Before I retired, I spent many years in the marketing/communications field as a producer for meetings, presentations, training programs and the like, mostly for automotive clients. Thirteen of those years were spent at the same company where I worked with artists, writers, video producers and other creative people to bring a successful program together. It was a great place to work but, sadly, the company folded in 2001 and we all scattered to different companies and new careers. A few months ago I received a surprise email from a colleague, Pam Moran, who told me that she too had an Etsy shop! Pam had been an art director at the same company and had worked there for 25 years. Although I don't think we ever worked together on a project, we knew each other and I was thrilled to get caught up with her life and exchange news of mutual friends.
Of course, once I saw her artwork on Etsy I was blown away but not surprised. We immediately made plans to have her as a guest on my blog. So sit down, relax, and enjoy my chat with Pam Moran.
FK: Pam, it turns out we both love hazelnut coffee. So I’ll pour us a cup while you tell us about yourself and your shop.
My full name is Pamela Ann Moran, so my initials spell PAM! I made a logo for myself with my initials that I use on all my work. My Etsy shop is: www.etsy.com/shop/mychartreuseroom.
FK: Have you always lived in Michigan?
My husband and I live in Hartland, Michigan, by a lake that has a great path to walk around. I have taken more walks around that lake then I can count! It gives me great inspiration and helps calm me if I am stressed. I love to take my camera and get some great shots to use as reference or as part of my artwork. A unique aspect of the lake is that it has a volcanic ash bottom and reflects the light just like the Caribbean ocean. It is a beautiful teal color in the summer sun.
FK: That’s a wonderful spot to have for inspiration and relaxation. I’m jealous!
I love your shop name. How did you come up with and when did you get started?
I started my Etsy shop on May 1, 2009. I remember how excited I was to upload my artwork on that first day. I did the newbie mistake and uploaded everything all at one sitting! BUT… I did get my first sale during that flood of art being posted! I was so-o-o excited and had to stop uploading so I could open my Paypal account!
mychartreuseroom because I create my work in my chartreuse room! I had seen that color on Extreme Home Makeover and thought it was so cheery. It may sound overpowering but it looks beautiful with my white furniture. I needed artwork for the walls but could not find art with chartreuse so I decided to create my own. I love the way the grid pattern on the wall turned out. That color has totally inspired all of my work and started my journey with Etsy. Isn’t it just amazing how one thing leads to the next and you don’t really see what you have until you look back and see what started it?
FK: Your digital work is beautifully layered and intricate. Talk to me about your creative process.
While visiting my daughter in Arizona I visited galleries and saw some wonderful art that inspired me to try to make my illustrations look more like paintings. I work in Illustrator and my work has many, many layers of color and shape to give my work depth like the transparency you see in a painting. I can make elements appear transparent and lighter or darker by changing the mode of a layer to interact with what is below it.
After my first funky chartreuse series I worked on my nature series. My dragonfly illustration was first. I really liked how it turned out and so I followed it with a sea turtle, a butterfly and an apple. Even though they are different and can stand alone, they share design cues like the circles, squares and grid format that bring them together. I have each of them on my walls at home. I won a Platinum MarCom award for this series.
Treat Yourself to an Apple a Day Print with Faux-mat
Treat Your Eyes to Butterflies Print with Faux-mat
Make Time for Walks Print
Make Time to Explore Print with Faux-mat
I also enjoy photography. I like to use the macro setting and shoot patterns in nature. I love to see the super close-up image of a bee or bug with all the amazing details on their bodies.
Wow, I have been “creating” a long time! I was a fine arts major in college. After graduation I entered the marketing field as a graphic designer where basically I was self-taught. I think if you are an artist you have a sense of how things go together, like colors and shapes. And I learned from other people I worked with about type, layout, and printing.
When computers came into the workplace that changed the way I worked and completely opened up my design world. I totally embraced the new technology and learned Illustrator by experimenting and creating my first Christmas card. I was assigned a magazine project for one of the car companies and I learned so much more about programs like Photoshop and page layout software. The saying “you learn something new everyday” is so true when you work on a computer with all the changes that constantly happen.
One of my most favorite things to do to unwind is put on my iPod and grab the dog and walk around Dunham Lake. In fact I love to listen to music when I am creating something new too.
FK: What part of being an artist is the most gratifying to you? And what’s the hardest?
I love the excitement I feel when starting something new. I do it for me, and I must like it… a lot! I do not create just to bang something out for my shop. I am really critical of all parts of the process and will spend a lot of time, paper and ink getting the color to my exact liking.
As a working graphic designer the hardest part is changes the client may request. Sometimes I totally disagree, but need to make the changes to have a happy client. That is why I like to create for myself - total freedom to keep what I like!
FK: I remember those client days well, Pam, and I don’t miss them! What activities do you enjoy when you’re not working?
My husband and I love to get away in the middle of winter to warm sunny places, usually Mexico. I love taking pictures, the sound of the tropical birds and, of course, the ocean! I find it recharges my spirit and I feel uplifted in those places.
FK: Finally, tell us one thing that most people – maybe even your family – don’t know about you.
I’m a pretty open book. I have a hard time keeping my thoughts to myself!
Most people know I have a thing for the color chartreuse and own a lot of chartreuse from dishes to my office chair! Funny, but my daughter has just as much of a passion for the color periwinkle! What is it with us that we love these colors so much?
FK: I have a couple of colors that I’m drawn to that way as well.
Pam, it has been great fun visiting with you and getting a peek into your life and work. Thank you. Now tell our friends what your giveaway will be.
I’m giving away the Nature Series Greeting Cards Gift Set. These cards are from the four original designs in my Nature Series. The cards are 5x7, blank on the inside, and come with a white envelope. The set comes with its own unique custom carrier with sparkle accents.
That's a great gift! Let Pam know what your favorites are and leave a comment below no later than noon on Wednesday, January 27, to be entered in the drawing. The winner of the Greeting Cards Gift Set will be announced that afternoon.