Get to Know the Artist Behind the Curtain...CATHERINE HOLCOMBE February 08 2015
I have written a few of these artists interviews but this one is special for me. Catherine is the first artist we have brought on at Shower Curtain HQ now that we are printing our own designs. Her work can be found in many places like her ETSY shops, Society 6, Kess InHouse, Zazzle and Houzz.com. She has such a fun style to her work and her creations would add personality to any home.
Here are a few questions so we can all get to know Catherine better:
Tell us a little bit about yourself...when did you realize you were an artist?
I live in Southern California with my three sons. We love the beach and we get outside as much as possible. I am the daughter of a photographer and an avid quilter - so art has always surrounded me. I have always been artistic in some way...drawing, painting, and so forth, but did not consider it as a viable career option until about 10 years ago. My degree is in Business Administration, but I have studied art and illustration at a local college as well. My work is done in a studio in my home - I find it works well to be able to create anytime!
What is your favorite medium?
Watercolor is my first love and may always be my favorite...I just love how the colors mix on the page to create happy accidents! I also like working with pencils, ink, crayons, feathers, acrylic paint, pastels and collage. It is important to always be experimenting and discovering new ways to create.
What is a typical day like for you?
I recently quit my part-time position to pursue my art business full time. The support of my family was very important to taking this step. I always get up very early to work. I like to work in the quiet early mornings....I can accomplish so much before the house becomes chaotic. This is when I take care of my Etsy stores and do the business of the business. Later on, when the kids are at school, I create, submit art, walk, gather inspiration etc. I usually do no schedule "creating" time. It usually happens with urgency....I get an idea and I feel it has to be rendered...or at least jotted down for later...I keep note pads everywhere. I have also taken up photography. It has taken some time to learn it - and I still have a long way to go, but I am enjoying the journey.
You do a lot of work with maps - how did you get into that and are there any rules for using maps in your art?
Maps are a large part of my work. I really adore the intricate little details of maps. I love the antique maps...that show the continents in a distorted way. Maps have to be out of Copyright in order to be used in my work...sometimes they can be licensed or used with permission. I gather maps from a number of sources, but my favorite is to find them in old atlases in book stores...when they are falling apart and nobody wants them, I can give them new life!
What are the perks/challenges of working from home and being self-employed?
I enjoy working from home for many reasons: The commute is a short walk downstairs! I am never far from my work if I am needed for something. I have the freedom to work when and where I want...sometimes I work by my brother's pool... The best thing about being a self-employed artist is being able to be there for my sons, to say "yes" to helping out at school while earning my living doing what I want to do. There are some challenges ...like work always being within reach...sometimes it is hard to put it away....there is always something that can be done - so I struggle with balance - but I am working on that. I would recommend this route to anyone who is self-motivated and disciplined.
Any "ah-ha" moments or big breaks?
My "aha" moment happened a few years ago when I was trying an at-home business working for someone else. I was spending a great deal of time trying to market something that I did not believe in...at that moment I realized that I believed in my art and had no problem discussing it with friends and family or marketing it with confidence. At that moment I "hired" myself.
Nice! Any advice you would give to an artist wanting to make a business out of it?
Advice to someone wanting to start an art business....It is hard work. You have to be disciplined, consistent and have high standards. You also have to be able to take rejection and criticism...and make it work for you in a positive way.
I am thankful we were able to team up with Catherine to bring you some unique shower curtains to choose from. What you are seeing are just a few pieces of her work we are currently selling here at Shower Curtain HQ. We will continue to add more pieces from Catherine in the future!