Last week Deborah Velazquez asked me if I wanted to join her for a little bloghop. This bloghop was all about people who inspire you. I was really excited that she chose me as one of her “people”. Click HERE to read her wonderful post about her work and who inspires her.

I met Deborah two years ago at the Printsource show in New York City. I was in the midst of taking the online course The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design, and I contacted a few of the women who had taken it ahead of me, and met up with them. I walked the show with Deborah and we immediately hit it off! We regularly call each other and gab about life and art.

I absolutely adore her collages! Here is one of my faves…

© Deborah Velasquez 2014

She also won a major contest with Carpet Vista, and here is one of her rugs! I love it!

© Deborah Velasquez 2014

So…part of this bloghop is to answer a few questions about myself and my work.

The questions are:

What are you working on right now?

I have just opened my Etsy shop! Finally. Right now it’s stocked with lots of giclee art prints and greeting cards. I also embarked on an ambitious project of creating the entire alphabet in a papercut style which I created digitally.

© Mary Tanana 2014 Initial M© Mary Tanana 2014 InitialsI finished 12 letters, I’m working on the rest right now. It seems never ending! Kind of like when you start to make lots of different kinds of Christmas cookies, then you get to a certain point and say to yourself, “What was I thinking?” haha! I’ve also started to do some hand lettering and quotes. I LOVED making this one!

© Mary Tanana 2014 The Earth Laughs in FlowersI’ve also been making these crazy flowers that I call “Fabby Flowers”. Kind of hippie-dippy, but they make me really happy 🙂

© Mary Tanana 2014 Fabby Flowers

 Why do you create what you do?

I get very strong creative direction from within myself about what style and theme of art that I should be working on. It’s a really odd feeling, but I know it’s the right direction because I become extremely productive and crank out stuff that I absolutely love. I hope others like it too, hehe! Lately I’ve been working on this digital paper cut style of artwork, like the initials above. These are a Moravian style layout, a traditional Czech style.

© Mary Tanana 2014 Wycinanki© Mary Tanana 2014 greeting cardsThis paper cut style is a  folk art from Poland, called wycinanki. I’ve been pretty obsessed with it lately. I’m of Polish descent, so it fits! I’ve created a fabric collection based this craft with my licensing partner, Modern Yardage, called “How Does Your Garden Grow”.

 How does your creative process work?

I LOVE the convenience of working digitally. But I also love to draw. A lot. That’s what makes me the happiest, pen or pencil on real paper. It gives me an immense sense of satisfaction to look back through my sketchbook to see what I’ve done in the past year. Soooo….I start off by doing a rough layout of what I want to do. Blobs and shapes and boxes roughed in to show where the type goes and where basic elements belong. Then I’ll scan it into my computer and plop in some of my flowers from my huge library to better define the layout. Print it out. Then I’ll sketch in the rest with a pencil. Scan it back in. Then I’ll redraw it all in vector.

© Mary Tanana 2014Sounds time consuming? Maybe. But that’s how my brain processes my thoughts and transfers them to digital media. Works for me!

Now….who inspires ME?

I met these two fabulous artists through yet another e-course that I took last Autumn, “Make Art That Sells” by Lilla Rogers. We had such a fantastic group of people! It was a very challenging course, not for the faint of heart. We all pushed each other to do better and better work. I thought everyone’s work in our classroom gallery was stunning.

Anne Blankman Bollman started her career as an interior designer, became a graphic designer and then a stationery designer. Now she’s an illustrator and surface pattern designer, and I am blown away by her work!

I love, love this pattern by Anne. The colors are so rich, there is so much fabulousness to look at!

DesertFlowers_AnneWasHereGreatPlains_AnneWasHereOne of my favoriite things about Anne’s work is her characters. How cool are those horses? The motifs are so well developed and detailed.

WhatsUrSign_AnneWasHereCuteness alert!

PatternPlay_AnneWasHereWhat I love about Anne’s designs is that she goes the extra mile and puts in so much rich detail to set her work apart from the rest. I think it stands out, what about you? See more of Anne’s work by visiting her site HERE.

I also met Stephanie Corfee last Autumn during Make Art That Sells class, but I been swooning over her paintings and artwork for years!

Her personal style is a little bit bohemian, colorful, and whimsical. No wonder I love it so much 😉

Her little kid character sketches are too-die-for!

© Stephanie Corfee 2014I fell in love with this little bird that she painted.

© Stephanie Corfee 2014These adorable little mermaids are some of her most recent work.

© Stephanie Corfee 2014And…I’m in awe of her paintings! I love the versatility of her work, either in watercolor, acrylic, or pencil, her work is fabulous!

© Stephanie Corfee 2014© Stephanie Corfee 2014© Stephanie Corfee 2014To see more of Stephanie’s work, please click HERE.

Both Anne and Stephanie inspire me to be BETTER, to stretch my creative boundaries and limits. And they are both really funny, supportive, and wonderful people that I am happy and proud to call friends.

Thanks so much for stopping by!



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