The practice of claiming a holiday for a certain cause—whether whimsical or worthy—has expanded to ridiculous proportions. In the middle of April, for instance, you can celebrate National Submarine Day (4/11), Scrabble Day (4/13), Ex-Spouse Day (4/14), Rubber Eraser Day (4/15—perhaps related to Tax Day?), and National Eggs Benedict Day (4/16). If you want more, you can find a list of wacky and not-so-wacky holidays here. Continue reading
This month we are so pleased to chat with Denise Gallagher. She is a wonderful, creative addition to the Amber Lotus greeting card artists. Here is some insight into her whimsical world of illustration.
Amber Lotus has a Q & A with Denise Gallagher
Tell us about your artwork?
I am an artist, an illustrator, and a graphic designer. I worked as an art director in the advertising industry for twenty years before starting my own graphic design and illustration company in 2013. I thoroughly enjoy graphic design, but my true passion is illustration. My illustrations begin as pencil drawings to which I add color, layers, and textures digitally. My subjects are often rare animals, plants, flowers, and bits of ephemera such as pieces of string, teacups, or skeleton keys. My work has been called whimsical, dark, and sophisticated.
What do you do for inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me – in music, nature, literature, and fine art. I am fascinated by vintage etchings of unusual animals and old fairy tales. Sometimes, though, all I need to do to get inspired is to take a long walk or to spend some time in a dusty old bookstore. I find that if I keep my eyes and ears open, inspiration will find me.
What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?
One of my favorite pieces is a triptych titled Wrapt, which I created for an all-female artist show called “Grace and Ritual” at the Los Angeles gallery iam8bit. Wrapt is my commentary on the joy and pain of motherhood. I poured a lot of emotion into its creation, and it is filled with imagery that is deeply meaningful to me.
I also illustrated a book of twelve Aesop’s fables, which I used as a gift for clients and friends as well as a promotional piece. It was such an amazing project, from researching the fables to imagining and illustrating each one. I was immensely proud of the end result.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a piece for this year’s “Grace and Ritual” show with the theme “Hidden.” I’m thrilled with how it is coming along. Having the freedom to dig deep emotionally for these gallery pieces is especially fulfilling and almost cathartic. They are experimental and intensely personal. I’m also doing some illustration for children’s television. It is playful and colorful and whimsical and enchanting. I love the special kind of magic that emerges when illustrating for children.
What are you doing when you’re not creating?
When I’m not creating, I am enjoying life with my husband and seven-year-old son, Oliver. From making pancakes and having impromptu living room dance parties to attending symphonies and festivals, our life is a wonderful adventure!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I make elaborate pancake art – a tradition begun by my mom. You can see some of them here: http://www.prettypancake.tumblr.com
Where else do you sell your work?
I have an Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/DGIllustration, where you can find prints, greeting cards, and framed art. For professional commissioned work, you can contact my reps at Those Three Reps, those3reps.com.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
I always dreamed of being an illustrator. Realizing that dream took a lot of hard work and patience. If you have a dream – whatever that dream may be – work your hardest to achieve it. Do your research. Carve out time to devote to that dream and work at it often. Use social media to reach out to others and to get feedback and encouragement. Keep at it. Keep your chin up and realize that a smile and a good attitude go a long way.
Where else can we find you?
You can visit me on my website, DeniseGallagher.com, on Facebook as Denise Gallagher Design and Illustration, on Behance as Denise Gallagher, and on Twitter as @denisegallagrrr.
Here is a sneak peek at Gallagher’s Holiday Cards that will be available in this year’s Boxed Sets.
Featured Artist: Travis Bone is the founder and creative force behind the poster and illustration studio Furturtle Show Prints. As Bone puts it, “the weird state of Utah” is home and a constant inspiration for his iconic imagery. Bold yet economical use of color and line work reminiscent of hand-carvings abound in his sometimes dark, often whimsical illustrations. Although Furturtle Show Prints is known worldwide for hand-printed posters that often feature bands that a few people have heard of, Bone is a prolific creator of logos, snowboard and ski graphics, labels for bottles, drawings for clothing, and all manner of illustrations for myriad purpose.
Featured Artist: Denise Gallagher draws incessantly and loves to make beautiful things. She has been recognized for her talents by such esteemed organizations as Print magazine, Communication Arts magazine, and the Society of Illustrators. Gallagher’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the US. Her images provide glimpses of a mysterious tale that has yet to be written. Seemingly random objects become deeply meaningful and infused with magic. Gallagher’s work is meandering, mysterious, and never mundane. http://www.denisegallagher.com
Feature Artist: Renée Locks is a painter, calligrapher and poet. She taught Western calligraphy for ten years before devoting herself to the sumi-e brush and shodo – the way of writing beautifully. Locks is inspired by ancient Asian calligraphy, especially by the Japanese Kansai style of writing, which is executed rapidly and without lines. She describes it as “like walking a tightrope between control and freedom, mind focused as a straight arrow, from top of head through the brush, no hesitation.” She paints on 300-year-old rice paper and grinds her own ink with an ink stick and water on a special stone. http://www.reneelocks.com
You can visit our full selection on Love and Valentine cards on our website.
Free Valentine Card Giveaway
A FaceBook promotion — “LIKE US” on our FB Page and vote for your favorite Card. You will be entered to win a free 6 pack of that card. https://www.facebook.com/amberlotuspublishing
You can also enter by commenting here on our blog.