Meet the Artist (Wednesday, 2.13.13)

February 13, 2013

Meet the Artist…

Kathy_davis

We are excited to introduce you to bestselling artist, designer and writer, Kathy Davis. Kathy has partnered with American Greetings for the last five years to produce her own brand of beautifully-crafted greeting cards. Here she shares a little bit of how her mission to “Scatter Joy” pervades all aspects of her art and life…

When did you first realize you were so creative?

Even in my earliest memories I am making things…all sorts of things…from paper dolls to perfume… from Christmas decorations to illustrated stories and even a neighborhood newspaper!

What is your background as a creative talent?

I always loved art, but decided to major in Elementary education in college, with a minor in art.  After teaching sixth grade for six years, I returned to graduate school, where I earned a Master’s degree in Art Education. That led me to teach high school art, which I really enjoyed. I left teaching to start a family…and then in 1990, I started my freelance design business from a drawing board in the corner of my bedroom. Today, I am proud to say that my business has grown to a team of 23 employees (we are no longer working from my bedroom!).  We design a variety of licensed products, including, of course, greeting cards!

What is your current position/relationship with American Greetings? 

I formerly designed cards for Recycled Paper Greetings before joining American Greetings as an independent content partner in 2008. I feel so fortunate to have found such a supportive partnership in American Greetings.

As both an artist and a writer, what would you say comes first when creating a greeting card?

Sometimes I begin by immersing myself in the sentiment or message I want to deliver…and other times my painting inspires my direction. This “dance” helps to keep my work fresh.

What is it that inspires you when creating a greeting card?

The relationship between sender and recipient is always the foundation of my cards. Visually, I like to keep my artwork simple and symbolic, which helps to allow for a broad audience. I love the clean look of a white background with some expressively painted artwork, combined with a hand-lettered message.

02.13.13_KathyDavis

Do you have a favorite card that you’ve created, and why?

KathyDavis_LoveBirdSing_3

One card that stands out in my mind is this romantic card design with a simple brushwork heart, informal calligraphy and hand-lettered copy that is fun while still being heartfelt.

What famous artists/writers have influenced you?

I love Matisse, Monet and a lot of the expressionist painters. Writers like Emerson influence my work (I borrowed my Brand Promise “Scatter Joy” from him!)…as do the quotes from Helen Keller, Anne Frank and Mother Teresa – three very different, yet inspiring women.

In general, what inspires you, and how do you stay motivated?

I love the beauty of nature, the warmth of the sun and flowers in bloom. Travel, museums and the life stories of people and their relationships all inspire my work. I need solitude to create fresh content, so it is a balancing act between interacting with my business and creative teams and getting the quiet time to do my best work.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Wow. Well, I hope to continue creating content that feels rewarding to me while helping to nurture other talent and giving back. One of my dreams is to create a Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, where I can help mentor others – and through our efforts in the arts, help make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

What advice would you give to an artist or writer just starting out?

 Believe in yourself and stay true to what makes you unique.

What do you do for fun?

I love the beach, watching movies, going for walks and exploring new places. Oh, and I have a couple of guilty pleasures…shopping (of course) and watching mind-numbing TV, like Real Housewives. (Don’t tell anybody!)

Thanks for the chance to “meet” all of you!

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