Creative Places-Copper Cat Studio

During Reno Open Studios last October I was fortunate to meet Katie Packham, mosaic artist and owner of Copper Cat Studio.

What inspired the start of your business?

I’ve always been creative, enjoying and excelling at many different art forms from a young age. It’s when I got to college that I was hesitant to make a career out of it. I got a degree in interior design because it was creative but also included a lot of problem solving and project management. I’m very right/left brain equal. I did that for many years and was able to nurture a mural business on the side for about 9 years before delving into mosaics. That is what ignited the passion to make me quit my day job 11 years ago.

My biggest breakthrough came when…

My biggest breakthrough to the path I’m on now is when the mosaic supply company where I taught class for years offered to sell me their business. It was mainly an online business but there was local clientele and I quickly found running it out of my home studio wasn’t going to work. My first move to a public location was in a cute boutique location in Midtown. It was immediately apparent that the space wasn’t big enough for how the business was evolving- mostly workshops, and so when my rent significantly increased after a little over a year, we moved into our current location. I guess that was a huge breakthrough too. I was really upset about the rent increase, but it ended up being the catalyst for the exponential growth we’ve experienced in the last year and a half. I couldn’t be happier with where we are right now!

How do you balance your creative pursuits with your day-to-day commitments?

I would say finding that balance in my day-to-day commitments of running a studio, workshop space, retail front and yoga studio is tough. My time for my own creativity has definitely suffered. I have created a space where others come to nurture their souls through the arts. I feel like I’m finally on the right track and am starting to get in the groove after the move a year and a half ago, so that I can find that bit of creative nurturing I need as well. I love the bustle and energy of a busy studio, but find that I really appreciate those days where it is quiet and I can just mosaic all day without interruption.

What’s next?

I’m not sure…I’ve learned to let the universe guide me. I know that sounds cheesy, but I’ve found that if I lay out some intentions and not try to be too specific with details, the right opportunities pop up at exactly the right time. I am enjoying what we are doing currently but it’s always evolving. The diverse workshops we offer are hugely popular but it’s a lot of work. I see myself simplifying in the years to come and concentrating on just mosaics, yoga and Reiki and other healing modalities.

Anything else to share with the readers?

Just that with our crazy lives, it’s important to take care of ourselves. Whether through yoga, meditation, creativity or getting out in nature…whatever nurtures YOUR soul, we have to fill our own vessel before being able to give to others.

Copper Cat Studio

300 Kresge Lane, Sparks, NV 89431

www.CopperCatStudio.com

Blog: coppercatstudio.blogspot.com

Tessera Glass

www.tesseraglass.com

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Author/Artist Interview S.L. Dearing

I met Shannon through her Etsy business, Underdweller Treasures. I needed some swag for an upcoming author event. Not only did she meet my deadline, but the treasures she crafted for Ever After were a big hit.

Describe your day job.

My day job LOL. I am an Office Assistant and receptionist at a marketing firm in Century City, CA. It is part-time, but I am blessed in that I can do marketing for my books and side business, Underdweller Treasures.

 

Tell me about your latest book.

My most recent release is a two part collaboration with three other authors (Magen McMinimy, Jax Walsh and Jean Michaels). It’s called The Similayer Project and it is a post-apocalyptic, contagion, survival story loaded with intrigue, romance and everything in between. It is also formatted as a normal timeline, so it’s not a collection, but rather a fully fleshed out book that we all wrote. It was a huge undertaking and I have to say I’m super proud of it!

Who are your writing role models?

My biggest influences are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, JK Rowling, Robin Jarvis, William Shakespeare, Magen McMinimy

 

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?

I can’t say I’m always successful with that. I try to manage my time as best I can, but I drop the ball a lot. That is life. As long as the most important aspects of your life are intact, it’s okay. So that means, sometimes writing falls to the wayside, and I try to do it when I can.

What are your other passions outside of writing?

