How do I hang the salvaged words?
I use the little foam squares from AC Moore or similar craft stores. They fit perfectly behind the words and also add a great dimension. They do not harm paint. In my studio I have some that have been up for years. I also love to lean the words...over a doorway, a window, or on top of a picture. The dinner table is a favorite place of mine. I use clear squares (found at hardware stores) if I hang the words on a mirror.
Can these words be outside?
Yes! And they float in water.
I want a word I do not see on your website. Can you make it for me?
Oh yes. You can order that right here.
I have a phrase I would like made. Can you do that?
Happily. Just email me directly.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes...a whole bunch.
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.
What 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 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 at your studio?
You can contact me directly and I will put together workshops for a small group in my cottage studio. I teach at Squam Art Workshops also and I am teaching at a weeklong session this August that will be amazing.
I love your website. Who does it?
FullCup.Co. Darice and Matt. They are brilliant. Creative. And they can code. Adore them.
Brea Howard took the photos of me in my studio cottage on the farm. I love her.