Little Lizzy Lou and Kate Glenn too

Kate GlennChief Designer
LittleLizzyLou Designs

Kate and I started design and selling at Cafepress right about the same time. I noticed her right away because she had no problem jumping into the forums and asking for feedback on her designs. There’s something truly wonderful about the power of simplicity, and I think that’s where Kate’s designs live… and quite happily. She’s helped a number of people share their passions and joy with her custom Little Lizzy Lou designs. Kate has also been a big supporter for Breast Cancer Awareness. I finally had the opportunity to meet Kate and her Husband June of 2008. They are such a fun couple to be around – Always smiling and ready to share a conversation about whatever comes up. Kate’s passion for her work and her genuine interest in those around her becomes apparent the moment you meet her!

What do you create?
I have created two main characters – Little Lizzy and Little Lou. Most of my designs are of these simple & cute characters with their favorite things. I have designs in awareness, celebrations, music, politics, sports, animals, food & drinks, and miscellaneous fun. I also create custom designs in all of these categories, which seems to be really popular.

Girl & Pink Ribbon

Boy & Penguin

Girl & Daisy

What medium do you enjoy most?
I work with digital graphics primarily. However, I’ve been working on recreating my designs on a sketch pad to broaden my horizons.

What title would you give yourself?
I started calling myself “Chief Designer” about a year or so ago. I reach out to my friends & family for ideas & inspiration, so even though I’m doing the creating & designing, I feel like it’s bigger than me.

How did you get started?
I’ve always been a creative & artistic person, but I got started with the LittleLizzyLou characters in February 2005. The Lizzy character is named for my sister, and was created for her birthday. Lou is named for me, since my mom called me Katie Lou a ton while I was growing up. I started with a few designs for each character, and the whole thing just snowballed from there! I started doing this full-time in September 2008.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I know this is a total cliche, but I want my designs to be recognized everywhere! I want to be able to create my designs for people for years to come, and would love to be able to change lives with them.

Kate Glenn and Pink Ribbon Little Lizzy Lou
Kate Glenn and Pink Ribbon Little Lizzy Lou

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:

Sujean Rim – She does the illustrations for Daily Candy & they are so detailed & adorable!

Beverly Boulton (my mom) – Mom is the one who taught me how to be unique & artistic, and to turn nothing into something. Her new company, Gee Bee’s Goods, puts her creativity to a great new use.

Lisa Robinson – a very good friend of mine, Lisa is a photographer, and her photos are so artistic & beautiful.

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?
I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, with a Concentration in E-Commerce, which has been amazingly helpful to me as I grow my brand & market my designs. I don’t have any formal graphic design training, but I would love to do this in the future!

Do you feel you’re successful?
I think there are different levels of success, and I think I’m on my way. Marketing is my greatest challenge. I had a design featured in Redbook Magazine in February/March 2008, which was an amazing opportunity. I’m convinced that if the right people see my work, it will just take off! How could you not love these little characters?!

Little Lizzy Lou and a Wedding Cake

Little Lizzy Lou and water bottle labels

What do you like most about what you do?
Honestly, the thing I like most about what I do is working with my customers to create their custom designs. I have a lot of designs geared toward Breast Cancer Awareness, along with many other diseases. When a customer emails me their story, I am so touched & I feel so blessed that my design might make a difference to someone going through a challenging time. If I can bring a smile to their face, I feel like that’s such an amazing gift. Not everyone is as lucky to have that interaction with their customers.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?
My advice to others would be to always carry a little notepad & pen with you. You never know when inspiration might strike, and the last thing you want is to have this great idea, and then lose it because you don’t have a way to document it.

What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the fact that I believe in my designs. This is hard work, and a lot of people might give up. I believe that my designs can change people’s lives, even as simple & cute as they are. Sometimes that’s all you need in life!

Girl & Coffee

Boy & Drum

Girl & Earth

Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:
I think Jen Goode is an amazing person & artist. I strive to be like her one day!

Note from Jen: Thank you! I didn’t offer chocolate or cash for that comment… but I do believe that good people find eachother no matter where they go. I think we’ll only become closer as time goes on.

