Four years have flown by since I began The Creative Cat on January 28, 2009 as I was learning ever more about Namir’s hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and I realized we didn’t have much time left to share. I wanted to begin sharing him and the rest of my household in stories and art, and from there just to see what would develop. As the inspiration for this site, Namir is the kitty in the header and I’ve included the full painting at the top of this article.
Since then I’ve continued with the goal of doing pretty much what I’m doing today: sharing my personal and other rescue stories and cats for adoption, writing articles about feline health and welfare and my and others’ experiences in pet loss and providing an online gallery for my artwork and other creative endeavors inspired by my cats and others’ animal companions.
Along the line I realized that many people were interested in gardening, wildlife, feeding birds and backyard wildlife habitats, so I added articles I’d written for conservation newsletters and expanded from there. From that idea I also began including occasional articles on living green with pets including information on using using safe and even homemade cleaning products, checking your art and craft materials for toxicity, finding cruelty-free health and beauty products and…using henna on your hair, one of my most popular “living green” articles.
In 2011 I found people were interested in reading about my process in both creating artwork and in creating products from that artwork. I added articles about my life as an artist and began seeking out other artists who create with cats and other animals and who I think you’d enjoy reading about, and writing about creative efforts from a technical standpoint so that non-artists can have a greater understanding of how we do it, and working or aspiring artists can read about anothers’ technique.
In December 2011 I began posting daily sketches, well, nearly every day and that’s become one of my most popular daily features, right after my daily photos begun in June 2010 featuring my feline family today and yesterday, especially my wonderful family of five black cats who everyone likes to see together no matter what they’re doing.
And I’ve also been able to share the passing of my feline inspirations, especially Cookie and Kelly in 2012, and all the good wishes and thoughts and prayers were very comforting to me at those times, as well as the thought that they will be remembered by many others. I always hope that writing about their condition and their passing as well as my own grief helps to guide and comfort others in their losses.
It’s all a work in progress, not only to build what I offer, but also to build myself as a creative person. In June I redesigned The Creative Cat and moved it from its original free-hosted WordPress site to a WordPress template on my own server so that I have many more features and capabilities, especially displaying really big images. Categorizing has been dull but necessary. Believe me, I can’t even find things I’ve posted!
All of my new pursuits, including merchandise I’ve designed and sell, are guided by your readership, comments and suggestions. In 2012 I turned a good bit of my daily efforts to creating that merchandise, turning my daily sketches and photos into greeting cards, wall art of various types, keepsakes and more. My most favorite items created this year were my two calendars. In the Kitchen With Cookie features Cookie exploring all my pots and pans in the kitchen while I spend time in one of my favorite rooms, and it’s a sweet memory of her curious and creative nature. Compositions in Black and Green features those lovely black cats against the backdrop of the mint green and white bathroom they grew up in and still love to hang out in, allowing me to explore the theme with photos ranging from silly to artsy.
I have ideas every moment of every day and as I work my way through my daily experiments with my camera and art materials and writing, your feedback is always important to me as I choose which to pursue. Thank you for being there when I needed you, and I’m glad I could be there for you as well. Now, on to another year with my Creative Cats!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.