Besides, family and friends, I have a side business I mentioned above, Underdweller Treasures. I make jewelry and swag, and I really love that. My sister taught me when I was in my twenties. I read, love movies and music. I’m trying to learn some new languages and would like to learn to play the banjo.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Oh, wow, I guess be patient with your favorite authors. Writing can be a slow process sometimes. As a reader I know it’s frustrating to wait for the next book, but it is a long process. Other than that, find your passion, try to make it your life’s work, and if you can’t, make sure to take time out to enjoy. Oh, and remember, there is no shelf life to dreams… you can always find a new one.

Links to S.L. Dearing

Website:

Facebook Author Page:

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Blog:

Goodreads:

Amazon Author Page:

Amazon.co.uk Author Page:

Amazon.de Author Page:

Rising Indies United:

Rising Indies United (FB):

Twitter page:

Underdweller Treasures page (FB):

Etsy:

Twitter page:

Artist Interview-Kelly Burr

I met Kelly Burr at the Copper Cat during Reno Open Studios and I was impressed by her warmth and energy.  

 What are some of the challenges you faced transitioning your artistic work into retirement?

The challenges….OH the challenges. The biggest challenge I’ve had so far, with the exception of my body cooperating with my need to work, is the feeling of “ not contributing to the household”, so finding a way to balance that, has been interesting. Because my “retirement” was forced upon me after my accident, I didn’t have that lead time one takes, before planning such a big change. But, I’ve adapted, and I’m learning to work WITH my body’s schedule, and not against it. My days are random as far as what I can do, but we are making it work.

Kelly included one of her art magnets along with her business card.

What advice would you give someone at a similar place in her journey?

The advice I would give is just to embrace your new place…like anything else in life, it’s an adjustment and you’ll need to find the right balance for YOU, but I promise, once you arrive, you’ll feel amazing, energized and ready to take on the world.

What are your other passions?

I was in the catering/event planning business for 40 years, with my last few years being an executive assistant to a fairly famous( in my neck of the woods) Chef, and I love to plan elaborate parties and cook awesome meals…I just don’t want to do the cleanup!

What’s next for you?

Hmmmmm….what’s next? I’m hoping to be able to teach more, do more private lessons. It’s so cool to watch students, of all ages, learn and create something in THEIR vision, not mine. I love sharing my art and I want others to be as joyful as I feel when I make something!

Anything that you’d like to share with our readers?

EVERYONE has creativity, in some form. I can’t draw, or paint a “picture”. I cannot crochet, knit, spin or weave. I can’t do metalwork, woodwork or blow glass…Find YOUR thing. Study it. Experiment with it. PLAY WITH IT. Let your mind wander. It’s ok. In fact, it’s essential to happiness. You know the old saying…All work and no play, make us ALL very dull people. Go out and be shiny!!!

Website info: Coming soon…MaiWheyArtStudios.com

Facebook:  Mai Whey Art Studios

 

Reno Open Studios-2018

One of the things I enjoyed about taking my kids trick or treating was catching a brief glimpse into my neighbors’ homes. Some doors opened to elegant entryways set with tile or gleaming hardwood. Others displayed a cozy family room with a fire crackling in the fireplace. I always wondered how the story carried on after the door was closed.

Reno Open Studios  also offers visitors the opportunity to peek behind the curtain to see magic at work in studios not usually open to the public. Since 2009, the first weekend in October is a citywide open house for visual artists working in media spanning from glass to gourds. Even if you only have time to visit a couple of studios, it is well worth the effort.

Details:

When: October 5th-7th

Where: Throughout Reno, NV-Check online brochure and map for details.

Need to know more? Check out https://www.facebook.com/renoopenstudios

Art Open House

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Pablo Picasso

What do Froggie Beads, Meridian Press prints and Wine-ing Cats have in common? Besides being featured on Create on the Side, they’re also part of the creations available from the talented artists featured at Reno Open Studios.

Wine-Ing Cats Reno

Wine-ing Cats by Michele DiFonzo

This year 31 visual artists, coppersmiths to photographers, open their studios to the public.

Best of all, Reno Open Studios is arranged in a true open house format.  Since the studios are located throughout Reno and Sparks, you can easily manage to visit a couple of studios between your usual weekend errands.  Or better yet, grab a friend and make a day of it.

