I began my life in Detroit, Michigan, but after age 13 I was transplanted many times. I spent some time in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, then High School in Westport, Connecticut, followed by a year in Minnesota, outside of Minneapolis, a bit of art school in Dayton, Ohio, and a short stint in Arizona. But I have lived most of my life in a small village in Ohio.
Yellow Springs, Ohio has a population of about 3,000 and a big heart. It is a very friendly, colorful and forward thinking community. It is an artist's town, a college town, home of Antioch College, and a lovely place to live. (To see just how lovely it really is, look at my series "My Town: the Muses of a Not So Vocal Local." )
As early as I can remember I loved to color and draw, copying my story books like "Lady and the Tramp" while dreaming of a career with Walt Disney, or trying to draw Rocky and Bullwinkle just like Doug who sat next to me in 7th grade. All through my life my need to create has driven me. No matter what else I was doing, I had to have some piece of artwork in progress.
Needle and thread became familiar tools in high school when what we wore was so-o-o important. You had to know how to change your regular jeans into hip-huggers, (the precursor to today's low slung jeans), cutting and sewing back the waistband and tucking in the extra zipper. These skills came in handy during the leanest years of early marriage, doing free-lance sewing for a living. Later sewing became quilts and wall hangings both traditional and nontraditional using my character designs.
Painting on canvas had a short visit with me after high school, creating presents for family at Christmas. (One of those still hanging in my daughter's home, was the inspiration for Like Meow Daddy-O.) Drawing animals with pencil and paper filled the lonely hours while marooned in Tucson, Arizona. There too, Native American rugs opened up the idea of weaving, which I pursued when back in Ohio. And while working at a design studio doing layout and typesetting on computer, I created my "Yellow Springers." These dolls began as a gag gift at the Christmas Party and each doll had his/her own pair of Ghirkenstomp sandals.
Computer and design next led me to my own business, "KatCAD," where I have been drafting house plans for 18 years. And an old home monopolizes much of my creative and busy time, trying to bring her back to the beauty I think she once had or should have had.
In 1993 I had a one woman retrospective at the Bryan Center Community Gallery in Yellow Springs, Ohio called "I want to be an artist when I grow up" which included examples of all the different work. I had paintings, weavings, quilts, banners (from our local banner festival), dolls and, of course my characters. They became gainfully employed during my years as a member in a cooperative called "Village Artisans" where I began my line of note cards under the banner of KaVoooM Productions.
In 2000 I illustrated a novella written by Suzanne Clauser entitled "The Glad Season," a story about two cats who adopted each other. It was published by Disc-us Books, Inc. and can be found here .
Children's stories have always been in progress. And always, those characters, like the ones from my childhood memories, continue to insinuate their way into my mind and onto paper and now computer and the web.
My subjects are most often animals, realistic and humanlike. Humor is a big part of my work. Often the title or the idea for the piece can be a play on words, sometimes a parody. My subjects are my pets, past and present, and people, places and things I see and imagine.
All my designs are hand-drawn, most often with pencil and sometimes on my computer with a digitizer pencil. I work on a Mac Pro computer in Photoshop and scan and paint most of my pieces there.