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!

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:

Creatif Licensing:

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.


Make my day! and Buy me a cup of coffee (PayPal Link in right side bar, you don't need a PayPal acct.).

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  1. Great interview and very interesting to hear your history and points of view Cathy... Love your style and sense of design, and patterning. Wonderful that you can share your joy of art with your daughter, Melissa. I know the two of you will go far. :) Thank you and of course to Annie. I don't think I'd have a good answer for you as to life's mission. I've drifted through life saying I want to do everything, read everything, and learn about everything but once I knew how to do something, I was off to the next thing. It wasn't until I finally tried a watercolor class ( fully expecting my interest in it to be over in a month or so) that I guess I found my place. My mission with my art is simple.. To bring a smile to the face of others when they lay eyes on a particular painting or design. Also of course I wish to feel satisfied with a painting, because that brings me contentment. I believe we Artists are blessed because we get to do what we love... Not everyone is so lucky to have a job that fulfills them, gives contentment and brings peace to the soul. Thanks for your input again... Jo

  2. Hi Jo! We have the same mission :-D Thanks so much for stopping by the blog <3

  3. HI Jo! Gosh I love and thank you for your note. I appreciate your kind words very very much! I cant wait to share with Melis. I am so happy to read your mission statement. The awareness is really is important to me. It has taken me 22 years to figure mine out. In my 20's, success was based on a "sale" a dollar amount, and that of a name game.... I truly wanted to BE Martha Stewart combined with Seymour Chwast and Mary Blair.... The role models still very much the same, but the reason behind my visions and understanding of success, very different. I love that you went out of your comfort zone and tried H2O.....and how this has affected your art and your painting What a blessing! !!!! We are SO lucky to have realized and figured out we love what we do and who we are. AND how what we do can affect others in a positive way. ;)

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