can find Cherish online at:
Something to Cherish® http://somethingtocherish.com
This is the place to find my blog, art boutique, craft DIYs, and links to all my social media. <3
ArtLicensingShow.com®: http://artlicensingshow.com/members/somethingtocherish/profile/Learn more about Art Licensing Show at www.RedCarpet.ArtLicensingShow.com
Thanks so much Cherish for shouting out my "2nd Thursdays" group and for letting us get a peek into your very busy world. I am inspired!
Do you want to be spotlighted? email me info@AnnGraphics.com. Make my day and follow this blog! Leave your thoughts and reactions in the comments below - thanks :-D