Questions I am often asked...

Colleen AttaraPhotos: Cindy Fatsis

Do you write and take the photographs for all of your cards?

I write every card. Some of the words have been written for years in journals, on my art and in letters. The others just come to me all the time, especially when I am creating.

 The wonderful thing about having a greeting card line is that you are always creating. People say things that inspire me. I write the words or the thought down and just let them simmer, like a pot of soup. Then when I go to use them, they come out just right. Each card comes out when it is ready. I often have to pull over on the side of the road to capture a thought or idea. Sometimes the words come first and sometimes the pictures do. I take photographs all the time.

There are times I take a picture and I know it will be used as a card and then I wait for the words to come. Sometimes I use pictures I never intended to use in my line. Each card has several photographs. There are a few I did not take. These are usually ones with babies as my children are grown. There is always a photo credit of these on the back.

You create so many things. How did you start?

I have been creating for 12 years now and for six years full time. I am very instinctual. I find that I am drawn to certain things and I listen. I believe things are in motion before we even know of them. For instance, I had a strong desire to sew on paper. I attended Squam Art Workshops and used a sewing machine for the very first about four years ago.

Three years ago I started creating the prints that would become my card line. It is as if I knew what I needed to learn in order to do what I was born to do. I started my career as a reverse glass painter. I found a pile of old windows on the side of the road and carried them home. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them, but I knew I wanted them.

I listened to my instinct even when I wasn’t exactly sure what it was telling me. And before I was an artist, I was quite corporate and my briefcase was really big. I wrote about that time here. 

believe in yourselfWhat is the best advice you can give to someone just starting out as an artist?

It is very scary to put yourself out there and allow yourself to be seen. It takes a certain kind of muscle that you must build. You have to put yourself out there. Raise your hand. Allow yourself to be seen. Show up. Check back in. If someone doesn’t get back to you, reach out politely again. Assume that they are very busy and meant to email you back.

Plant connection seeds everyday. Be kind. Help others. As artists, we all lift each other up on our shoulders.

Do you teach altered book classes?

I teach small and intimate workshops at my cottage studio and I teach online right here. I love teaching in person but I have been delighted with the intimacy of my online workshops.

My studio space is filled with supplies and positive energy to explore & play with. Online, I teach others how to create there own creative space and practice. I also travel and teach, which I love.  If there is a place you would like me to teach at, please reach out

I love your website. Who does it?

My website was built by a brilliant team of creatives who are no longer doing that type of work. I recently found Sally Tudhope, who maintains and innovates my site. I have really enjoyed working with her.  You can find her here.

Most of the pictures of me are taken by Cindy Fatsis.  She comes with her camera and her amazing eye and always seems to catch the essence of me outside my studio.