My journey in this crazy world of art & design.
Where I’ve come from and where I’m going…
Where I’ve come from and where I’m going…
My talent as artist started as soon as I was old enough to hold a crayon. I progressed from coloring books to paint by numbers and soon I was experimenting with all types of art mediums from painting and drawing to sewing my own clothes. As a young girl I especially enjoyed making handmade gifts for family members that were highly prized by the lucky recipient ~ a simple joy that led me down a colorful career path.
A Season Of Exploring
In 1977 being named “Most Artistic” in my senior class was a sign of my future. My love for the arts made me sure of the career path I wanted to take. It was more of a matter of which art field – commercial art, interior design or fashion design. After receiving “Best of Show” and “Career Award” at the First Annual Somerset County Student Art Show for a batik kitchen scene did I realize working with fiber was another area I enjoyed immensely.
Education - Bachelors of Art, Visual Communication
My junior year I entered a contest for Mademoiselle magazine where the winner receives a summer internship with Condé Nast in New York City. I created a perpetual calendar using fabric prints that matched the season for the background and felt letters with Velcro for easy changing of dates. The calendar was quilted and would flip open with rings. I received $100 and was placed in the top 10 of all entries.
In my senior year I entered “The Real Show” competition sponsored by the Art Directors Club of Washington, D.C. The contest provided “real” projects in the commercial art field that students had to create solutions for. I created a cover for the Washington Post Magazine about a summer fishing camp for boys. This was my first attempt at combining art and fabric for commercial art use. The piece won first prize for its category. In 1981 I graduated from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland with a Bachelor of Art degree in Visual Communications. Even while focusing on pen, paint and paper learning the role of graphics in marketing and advertising, I never abandoned my love for combining fabric and art. Art Directors throughout the Washington, D.C. area encouraged me to focus on this unique form of visual art.
In 1981, I started as a graphic artist for a national furniture chain creating advertising layouts, store displays, and line art drawings of furniture. Ready for the next challenge I became Art Director for CEW Publications creating tourism guides. Then an opportunity to work for Reeser Brown Advertising creating national advertising campaigns.
In 1988, I had the privilege of being at part of the pioneer movement in health care marketing. The late 80s is when hospitals just started to advertise their services and I was a part of the first marketing department for Morton Plant Hospital, which later became Morton Plant Mease Health Care System. We developed the hospital’s brand identity and established the programs. The hospital’s Board of Trustees gave me a resolution award because of the national recognition the marketing department was receiving for it marketing campaigns.
1996 - Global Award, Best in Health Care Communication Worldwide, for Morton Plant Mease Health Care BabyPlans a newsletter for expectant mothers and their families
1995 - Gold, National Health Information Award – for Morton Plant Mease Health Care BabyPlans
1992 - Bronze, Flashes of Brillance Health Care Marketing Award for newspaper campaign created for Morton Plant Hospital.
1991 - Gold, Health Care Advertising Award, Health Care Marketing Report for newspaper campaign on Morton Plant Hospital's Women's Center birthing services.
Recipient of 5 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Merit Awards from the Pinellas Suncoast Advertising Federation Addy Awards for work done at Morton Plant Mease Health System in both graphic design and illustrations.
Commercial Fiber Art
Ah! I Can Do It! I can combine fabric and illustration for commercial work. A light bulb went off when I saw artist Margaret Cusack’s work in an Illustration Directory doing exactly that! Up to that point only traditional 2-D art mediums was primarily being used for advertising and publishing. I contacted an artist representative and showed them my portfolio. Alexander/Pollard agreed to represent me and I started receiving assignments. Only 3 other nationally known artists used fabric as their medium beside myself.
In 1990, my art was featured in Step-by-Step Graphics (now Step Inside Design) magazine for an advertising campaign for Thomaston fabrics. During that time, I received several other assignments for illustrative work from clients like Ford Motors, Honda Motors, Georgia Pacific, Publix Supermarkets, Florida Power, and Bank of America (Nations Bank).
Over 60 Illustrated Romance Novels
My national breakthrough came from Berkley Publishing in New York when they commissioned me to create 13 romance novel covers for their new “Romance in the Heart of America” series. The series become such a success for the publisher and spawned the careers of several authors that the series continued for several years with over 60 covers illustrated from 1990 – 1995. Several of the romance covers won merit awards from the Dimensional Awards Show showcased at the Art Directors Club of New York. Over 1400 entries with 323 award winners in the best of 3-dimensional advertising and publishing worldwide.
Artwork has been published in the following Illustration Directories:
• The Creative Illustration Book, 1991, 1992
• The Workbook, 1993
• The Best of 3-Dimensional Illustration Sourcebook, 1995
• The Creative Black Book, 1998, 1999
• American Showcase, 2000
In 1996, a new dimension was added to my art. I started a small pattern publishing company called “Artistic Appliqué”. Artistic Appliqué published several intermediate to advance applique patterns and a book called “Celebration of Summer”. In 1999 and 2000 I taught classes at Husquvarna Viking annual dealer’s conventions on appliqué and embroidery. My different machine appliqué technique has inspired many quilters to a new approach to quilting. From this, Cactus Punch licensed some of my designs by digitizing them for the home embroidery sewing machines.
Corporate Training Games
In 2003 I worked as a graphic designer creating interactive training material designed as a game. Worked with project managers to create visually exciting board games that helped corporations train their employees.
Handcrafted Designer Handbags - Significant Journey
I took my fiber art from commercial illustration into the sewing market and then into the handbag industry. I had to learn how to make a handbag professionally by reverse engineering and attending trade show seminars. I developed a business model for Significant Journey with its marketing goals and objectives. The mission of Significant Journey was to reach women through exquisitely designed products that awaken a desire for their true destiny while opening a pathway to a vibrant life. Each purse was beautifully handcrafted using embroidery and applique on Ultrasuede® and uniquely named with a special meaning significant to every women. The designs personify a woman’s deepest desire while benefiting charities that leave an impression on women in society.
Craft Art 2009 - merit award
Juried by David Revere McFadden, Chief Curator and Vice President for Programs and Collections at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City.
Apparel Decorating Industry
In 2004, I joined Pantograms. The company sells embroidery machines, garment printers, rhinestone machines and in-house developed software programs to people in the apparel decorating business or just starting a business. I was initially brought on to write and create the training materials and software packages. I had to learn the process of digitizing in order to write technical manuals. I created the GUI look of the software programs and worked with the marketing team on product design and promotional collateral.
Today I am responsible for all creative concepts, marketing messages and graphic development for — ColDesi and its affiliated companies.
What I do.
Manage the workflow of the marketing department with web development, ad campaigns, print collateral, emails and press releases. Responsible for all creative visual images that impact the bottom line. Brainstorm new ideas. Creative problem-solving. Pay attention to details with fast delivery of projects, always willing to learn new techniques, see the big picture (marketing objectives and end results), budget conscious (find the most economical means to get a project done), very little changes are made to my work (right the first time).
In my spare time I create handbags and I love to create digital illustrations for surface design. I enjoy reading books on marketing, business, and more holistic topics like the purpose of life and making a difference in the world around us.