Photography of Brad Crooks


Brad Crooks
“A Fan’s Guide to Sports Museums and Halls of Fame”

Brad and I met just this past year when I invited a friends over for a summer BBQ. He is an amazingly talented, giving man and also extraordinarily humble about his skills. Viewing his images, it’s almost like he is painting with his lens. One of the most interesting things about Brad, he and his camera truly are one… every time I talk to him he’s heading off somewhere to take shots of something, just because that’s what he does. It’s not his job, although I’m positive he could make a living from it if he wanted to. Because of his love for what he sees, his images always have a unique personal touch. Currently you can not purchase any of his work… but maybe one of these days he’ll share his talents with the world so you can be one of the lucky owners. I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to talk with Brad face-to-face and so thankful to be able to call him a friend.

How did you get started?

My Father was a photographer. By the time I was ten I had a twin lens Rollei, a studio, a darkroom, all the film and paper I needed, a teacher (my dad), and a job taking photos for my local newspaper @ fifteen dollars a print.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don’t ever want to grow up!!


Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives

1) I love the Hudson River School artists. They were mid 19th century American landscape artists. Their landscapes had a very real, but romantic quality.

2) Andrew Wyeth is also one of my favorites. His simple landscapes and portraits are amazing. Andrew died three weeks ago (1/16/09).

3) I should probably pick one photographer… since I am one. How about Alfred Eisenstaedt. I believe he was chosen by his peers as the photojournalist of the century. His images appeared in Life Magazine for 50 years. They represented ‘America’.


What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?

I had no official training other than working at my Father’s Studio for years. I guess part of my training was, and still is, to study the work of great photographers. Constantly shooting, trial and error, and learning through experience is my number one teacher.


Do you feel you’re successful?

There are levels of success, so my answer would be yes – but there’s still many facets of photography I want to succeed at.

What do you like most about what you do?

The people I meet, and the places I travel to.


What #1 piece of advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

Study great photographs to see how they were done. Learn how your camera sees versus how your own eyes see. Practice, practice, practice.

What are you most proud of?

That my photography has appeared in over 45 major US newspapers, including the New York Times and the Boston Globe.


View more of Brad Crook’s photography through his flickr gallery.

The Art of Tara Reed

artistsbrainTara ReedArtistic Life Designer
Licensed Artist, illustrator, designer

Tara Reed Designs, Inc.
Art Licensing Information

I’ve recently met Tara through my participation with Twitter. I am still not quite sure how we crossed paths, but I am absolutely delighted we have. Tara is wonderfully upbeat and encouraging. She always seems to have advice and thoughts to share with others… I love her organic lines and downright friendly art style. Most of all I adore the fact that she also doodles

What do you create?

I create collections of art that I license to manufacturers to put on their products. I look at it as a mix between “traditional” and “commercial” art. “Traditional” because I’m not creating logos and brochures but rather themed art icons, borders and patterns. “Commercial” because as an artist who licenses their art, it is important to remember the role of your art: to help sell products. With the manufacturer being my first client (it then trickles down to retail stores and finally consumers — that’s a lot of people to please!) I need to be flexible and attuned to what the manufacturer needs to make their product stand out from others and appeal to their client. It’s very different from traditional art for ‘self expression’.

What medium do you enjoy most?

I like watercolors. A lot of people ask why I don’t go totally digital but I have to tell you, sitting at my desk and playing with the water and paint brings me such joy! If I’m ever feeling overwhelmed or slightly scattered, I remind myself to “go play with paint!” and it always makes me feel better. All of the hand-created work is then scanned into Photoshop™ and manipulated as well– which gives me the flexibility I need. I don’t know how artists worked before Photoshop™!

What title would you give yourself?

Funny, but I think this is the hardest question you ask! I’ve come up with “Artistic Life Designer” — since I’m designing my own artistic life and helping others design theirs as well. Plus, I thought it sounded better than “Woman who paints pictures, scrubs toilet bowls and everything in between” — that’s just a bit long! 🙂


How did you get started?

I’ve heard you become a “professional” when you make your first dollar. That means I went “pro” when I had my first font published in the May 2001 issue of Creating Keepsakes™ Magazine. That led me to look into designing in the scrapbooking industry when it was growing at an amazing pace. I worked with EK Success™ as a Creative Alliance Partner (their then fancy name for a licensee) for 2 years then switched and worked as a Contributing Editor for Simple Scrapbooks™ Magazine. In 2004 I ventured out of the scrapbooking niche into the world of art licensing and continue with that today

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy! I want flexibility in what I do, financial freedom to do what I want, I want to travel, meet fun and interesting people and have new and creative challenges. I guess I’m pretty grown up because I’m incredibly happy with what I do and have all the rest to some degree or other.


Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:

Mary Engelbreit. I’ve loved her sayings, checks and cherries since I was little and she is a HUGE inspiration — who embodies “successful art licensor” more than Mary?

Thomas Kinkade – he makes my favorite list for his ability to market himself as THE artist you think of for an entire style of art. So many artists paint with the same basic techniques (don’t get me wrong, he’s an amazing artist) but have you seen anyone do that in any other art form? No one has marketed themselves to be THE artist you think of when you think of watercolors, acrylics or any other medium. He is an art marketing legend in my book!

Rie Munoz — not in the licensing world but as I sat pondering this question, she popped in my head. An artist from Alaska I have been drawn to her work for years — it makes me smile, I love her colors, her technique, her story – so she makes the list! (

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?

I have a degree in Marketing from Penn State and a few years of sales under my belt before I joined the ranks of “stay at home mom”. My business background has affected how I look at and have built my business, and I believe, has contributed immensely to my success. I have always been creative, I think I’ve tried every craft on the planet, and could always be found drawing and doodling. So the art part is from within but not “formally” trained. Does that make sense?


Do you feel you’re successful?

Wow! What a great question! I was just talking to my mom about that yesterday… what defines success. It is different for everyone but yes, I feel incredibly successful. I LOVE what I do and I do it on my terms. I won’t do many things that “make me cranky”. (Some of my clients think that’s pretty funny– I think they are jealous. When you work for someone else you don’t get the choose what you do at the level a self-employed person does.) My ‘work’ is evolving into so many different things, there are always new projects, new things to do, new things to learn. I have an amazing son and I am home to enjoy him. (OK, some days to tell him to clean up but it’s still “face time”… I’m not at an office all day.) I love where I live (Portland, Oregon)– and I live here by choice, not because it is close to the office I go to every day. I believe that if you do what you love and wake up with a smile on your face most mornings, consider yourself a success!

What do you like most about what you do?

I like the creative challenges, the variety of tasks and the flexibility of the work.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

Do something every day. There are times when self-doubt will creep in and try and convince you to stop trying, that you or your art aren’t good enough, that you have to have connections to succeed… none of it is true. That nasty bugger tries to take over my brain on occasion and I bet it creeps into Mary’s and Oprah’s too… here’s a great quote to keep in mind: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

about-phototara-reedWhat are you most proud of?

I am most proud of myself for continuous stepping out on limbs that scare me a little. When I got divorced in 2004, the easy thing to do would have been to give up on the dream of my licensing business and get a “safe” job in sales. So glad I didn’t. Deciding to branch out into eBooks, teaching and coaching was scary too — what if no one liked what I had to say? But it has been amazingly rewarding. I have connected with so many amazing artists I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I love that aspect of my work too. I love to paint, teach, write, market, meet interesting people — and I’ve managed to do all of that and more. Awesome!

Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:
Jen, thank you so much for asking me to do this interview. Your questions are great and really made me ‘think’, I hope my answers inspire others to go for it and follow their heart, their passion and their dreams. Go forth and create your dream life — I believe you can!

A beautiful view of the world: Shawn Ingram


Shawn Ingram
• Photographer
specializing in Nature Photography

Pristine Photography

Shawn and I met through Cafepress and a mutual friend. He and I both dip our toes into programming for our own business use yet we each have our artistic interests as well. We often find ourselves brainstorming in a wide array of topics from life in general to business success on a regular basis. I have not yet had the opportunity to shake the man’s hand in person – but that day will come for sure. He has been a great motivator, a consistent voice of reason and encouragement and someone I am honored to call a good friend – even if he does think the Steelers are a team worth rooting for.


How did you get started?

My dad was always into photography as a hobby.  As a kid we were always featured in 8mm movies, slides, or tons of pictures.  I guess a little bit of it rubbed off.  As I got older, I started snapping more.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A national geographer on-location photographer would be awesome.


Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:

Ansel Adams – I love his eye for subjects and his black and white work is just mind blowing, Jen Goode – penguin rules and thats all I gotta say.

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?

As I kid I always loved art but never really did anything with it other than drawing at home.  I was out of school before I got my first camera and was in my 30s before I really started developing my style.  Two women that I dated were instrumental in pushing me to show my work.


