It’s time to meet another amazingly talented artist that we are lucky enough to work with every day. Today, we’re chatting with Kathi Fay, a designer/animator for American Greetings. Let’s meet the artist!
When did you first realize you are an artist?
I should have realized when I was in elementary school while I was spending all my time creating comic strips and embellished name tags, but I didn’t realize that it was an actual option for me until well into adulthood.
What is your position at American Greetings and what is your background as an artist?
I’m a designer/animator for AmericanGreetings.com creating digital content. My first degree is in mathematics and statistics and after spending several years as an escrow officer I decided to go back to school and get my studio arts degree. As soon as I finished school I got a freelance job at American Greetings that was supposed to last for three weeks; it’s been nine years now.
Could you tell us some more about your work?
I create digital cards. I take a concept and make it pretty and make it move. I work in all sorts of media including sewing, resin, sculpting, and photography but mostly my work is digital. I work on quite a range of stuff from brainstorming, storyboarding, illustrating, hand lettering, a little coding, photo manipulation and animating.
What is it that inspires you when creating a particular design or graphic piece?
Everything inspires me, but the desire to make each piece something I can be proud of and people will like is what really drives me. I create a lot in my free time as well, and the joy of gifting something handmade really makes me happy.
What’s your favorite piece/ecard ever created and why?
My favorite ecard created would have to be the Christmas stop-motion card from a few years ago. I created and sewed all the characters and trees and clouds for the entire card from patterns that I made myself. It’s a lot of fun to see a stuffed character you made come to life and walk across the screen.
What famous artists or graphic designers have influenced you?
I follow a lot of artist blogs, so on a daily level it’s those people who influence me to keep striving. Other big influences for me have been Paul Rand, Mary Blair, and Tim Burton.
What inspires you to create your designs and how do you stay motivated?
My daughter is such a little cheerleader for me. She helps me ideate and gives me suggestions on what she thinks would make something better. She tells me how great I am and loves every single thing I create. She keeps me motivated and inspires me to keep creating.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Well, I assume within the next 10 years Tim Burton will have called me to work on one of his major stop-motion pieces! And clearly I will become his go-to character developer from then on.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Have confidence in your work and stand up for it. Make what you like and the work will follow.
What do you do for fun?
Too much! Spend time with my husband and daughter, sew, draw, craft, origami, fabric design, create, archery, eat, paint my nails, read, bead, knit, crochet, screen print, make soap, party plan and relax in the sun. I could keep going, my brain does not stop thinking of new things to fill my time. Oh, and I blog – http://boogiebeans.blogspot.com/ – go check out my randomness.