Artist Interview for the Greeting Card Universe Community Blog
Denise, what drew you to join GCU?
After joining several microstock sites I began to question how my images were being used. I had always loved greeting cards, and could spend an inordinate amount of time just looking at different ones. I began to look for a way to make my own greeting cards with my own images, especially Scripture cards, and happened upon GCU.
Tell us who you are, where you are, and what you do.
I am a stay at home mom of one son. My husband is a Pharmacist. They are both quite geeky and handy to have around for computer issues. We live in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee/ Southwest Virginia. I spend too much time on the computer wandering around the internet and designing.
What's your favorite greeting card on GCU that you've created?
My favorite card so far, I believe, is the Christmas Pregnancy announcement. This card has been quite popular and I have updated it for the 4th year. I think about the parents-to-be sending it out and surprising family and friends with the news. My favorite themes are the Scripture cards and the Victorian Ladies collection.
Where else can we find you on-line?
What I do when I should be doing housework:'
DB Visual Arts business cards
DB Visual Arts - photography and digital art
Morning Glory Memories - vintage, retro, Victorian and Deco cards and gifts, all properly licensed
Encourage One Another - Scripture and inspirational cards and gift items
The Image Preservationist - Cards, postage, vintage images, all properly licensed
All about the Wedding - wedding cards and accessories
Facebook page for my online stores
And the microstock agencies Dreamstime, Bigstock and Shutterstock.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I know my way around tools of all kinds and I am not afraid to use them. I have replaced and repaired everything from the water pump on my car to installing a dishwasher in my kitchen. I thoroughly love working with my hands, for example refinishing furniture. My computer table is my great-grandfathers library table I refinished 25 years ago.
How did you become an artist?
It has been a lifelong desire, nearly destroyed by an art teacher who told me I didn't have one whit of talent. I have a deep need to create and feel suffocated when I am not able to do something every day. My dad gave me a love for photography and was my biggest supporter.
What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by everything from the tiniest insect to the night sky, the wonder of God's creation, and family and friends who believe in me.
What motivates you to design greeting cards?
My spiritual gift is exhortation or encouragement. I see cards as a way to reach out and encourage people I will never meet. Parakaleo is a Greek word that means to come along side and comfort, encourage or cheer. that is what I hope my cards can do.
What's the most indispensable item you use to create your work?
What tools do you use to create your work?
Camera and Photoshop most often and I am learning to use my Wacom tablet.
What do you do to promote your greeting cards on GCU?
Facebook, twitter, blog, word of mouth, emails, I have tried Squidoo but have not enjoyed that process very much. though I know it is quite effective for those who do. I have to admit to being lazy when it comes to promotion. However, I did just make my 2000th sale on GCU.
Is there a tip about GCU or promoting your GCU designs you'd like to share with other artists?
As Scripture says, do not grow weary in well doing. Hang in there, just keep submitting and learn from other artists, what works and what doesn't.
Name three other GCU artists whose work inspires you or that you admire.
There are so many, but, I still follow my first "buddies". Liz Van Steenburgh of Starstock Greetings , Teri Francis of Squirrel Hugger and Ernestine Grindal , of Ernestine's' Easel. I love the clean styles of Floating Lemons-Mariana Musa
Is there something you're really proud of having done?
One afternoon I picked up a handful of my cards and headed to a store downtown. I knew the owner but had not seen him for years. He said he could not use the cards but knew who might, and took me to see the owners of another store down the street. Nervously I explained what I did and wondered if they would be interested in carrying my cards. I now have a line of cards, postcards, porcelain ornaments, and other souvenir items. Unfortunately that store has closed recently, but, 6 different store owners expressed an interest and I will begin this month in a new location in the downtown area.
If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I am an information hound and love to research and ferret out information. So I would probably be a person who found things that other people wanted but could not find. I am not sure what you would call it. I love matching people up with things they love.