The Artists’s Life: From Daily Photos to New Product
As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season?
You may recognize the photo in the design above from its posting last year on October 31 as well as the one below from October 30. In addition, three other designs include photos which appeared on The Creative Cat or one one of my other blogs. From the time I took the photo and when I posted it somewhere on one of my blogs and received the feedback about it, I’ve held onto a creative idea for those images: Halloween cards!
I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons so I actually tried to avoid this, but from the combination of looking at cards in shops whenever I get the chance, and currently compiling my holiday cards to post for sale this week, I decided I really did want to create a few Halloween cards this year—especially with the first two images which were completely unposed—I got out the pumpkins, but my black cats organized the creative compositions!
And it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday. I so love to see my cats in my design work and share them with others.
You can find them in my Etsy shop as individuals (click each image for a direct link) and as a set of six, but also enjoy the stories of how these images became greeting cards.
Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna
This card, “Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna” features Miss Mewsette, who has a strong sense of the dramatic and arranged herself in this living still life, then looked at me as I walked through the room at night, probably preparing dinner. Where’s my camera?! And my tripod for this one, a difficult shot with the lamp contrasting with the very dark areas around, but Mewsette was patient. Here is what I included in the post adapted to the back of the card:
This is what Mewsette is dressed up as to celebrate this evening’s events. And she didn’t even have to put on one embarrassing garment or accessory.
When I attended Catholic grade school, we were to dress up as our patron saint for All Hallow’s Eve, and dressing up as St. Bernadette was pretty easy for me as I already tended to wear peasant-style clothing and St. Bernadette didn’t suffer any dire injuries or horrible torture like some of the other saints, she just lived to be very old, despite Lourdes.
Well, I think Mewsette is dressed up as one of her patron kitties—she is quiet and introspective, unlike her brothers, and I can just see her in the role of a familiar or a gypsy fortune-teller!
This card, “Enter: Three WITCHES” features Miss Mewsette, her mom Mimi and her brother Giuseppe.
This image was taken on the same night as the one above, as Mewsette was joined by her mom and brother. Dinner was late as it was much more important to get all the photos I possibly could while they arranged themselves!
I majored in English in college and still keep my books around and still read Shakespeare. The text from MacBeth came to me as I looked at them gathered together around the lamp—I remember I couldn’t wait to post the photo and share the idea! Here’s what I posted with the photo and placed on the back of the card.
Guess the kids have been getting into my literature textbooks again. I thought my Riverside Shakespeare was too heavy for them, but there is no getting in the way of a determined reader. Now that they’ve mastered Act 1, Scene 1 of MacBeth, I can’t wait to see how they interpret Scene 2.
Maybe reading to them as kittens really did work.
Actually, Mimi, Mewsette and Giuseppe were gathered around the lamp “to keep warm” as they said, because the temperature was all of about 65 degrees. Time to get out the cozy beds!
This card, “Boo!”, features Lucy from a photo I took in early summer 2007. Sadly, I lost Lucy to FIP when she was 15 months old so she never had the chance to develop her career as all my other cats have, so I love to use her image in a creative endeavor whenever possible. It’s my way of remembering and honoring my relationships with my cats, no matter how short or long they may have been.
When I took this photo of her next to the orange paper lamp most of my greeting cards were just a vague idea of something to be done in the future, and I dreamed of various other products like tote bags and woven blankets and all the other things I’m finally getting around to creating. I knew some day I’d want to use this photo as a Halloween or fall-themed image either as a card or another product, not the least because I knew I’d be losing Lucy sometime soon after it was taken. I kept this photo in mind all this time and, finally, here she is.
10 thoughts on “The Artists’s Life: From Daily Photos to New Product”
They are cute model like my mimimgs….I love cats too!Well done dear and post some more.
Thanks Christine! I post every day, so you’ll see more.
Oh my catness Bernadette!! These are all so creative, sweet, charming, and beautiful!!! I love all of them, but the first one really speaks to me! Simply wonderful!!!
Deb, I love to design, but especially with my cats–just like you! And the chance to share their images is truly an indulgence.
Sweet! I really like the 3 Witches!
What luck to get that photo! Not just that they posed that way, but the shot was particularly difficult and I was sure I’d screw it up.
They’re great — Hawkeye more than approves of them, and these are so much nicer than what you see in the grocery & drugstores. Btw, apologize to Mewsette for the misspelling of her name. Typing is not my strong suit,..something that is becoming abundantly clearer as I go over the SKETCH PEOPLE ms.!
Tammy, Giuseppe is a little touchy about his name, but Mewsette is fine with it. Good thing for editors! And thanks for the compliments on my cards–I was tempted by watching people buy them in stores, then looked around on Etsy and such to see what was out there. As you can see, they’re all different! That’s the fun of it.
Love the cards– and their stories — Bernadette. The Madama Mesette and the 3 witches cards have gotta be my faborites, though.
Tammy, I still can’t believe they sat like that or that I got those shots. That’s why I had to design these cards!