Do you feel you’re successful?

Well if being a starving artist is a success, then I am.  I haven’t really figured out the whole marketing aspect of getting people to buy photography.  I have sold a few and I have won some contests with my photography so to me that is a success.  Knowing that others appreciate nature through my eyes enough that they purchase/vote for my photography tells me that I’m successful in sharing the world through my eyes.

What do you like most about what you do?

I love nature and I love being able to share the way I see nature with others.


What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

Don’t…  lol.  Find someone who is doing this and able to pay their bills with it and mentor them.  Once ya figure out how to pay the bills with it, share some insight with us starving artists!  Seriously though, follow your dreams and what you enjoy. While I may not be paying the bills with my photography, I love what I’m doing and money does trickle in from it.  These days, every penny coming in is a good penny.

You can also find Shawn’s work for purchase through the following locations:

Pristine Photography at Imagekind – prints and framed art
Pristine Photography at Cafepress – Specialty items, decor and apparel

Visions of wonderment with evisionArts

blog4.gifMary Ogle • Artist

I met Mary not very long ago, yet I can’t seem to remember how long it’s actually been. Sometimes it seems like we’ve talked for ages and then there are days when I forget what we talked about yesterday. Regardless, we always have wonderful “ah ha!” moments and sessions of dreamy brainstorming.

Mary has touched many with her fabulous art, thought provoking words and caring insight. She’s delightful to work with and a true motivator. I am confident her honest and kind mentoring skills have opened eyeballs around the globe for years.


What do you create?

I create all sorts of things. My biggest love is figure painting and drawing and painting animals. But I’m always ready to try new things. Right now I’m actually starting preliminary work on a graphic novel.

What medium do you enjoy most?

Digital. Though I do still get an urge to oil paint every once in a while.


How did you get started?

Well I kind of always did this. My mother says I was born with a pencil in my hand. I just can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing.

9.jpgWhat do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m doing it.

Name three favorite artists/designers/creative:

Egon Schiele – a beautiful drawer, lovely use of line;
Arthur Rackham – he created stunning children book illustrations;
Frida Kahlo – an emotional painter who was never afraid to show her innermost feelings.

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?

Life. I did go to art school – Art Center College of Design and Rhode Island School of Design. It had its advantages and disadvantages. If you want to learn to draw then draw. A lot. All the time. Everything. Especially the human figure. I drew 8 hours a day at times in art school and that training was invaluable.


Do you feel you’re successful?

Yes. Success is a state of mind. I became successful when I commited whole heartedly to following my path no matter where it led me.

What do you like most about what you do?

Freedom! I am not a 9 to 5 kind of girl. I hated being trapped in an office. At least to me it felt like a trap. I love going to the grocery store in the middle of the day – or working in the middle of the night.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

Never, ever, ever give up. Perseverance is the key.

What are you most proud of?

Finally learning to believe in myself.



Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:

The world is full of negativity. People will constantly be telling you that you can’t do this or that won’t work. You have the choice whether to listen to them or not. Learn to be an advocate for yourself. Oh and be nice to people.

[tags]artists, mary ogle, evisionarts[/tags]

Creative Knots: Kristen Fox, Inspiring through Art

Kristen N. Fox
• Conscious CreatorWebsite: Art of FoxVox

I first ran across Kristen’s work about a year and a half ago and have been in awe ever since. Her talents cross over a wide variety of media, yet her heart can be seen in every piece she creates. Kristen’s work has inspired many and her ability to unbiasedly listen and teach has helped many among myself.

I was elated to finally have the opportunity to meet Kristen just a few week’s ago. Her joyful personality was no surprise; it was nice to finally sit and talk to someone I consider a dear friend and peer in the creative universe.

Today I have the pleasure to share with you the insights of this truly wonderful Designer Mind…

What do you create?

My main focus is Celtic Knotwork and Spiral art, although I draw and paint in watercolors and acrylics too. Of course, creativity tends to spill over and run amuck if you start letting it into any one area, so everyday life tends to get pretty creative too in its own ways.

Cool Celtic Dragonfly
Celtic Dragon Labyrinth
Celtic Butterfly
Celtic Mandala Emblem
Celtic Mandala Emblem
Celtic Tree of Life
Celtic Springtime Mandala
Celtic Autumn Leaves

What medium do you enjoy most?

