Susan is a talented artist based in Oregon, US. She works under her own brand Susan Faye. Susan creates vibrant and colorful artwork that is inspired by the wonderful nature she's surrounded by, and by animals, and I have fallen in love with her absolutely unique portraits of Cat Ladies with thir beloved kitties! I'm sure you are going to be enchanted too! Apart from her original artwork and art prints, she creates wonderful jewelry and gift items featuring her original designs. Susan's beautiful and colorful world includes her "son, family, and friends, Mother Nature, hiking, bird watching, blogging, sewing, photography, gardening, writing, and watercolor painting. Oh yes, and CATS!". Meet Susan! Here she shares her artistic journey and inspiration with us!
- How did you first come to art and creativity? How did your journey in art and creativity begin?
Like most artists, it goes back as far as I can remember. I was lucky to be born into a creative family where crayons and paper were always at hand. My carpenter dad's creative outlet was creating artistic furniture and wood carvings, while my mother was a whiz at the needle arts. I learned to draw, paint, sew, knit, embroider, etc. at a very early age.
- When and how did you realize this was your real life path?
Growing up, I was equally drawn to science, math, and journalism, but art and designing always seemed to win out. I began selling my designs at age 21 and have been doing it ever since.
- Your main sources of inspiration are animals, in particular cats. Is there a particular reason for choosing them as your “muse” for your artwork?
I’ve always been enchanted by cats — I love their beautiful markings and soft fur, their quirky personalities and their apparent ongoing inner battle between devotion and detachment -- a perfect match for my whimsical art style!
- We share a great love for animals and cats in particular, how do you express this in your artwork?
I think that cats and dogs in general have a childlike sense of wonder and joy, and those are qualities that I try to express in my artwork.
- I love the way you depict the special bond between a human and her or his feline friend. As Cat Ladies we know how special that love bond is. How do you capture the special relationship between a Cat Lady and her beloved kitty?
I think I just base my images on my own experience with animals in general. Sharing your life with an animal teaches you patience and compassion -- two qualities that the human race could use a bit more of sometimes (myself included)...!
- Apart from animals, what are your main sources of inspiration?
My inspiration comes from Mother Nature in general--beautiful colors, textures, patterns, even whimsy-- it's all there if you take the time to appreciate it!
- In addition to your original art and art prints, you create amazing jewelry featuring your art. What do you like most about wearable art?
Personal adornment goes back for thousands of years-- it seems to be a very common means of self-expression in every culture. I like that it is a way to express on the outside what you are feeling on the inside.
- Tell us a bit about the other gift items you create using your art designs...
I'm currently re-discovering the joy of sewing and designing fabric gift items. The ability to now have my watercolor artwork professionally printed on fabric through Spoonflower.com is a dream com true. So far I've designed sachets, catnip toys, keyrings, magnets, and bookmarks and I've just designed my first art doll!
- How has life affected your art and art affected your life?
Being an exceedingly shy person who has trouble being verbal, art has given me a voice and sense of self from a very young age. I don't know what I would do without it!
- Art is about light and color! What are your favorite colors?
I seem to be attracted to jewel-tones a lot, but it's hard to pick out favorites--it totally depends on my mood and frame of mind. Currently I'm enjoying turquoise, aqua, sage and mint green and earthtones.
- Did you have a formal training in the arts or attend art courses?
I took a few art classes in college, and took a series of watercolor workshops about 12 years ago. I'm mostly self-taught through art books, and now through tutorials on the web.
- Do you have a studio or home studio or particular part of your house you have devoted to your artwork? Where do you create your artwork?
I have a spare room in the back of my house that is my studio, although my arts and crafts projects seem to creep into every room of the house!
Thank you dear Susan for such a beautiful and inspiring interview and for sharing your artistic journey and inspiration! There is a lot of passion in what you do, and it really shows! We wish you continued joy, inspiration and success with your life and art.