Monday, September 14th

Design Challenge Winner, May 2020, Happiness is … – PamJArts

What was your inspiration for your winning card? Please walk us through the process of how this card went from an idea to a greeting card.

I wish I had some words of wisdom here but this one was pure luck! I was thinking of creating a new Coronavirus card and up popped this image in the stock card search results. Once I saw the expression on the dog, I knew I wanted to make a card from it. That dog is priceless, he looks like he is evaluating every word the kitten is sharing, maybe a little judgment going on there but obviously coming up with a wise solution as he lends a sympathetic ear. I love images that appear to tell a story and take it from there, hence it seemed a great fit for the challenge and I decided I would enter.  I like to laugh and so do my closest friends, so being true to who I am, the inside verse has a lighter side to it in addition to a sincere thank you.

This isn’t your first GCU’s Design Challenge win.  What advice would you give to other artists who are hesitant to enter?

I would say don’t feel shy about entering, you have nothing to lose and a few goodies and some exposure for your work if you win a place in the challenge. The GCU artist community is very friendly and supportive and it is an opportunity to have a little fun within the GCU community with no pressure. I would wholeheartedly encourage you to take the plunge and enter and join in the fun!

Like this winning card, many of your cards feature funny animals filled with personality.  What is your favorite animal and why?

My favorite animals are small rodents, it’s a thing, ask my family. I don’t have any as pets now, but hamsters, mice, chipmunks, if they are tiny with tiny beady eyes and tiny hands, they just melt my heart. Check out a Sengi Mouse and tell me that is not the cutest thing you have ever seen. That nose!

You’ve been a member of GCU’s artist community since 2008.  How have you seen your card designs evolve or change since the early days?

Yes, I have been here a long time. When I found GCU I thought it would be fun to create cards from my many floral photographs. No idea what I was doing and I was totally new to greeting cards outside of my usual holiday cards that I made for personal use. My daughters were elementary school age at the time and this was my little creative escape. I also at the time had a very early version of Photoshop and was teaching myself how to use it to edit photos and played around with creating all sorts of digital effects that were so overdone. I can honestly say some of those early designs left a lot to be desired and are long gone.

As the years went on I learned more Photoshop skills from practice and online sites (there is so much help out there) and I started to put more thought into creating greeting cards with a purpose and message. I started to appreciate how the use of different fonts and text placement are just as important as the image when creating a greeting card, how all these things working together made it more appealing and professional. More recently I have played with combining Photoshop effects and hand painting and that is what led to some of my funny animal cards. Lately, I have been revamping some of my old photo cards by going back to my original photographs and creating digital paintings through a combination of Photoshop effects and using my pen tablet, essentially hand painting over the image, much as I would if I were doing an oil painting. That way I can bring out what I want in the image and change anything that I did not like in the original photo. I am always trying something new and love any chance I get to create and play.

The Design Challenge was Happiness is …  How would you finish that sentence for yourself?

Happiness is finding anything that was lost.

This was a Stock Card Creation (BigStock) only challenge.  Any tips on finding the perfect stock image?

Outside of a nice sharp image, I would look for one that tells a story like the dog and cat image that I used. Look for images that will catch the eye of the shopper or make them want it because it is cute, dramatic, romantic, silly, etc.

There are many rewards for the Design Challenge Winner.  Which is your favorite and why?

I certainly like the card credits, always helpful, but it is also nice to have some badges to display on my storefront because I started this venture in 2008 knowing nothing and now I can show my family (that thought I was crazy) that I wasn’t crazy after all. Ha!

Mid-year is a good time to start design cards for the Winter holidays.  What are your plans?

I’m thinking about getting a new digital painting underway, maybe a winter floral or maybe a winter scene. I am leaning toward natural, simple designs this year. We shall see what comes forth!

Ok, now for the fast five, fun questions …

  • If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? – The Mastery of Chi
  • What is one thing you miss about being a kid? – Running forever and NEVER getting tired.
  • What makes a good friend? – Courtesy, kindness and honesty.
  • Would you rather be a giant rodent or a tiny elephant? – Tiny Elephant, for sure.
  • What is your favorite scent / smell? – It’s a toss up between bacon or magnolias!
Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright 2000-2014 Greeting Card Universe Privacy Policy