Featured Artist - Kat Gottlieb 
At Calypso we publish cards by artists from all over the world – tell us where you grew up and where you live and work. 
I grew up in a small, wholesome town in the Midwest, USA. I now have a winter home in Arizona and a summer home in Wisconsin. I’ve had commercial space in the past, but I’m a homebody so now I prefer keeping my studio in my home. 

What is your work environment like, do you have a home studio? An ocean view? what sort of music do you like to listen to while you work? 
Although I have two different home studios, I use the same technology in both so that I can travel back and forth seamlessly. My art is created in Photoshop on a laptop with a Wacom drawing tablet, which I was able to bring along to a month-long trip to Italy last year. This year, I will bring it to Hawaii, Florida, California, and France. Have Wacom will travel! When working, I like to get lost in my thoughts, so I rarely listen to anything but my pug snoring alongside me. But after hours, I enjoy soulful singers like Joss Stone, Leela James, Anthony Hamilton and many others. 

How is your day structured as a working artist? 
I plan my week every Sunday, prioritizing tasks. Typically, I work from 8 AM to 4 PM with frequent “brain breaks” to re-energize. It really helps productivity. Since I am an author too, sometimes I’m writing, mentoring and/or speaking. And of course, there are always the mandatory administrative tasks to complete. But, my favorite days are completely devoted to creating artwork! 

How did you begin your career as an artist? 
A million years ago, I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Marketing Communications. I’ve held several different creative roles throughout my career including owning several businesses. Art has always been my first love; I took every opportunity to include it in projects. It was multi-year evolution to shift my business solely to artwork (and writing). 

What was your first big success as an artist? 
I was hired to create a cast of characters for a large restaurant chain, similar to McDonald’s, in another country. It required 3D costume design and character development blended to another culture. It was great fun! 

What inspires your work? 
Understanding the deeper meaning of things and connecting to other people through my artwork. 

Are there other artists that inspire you? 
I adore the artwork of Olaf Hajek. Katie Daisy is amazing, as is Curly Girl Design! I continually find inspiration from the whole creative community found everywhere. I am fascinated with craftsmanship found in antiques, vintage home décor, tools, textiles, and old-fashioned artwork. 

What is your earliest memory of creating art? 
I’ve been drawing since I can remember. I didn’t have specialized art equipment, so I used kraft grocery paper bags with crayons or pencils. I was obsessed with dogs and horses. I would create stories about them. 

What is your favorite medium? 
I used to have an art business specializing in lasercut invitations, but now I primarily use a digital drawing tablet. 

How has your style changed over time? 
As I became more comfortable with Photoshop, my style has refined yet become much looser. I’ve discovered that often my initial quick sketch has the best energy, so I try to go with it instead of belaboring the composition. Imperfection gives art authentic personality. 

Of all the cards we publish by you, do you have a favorite? 
It must be the Mother’s Day card, "Wind Beneath My Wings" that is featured on the cover of your 2024 spring catalog! The blue bird in it symbolizes my mom.

Click here to see Kat's entire collection with Calypso Cards.