Monday, December 24, 2012

Art that Makes You Smile - Artist Sharon Fernleaf

Humor in art can be very helpful. It makes people feel better. And for this holiday season I thought that we all need a big smile to enter a new year in a positive state of mind. Today I have the great pleasure of presenting Sharon Fernleaf, one of my favorite smile-generating artists!

© Sharon Fernleaf
The Moon From My Attic: Please introduce yourself - I'm Sharon Fernleaf, an artist and greeting card designer. I enjoy your blog and I'm really happy to share my work here. I live in Phoenix with my two cat companions, Rumitilda and Leonis, who are the inspiration for most of the cat humor and the quiet animal vignettes that make up most of my card designs.

TMFMA: What brought you to art in the first place? Finger painting in school and those giant sets of crayons you had when you were a kid. I spent a lot of time at the library looking at big art books and reading biographies of artists. I loved Mad magazine and comic books. I doodled all the time.

TMFMA: What's exciting about your creative work? I love creating cards that make people smile or laugh and it gives me an outlet for an off the wall sense of humor. The best part is giving people something that they want to share because it made them smile or laugh. Laughter is such a great thing. Very healing.

© Sharon Fernleaf
TMFMA: What's your favorite medium or tool/s you create with? I love to draw. I have a lot of sketchbooks full of drawings and doodles for cards and paintings. And I love Photoshop. I used to paint more—most recently folk art or little canvases and wood panels of daily life with animals. They were a lot of fun and led to greeting cards. I set up shops on Greeting Card Universe, Zazzle, and Cafepress with those images. I was very focused on scratchboard for awhile. I loved the idea of bringing light out of darkness.

TMFMA: Who or what has inspired you in your art? Everything. I especially love the work of artists who express a lot of emotion in very simple art. Some of my favorite art is in children's books, cards, and comic books - like Lynda Barry, whose work can be so funny and heartbreaking at the same time, Sandra Boynton, Tomie de Paola, Charles Schultz, George Herriman. I was very inspired by three books: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis when I was a kid -- the idea of a secret world behind the scenes made me feel like anything was possible; When Elephants Weep about the emotional lives of animals; and The Secret Life of Plants, both of which opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at animals and the planet.

© Sharon Fernleaf
TMFMA: How long have you been doing art licensing? Since January of this year (2012). I'm represented by Kimberly Montgomery of Montage Licensing. She took a chance on me - I'm very new to this. I was interested in working with an agent because I think it's important to recognize what your strengths are and what you need help with and being a cheerleader for my own work doesn't come naturally! I'd rather just design, but of course you can't. You have to promote yourself, so I also work on getting better at it.

TMFMA: What advice would you give other artists that are considering the art licensing field? Like I said, I'm very new to this myself, but I know what has helped me - there are a lot of wonderful licensing blogs out there, yours included, and books by people happy to share information. My work was at Surtex for the first time this year (very exciting!) and at one point, I was studying so many blogs and books about what you need to know that I felt overwhelmed. My advice is to be patient with yourself while you're learning so you still enjoy what you're doing. You'll make better art.

Find out more about Sharon's art here:

© Sharon Fernleaf
© Sharon Fernleaf

© Sharon Fernleaf


Sharon Fernleaf said...

Thanks Alex! Happy Holidays!

Beverly Dyer said...


Cindy D. said...

Adorable stuff! I especially love those cats in the crash helmets. I am thinking of licensing too, but will have to take it slow and try to figure stuff out (and read more of your licensing info)!

Happy New Year! :)