Sharon Fernleaf * Artist
Blessing Art Animals
I have known Sharon for a few years. We met through our work at Cafepress, and the moment I saw her art I fell in love. Sharon has a fabulous sense of peace and wonder that she delightfully shares in every image she creates. We can see how lovely her heart is through her work. I am excited to share the insight and whimsy of Sharon’s art with you…
What do you create?
Two things mostly–humorous illustration and “mystical” landscapes.
What medium do you enjoy most?
I love the versatility and forgiveness of digital illustration, but I still want to make things with my hands. I love painting and drawing with pen.
What title would you give yourself?
I like “artist” because it is a big word with lots of room in it to wander around.
How did you get started?
I’ve always doodled and have a bunch of notebooks full of them, but I actually thought of making a living from it after a writer friend in Seattle asked me to illustrate a book of affirmations for her and we got a lot of great response. And then I started doing logos and fliers for alternative businesses in Seattle and covers for the local alternative paper. It was fun getting paid to do something I’d have done anyway!
Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:
I have a lot of favorite artists and creatives, but there are three who have had a big impact on me and how I look at imagination and life. C. S. Lewis when I was 8, taught me that there can be magic or wonder inside the most ordinary of things. Henri Rousseau for magical paintings that came entirely from his imagination. And Kathe Kollwitz for her humanity and art as activism. Her work was, is, incredibly powerful and I have always believed in the power of art to heal and enlighten.
What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
I’m self-taught except for 3 semesters of drawing, sculpture, and design at a community college in oregon. I had wonderful teachers there. It’s easier to find your own style or vision for that reason–you don’t know any better so you can do anything.
Do you feel you’re successful?
Depends on the day! Some days I feel fortunate to be able to do what I do and others where I wonder why I am not Mary Englebreit or something. Although she’s doing that part pretty well already.
What do you like most about what you do?
I love to laugh and making other people smile or laugh is a great way to earn a living! Who doesn’t enjoy humor? And I like going to an internal still place when I’m working on landscapes. It’s a kind of spiritual practice.
What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
I think it’s important to pay attention to where you are drawn–if it makes you happy to think of making quilts or painting or whatever…and you are not doing it, try. You never know what gifts are lined up for you along the way when you follow what you love.
What are you most proud of?
My relationship with my daughter.
Where to buy Sharon’s art: