Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In the Studio with My Chartreuse Room and a Giveaway!

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:

FK: Have you always lived in Michigan?

Growing up I lived in many places from Maryland to Massachusetts and Pennsylvania to California.  I love the East Coast and the ocean the best. Being around water is one of my all time favorite places to be. After college I moved to Michigan with my parents and have lived here ever since. I am remarried and have a wonderful large family and we are lucky that everyone lives here in Michigan with us.

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!

I named my shop 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.

Left to right:
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

My nature series are by far the most popular items in my shop. I sell prints and cards of them as well.

Another big seller in my shop is the “Notes to Self” cards. I created them digitally in scrapbook style. I am a big fan of Wayne Dyer and spiritual thinking and with the economy the way it is lately, I thought feel-good messages might be attractive to people right now. I created a carrier to hold the five cards and it makes it a nice gift set.

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.

FK: I’m with you there – I love it too. How long have you been an artist?

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.

FK: What inspires you? Where do you look – or go – for inspiration? Where’s your “quiet place?”

I am inspired by - and actually in awe of - nature. And color inspires me for sure!!

My trip to Arizona gave me inspiration that I still draw on and Sedona is my second favorite place to be. The mountains made me cry the first time I saw them. One of my prints called “Snoopy Rocks on…” is from a formation called Snoopy Rock that looks just like Snoopy lying on his back!

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.


  1. lovely work & great interview, Love the Make time for walks print!

  2. Thanks for introducing us to this artist, I really enjoy her style, and of course. chartruese is one of my favorite colors:)

  3. I love her button wreath thank you card. These are beautiful and would make a very special gift.

  4. I love the Doing What You Love inspirational card. Thank you for the review--it was interesting and I absolutely love her artistry! Please enter me in the giveaway for the beautiful cards!

    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

  5. I love the framed prints, especially the "Make Time for Walks" prints. I love the card set you are giving away. The colors are so vibrant.
    My e-mail: bethnaf at hotmail dot com

  6. I LOVE the cool breeze print!! I collect penguins... so this would be a perfect addition to my collection!

    mandm_2002 at hotmail dot com

  7. I love the blowing scarf greeting card. so pretty! What a beautiful Shop! I too like hazelnut Thanks!

  8. I love the Treat Your Eyes to Butterflies print. All of your designs are so unique - and beautiful!

  9. I love "Make Time to Explore."

  10. I love make time to explore best!


  11. I love the Expressive Color Series Greeting Cards. They are absolutely gorgeous, and I think they would be great framed in a child's room. They're cheery and interesting and lovely.

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  12. I really like the Giving a Hand print. So pretty.


  13. I love 'Make time for a walk' and what a great name for a card!

  14. The giveaway notecards are delightful, and the Tropical bliss print is just so warm and inviting, (here in the snowbelt of Ohio)!

  15. I love that these cards are so unique, so different from the typical "Happy this" or "Congratulations that" stuff we're so used to seeing. Well done!

  16. The Kaleidoscope (1) 8 x 8 Print is so amazingly beautiful! I love it,

  17. i love the Make Time to Explore 8 x 8 Print. stunning work!

    fertawert AT yahoo DOT com

  18. I'm so happy that you all love Pam's work as much as I do! Enjoy!

  19. I have always been facinated with kaleidoscopes since I was a child, so I was naturally taked with the kaleidoscope print. Also was drawn to the take time to walk print....
    freeindeed at myfairpoint dot net

  20. i love the button wreath thank you card

  21. Wonderful shop and interview. Love the Make Time for Walks print and the inspirational greeting cards.

  22. I really like the butterfly greeting card. I love the collage look.

    aschertle at yahoo dot com

  23. Great interview! I love your chartreuse room. Especially the geckos!!!


  24. i like the make time to walk print! so cute & would look great in my woodsy cabin! :)
    please enter me!


    nw typing at live dot com

  25. What a great interview. I enjoyed seeing the quiet path where Pam walks for inspiration with her dog. I liked the Notes to Self, which are very positive and motivating. I also liked the Snoopy Piece inspired by her trip to Sedona. I agree that seeing Sedona is a life changing experience! We stopped at a rest stop near Sedona, which had such an incredible view. I would have been happy to have had a wedding there!

  26. i blogged about it :)

    please enter me again!

    judy bloom flowers at hotmail dot com

  27. i'm a follower

    please enter me again!

    nw typing at live dot com

  28. How neat! So glad you reconnected!

    rmaslow a@t yahoo d.ot com

  29. i'm a follower :)

    please enter me again!

    yay! *crossin my fingers*

    judy bloom flowers at hotmail dot com


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