Anything that involves color! Watercolor for its unpredictability, acrylics for its vibrance, and the computer for its flexibility and that wonderful ‘UNDO’ option.

What title would you give yourself?

I’d probably call myself a Conscious Creator, since that combines my artistic leanings with my metaphysical perspective on life.

How did you get started?

By drawing on the walls in my room when I was a kid. (For some reason, my mother was NOT impressed with my creative genius at the time.) We lived in a ranch house and I wanted to have an upstairs like my grandfather had in his house, so I drew stairs on the wall. Then I quickly hid the drawing behind a toy kitchen set I had in my room because I knew I’d get into trouble. Soon after that my mother got me a pad of newspaper print drawing paper.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Hey – nobody told me I had to grow up!!

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:

Lori Rase-Hall ( for her fabulously zany and uber colorful watercolor paintings and energetic approach to life.

Bradley W. Schenck ( for his masterful alchemy with Celtic Art and 3-D computer graphics, as well as his retro-futuristic art and story-telling humor.

And then after that I’d have to list a plethora of creative artists and designers, excellent friends, that I interact with almost everyday online in various venues – graphic designers, web designers, artists, photographers, musicians – the list just goes on, and I appreciate them all on so many different levels.

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?


I took two years of art classes in my freshman and sophomore years in high school but then shifted more to a left-brained approach and went more into computer programming. (I think Geometry class combined my love of art/spacial structure with logic.) In college, I started as a computer science major and then switched, again after two years, into a more creative angle, at least relatively speaking, and got my B.S. in Technical Communications with a minor in Computer Science. I spent over five years writing software user manuals by day and doing art/writing fiction at night.


Then after all that, it was relatively easy to learn html coding, to write reasonably good instructions or explanations, and to create decent web designs. Although I created art in my spare time, I didn’t really get back into it more seriously until a number of years ago. So now I do ALL of this – always have some kind of project to work on if the one in front of me needs to be set aside for a while. If my painting needs to dry I can draw Celtic art while watching a movie. I can scan my images into the computer that I can then sell online on products in my shop ( If I’m in a technical mood, I can redesign my weblog ( for the umpteenth time or add helpful scripts to our other websites. I have a few potential books on the backburner as well, for when I get into the ‘need to write’ mood. So it seems that all the diverse skills sort of meld and blend in various ways.

Do you feel you’re successful?

Kristenduotone.jpgWell, I tend to consider success more of a dynamic feeling place than a destination. To me, success feels like I’m in the creative flow, which is constantly my goal no matter what I’m doing. It’s sort of like meditation – if you stop focusing on your breathing and go off on a thought tangent in your head, you don’t spend time berating yourself for not being successful with meditation, you just direct yourself back to your breathing. So, long way around, I’d have to say yes, as I’m remembering more and more to stay in the creative flow, and it’s getting easier and easier to jump back if I find myself derailed at any point. This applies to creating art as well as things like washing dishes.

What do you like most about what you do?

Being able to follow creative impulses, even if I’m not sure where they’re going to lead. It’s hard to do that if you’re in a structured 9 to 5 job with people who don’t necessarily understand how productive creativity really is because all the steps involved aren’t necessarily quantifiable.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

Trust your creative impulses and intuitions even if you don’t understand them at first – that’s the nature of creativity. The rational mind is great for looking at what is, but trust yourself and your creative flow to find out what COULD BE. And just do art – art isn’t a matter of what’s ‘good’ and what’s not, or who’s got talen – it’s just a matter of ARE YOU DOING IT.

What are you most proud of?

Committing myself to be the person I always knew I was and could be, despite typical societal pressures and perceived limitations. And this to, is an ongoing challenge.

Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:

I’d like to stress the importance of having people in your life that support creativity and risk-taking – not in a reckless way, but in a way that allows more of yourself to shine through. People who understand the process without needing rational explanations and who will challenge you to stretch yourself simply by being the best THEY can be – there’s nothing more inspiring than being connected with other creative people, no matter what field they’re in!