Reno Open Studios-Dates and Hours

October 6th, 7th and 8th, 2017-Note some studios are not open on Friday. Check the website for details.

Hours 10:00am to 5:00pm each day.

Artist Interview-Rachel Micander

REMI was fortunate to meet Rachel in person at the Wild Nevada exhibit during Reno’s Artown.

My biggest breakthrough came when… It was very recently. I think it came when I realized that my artwork was unique. I thought for so long that the paintings I created were generic and in an artistic style that was no longer in vogue. I recently went to a local salon to show my work in consideration for an upcoming show. I was very nervous about showing my work since I never see anything like my paintings in local coffee shops or salons. My paintings were received quite well and I will (hopefully) be having a show at the end of 2017. The gal that organizes the shows told me that she had never seen anything like my paintings before and loved how different they were. Since then, I have begun to embrace my style of painting and work to share the landscapes and birds of the Great Basin and eastern Sierra that I love so much.

CedarWaxwing

Cedar Waxwing-R. Micander

Who are your heroes in real life? I have always had a hard time defining heroes in my day to day life, but I would have to say that my parents are two people who have always taught me to do good and whom I look up to. My mother shared her artistic talent and love of nature with me and my father shared his love of sports cars, his calm demeanor, and rationality, making me the person that I am today. Also, my husband, Gary, who always supports and encourages me in anything I try to tackle and is a constant rock in my life. I have a great appreciation and respect for John Muir – he fought for what he believed in and I am so thankful I am able to enjoy the wilderness, mountains, and the beautiful western landscapes because of what he worked so hard to protect. After all, “none of nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild” – John Muir.

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your creative pursuits? Recently, I have found that after a long, sometimes monotonous, and stressful day at work, the best thing for me is to decompress at home with painting. I find that if I have a project going at home, it helps me through my day, and I have something completely different to tackle when I am home from a 10-hour day at work. It’s not always easy, but I find that if I leave my unfinished work on the kitchen table I am drawn to return to it at some point.

What are your other passions? I love topographic maps, compasses, and old-style navigation. I am also a geologist by training and love the Great Basin in all its beauty and

ConwaySummit

Conway Summit-R.Micander

geological interest. I have a love of European sports cars and motorsports (thanks dad). Last year I competed in the inaugural Rebelle Rally, the first all-women’s off-road rally in the United States. My best friend and I competed in this seven day, off-road excursion with no GPS or cell phones through the Great Basin and Mojave Desert. She was my driver and I was her navigator. I have always wanted to compete in motorsports (again, thanks dad), and this rally made my dream a reality.

What’s next for you? I hope to continue painting the beautiful landscapes of the Great Basin and eastern Sierra. I would like to learn how to make prints of my art so I can keep some of my favorite originals. There are quite a few paintings I sold early on that I wish I still had. I also hope to begin creating stationary, and maybe one day, design wedding invitations.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? I believe that anyone can be an artist. If you want to create something, don’t let self-doubt hold you back. This is something that I have struggled with for a long time. If you love painting then you should paint.

To learn more about Rachel and her art -check out the following link: 

micander.com/art

Art with Friends

Wild NevadaSome folks are all about keeping it wild. While Friends of Nevada Wilderness  is more about open spaces than the party scene, their opening reception for their Wild Nevada Exhibit was quite the festive event, packed with artists, advocates and volunteers.  During Artown the local 502(c) non-profit headquarters becomes an art gallery featuring  a variety of visual mediums and diverse landscapes and wildlife.

“Art is activism,” one of the volunteers remarked to me.  She then noted how Ansel Adams brought remote spans of wilderness to public attention.  In addition to raising awareness of Nevada’s public lands, the exhibit also provided visibility to local artists, like Rachel Micander, who fielded inquiries about her work like a veteran during her debut show.

As an office dweller, I was pleased to see the outside brought in—long white hallways populated with snowy mountains, wild flowers even a Lazuli Bunting and an Evening Grosbeak, birds native to the Great Basin.  So corporate spaces can play host to art and nature if only for a little while.