Where to find to Find Art of Fox Vox:

Website: Art of FoxVox

Holiday Shop: Celtic Christmas


Photo Gallery: flickr

Fine Art Prints: ImageKind

Fox Vox Blog


FoxVox at DeviantArt

[tags] art, artist, celtic, foxvox, painting, watercolor, photography[/tags]

I Create: Heidi Panelli, THE BusyBodies pro

Heidi Panelli
Wife,Mother,T-Shirt designer, shopkeeper, webmaster,
blogger… Sr. Designer/Illustrator

Website: BusyBodies
Blog: Creative Gumption


I’ve met Heidi twice now, very short business conferences where we shared insights and ideas for similar industry topics. Not only is she a fantastic designer, but her design work reflects only a portion of her outgoing, vibrant, loving spirit and personality.

I now have the opportunity to share with you a small bit of the behind the scenes view of this Designer Mind…

What do you create?

Wow…that’s a big question! I create lots of things: illustrations, graphic design, CafePress products.

Figure Skating
Martial Arts
Gift Basket Designer
Artist (Draw)
Improv / Comedy
Basket Weaving

At my day job I work at a company that makes educational materials. I design and illustrate things like learning charts (sometimes realistic illustrations of animals or the human body), Bulletin Board Sets (large
rt to decorate bulletin boards…everything from a big cartoon smiling sun to more realistic illustrations of the first Easter), stickers (sparkle, or scratch ‘n’ sniff “good job”, stuff that teachers put on papers), trimmers (those decorative, scalloped strips of paper that teachers use to frame bulletin boards). There’s a whole host of things I design there.

In my spare time I like to create gardens & landscaping projects. I love baking desserts, cookies, cakes. I like knitting with a knitting loom. I love painting and interior decorating. I like making gift baskets & photo albums, too. For holidays I’ve made elaborate ginger bread houses, carved and airbrushed pumpkins, & made sugar eggs for Easter. I hope to have all of this stuff up on a personal website someday.

What medium do you enjoy most?

Computer graphics: Photoshop and Illustrator. When I’m off the computer, I still prefer a good ol’ pencil & paper.

What title would you give yourself?

For my home life it’s “Wife” and “Mother.”

For my freelance stuff it’s “T-Shirt designer, shopkeeper, webmaster, blogger”.

For my day job, it’s “Sr. Designer/Illustrator.”

How did you get started?

My mom always encouraged us (my sister, brother and I) to be creative.
Being an artist herself, she always provided us with an endless supply of paper!

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy & content with my life & never bored.

Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives:

Mort Drukker (Mad caricature artist)
Wayne Vincent (illustrator I’ve always liked)
my Mom (Rollie Brandt…she’s a fine artist/painter with Wild Wings)

What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now?

Life was the best training…just working!

But I also learned a lot attending UW-Stout where I earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art with a concentration in Graphic Design. Even still, college is overrated. I learned way more from seeking out mentors and learning on the job.

I also worked as a caricature artist at ValleyFair amusement park in high school and college for 7 summers. This was an invaluable experience for me. I learned to work with the public and have people watch over my shoulder all day long…I got used to criticism real quick in a job like that! But the bulk of the day was usually making people laugh.

I’ve always been lucky to have worked with people who know lots more than I do and I was never afraid to ask questions. Be inquisitive and a good listener and you’d be surprised at what people can teach you! I’ve learned something from everyone I’ve worked with over the years.

Most recently I took some community college classes last spring to learn more about HTML and currently learn a lot online for free!

Do you feel you’re successful?

Yes. I’m very blessed.

What do you like most about what you do?

I just love to create stuff and I also enjoy the people I meet onlineand off line through my projects. People make the work meaningful.

What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”?

Be willing to work at it, whatever you do. Anything worth having doesn’t come easy. And do something you enjoy! Stay humble…you can always learn from others, even when you’ve become an “expert.”

What are you most proud of?

My marriage & baby girl.

I suppose things I’m proud of in my professional life, art-wise really vary. Sometimes it’s a project that I personally learned a lot from or just like how it turned out (i.e. if I just tried a new illustration style, or tackled a tough subject matter), sometimes it’s a project that I don’t care much for but am proud that it made the client really happy.
It varies.

Other comments and ideas you’d like to share:


Check out Heidi’s newest project…
a fun new photo gallery of art and
sculpture created solely from
kneaded erasers.


For more great insight about Heidi Panelli,
check out her blog: Creative Gumption


and her online store: BusyBodies





[tags] Heidi Panelli, Art, Design, CafePress, T-shirts, Illustration, Creativity, family[/tags]