Oopsydaisy

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Wheatpaste Art Collective

Wall Art for Teens

  • Meet Alison Junda

    Meet Alison Junda

    Alison Junda always assumed that galleries were the best way for artists to sell their work. In fact, a local gallery is where Alison got her start. But the internet has opened new venues for artists, and it’s a change that has served Alison’s career well.
    “Growing up, I always just assumed that artists sold paintings through galleries and that was the only outlet, the only way to get your things out there,” she says. “But now it’s totally different, with online selling and websites. That’s been a huge game-changer.”
    Alison lives with her family in New Jersey. Four local galleries carry her work, she says, and three of those four found her via social media. She’s a full-time artist, which is not something she initially thought she’d be able to be. “I’ve always painted,” she says. “I took a lot of art in high school, like senior-study-type classes. I always kind of wanted to pursue art but wasn’t sure if that was the best career choice for me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it as an artist.” And so she majored in interior design, which seemed to be a better career move, she explains. But with the advent of social media, “I’ve been able to connect with people locally and throughout the country.”
    Alison’s artwork is heavily influenced by her surroundings. She grew up in Maryland by the bay and spent summers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, “so I really fell for the ocean by going down there every summer. I’ve always been inspired by--and loved--coastal landscapes.” These landscapes are right in her backyard, practically, so she brings images back to her studio. “I don’t usually do [outdoor] painting,” she clarifies. “It’s a lot to bring everything with me. I’m more comfortable painting at home. I go to the beach and take photos there. I sometimes work directly from a picture. But sometimes it’s an inspiration and I change things here and there, especially colors. There’s a neat blend of taking a photo and editing it, either via the computer or in my head, and pulling in different colors.”
    Alison, who works in acrylics, has recently added trucks and bikes to her subject matter. This is thanks to the first gallery in which her work was sold. “There’s a really cool nautical and vintage coastal inspiration for everything they sell,” Alison says. “They’ve been really good about inspiring me and suggesting things. The surf trucks and the bikes came out of inspiration from that store. I’ve always loved vintage trucks and jeeps. I thought maybe I’ll see how this goes, and they were really popular. I had a jeep wrangler for many years before I had kids and I loved it. I loved driving around in the summer. You see it a lot around here,” so the inspiration just keeps on coming.
    As for future inspiration, Alison does have some ideas, but she’s sticking to what she loves best. “I’ve thought about doing more landscapes in addition to seascapes,” she reports. “But other than that I really like what I’m doing now. I really like painting oceans, landscapes, boats, bikes, and cars, and if I stay in that area there’s plenty of variety.”

  • Meet Katie Daisy

    Katie Daisy loves flowers so much that she named herself after one. “It’s my pen name,” Katie says. “I was just sitting in class one day at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I studied product design in college and I started sketching all these ideas for this artist brand I wanted to have. “Katie Daisy” came from my pen. It was amazing. It sounded nice and it’s worked well for me.”

     

    Flowers have been an important part of Katie’s life from the beginning. She grew up in rural Illinois, in the prairie, in a town of only about 500 people. Everything in her portfolio, she says, is tied to her upbringing and childhood. She spent the majority of her childhood outside, she says, experiencing nature and creeks and flowers and insects. “Flowers are my big thing,” she says, “but pretty much all of nature is important to me. It was so fun growing up there.”

     

    Just as she was fortunate to grow up in a place that inspired her, so was Katie fortunate to start her career at the ideal time. “I was in college around the time Etsy started booming. I feel like I hit it at a really good time. I was working at the service bar in college, like an in-house Kinkos. I was allowed to work on my own work, so I did a ‘you are my sunshine’ piece. Believe it or not, it was only one of two or three on Etsy at the time! [A recent Etsy search on the phrase returned over 18,000 hits.] It was picked up by tons of blogs and went crazy. That’s when I really started adding quotes and lettering to my artwork.”

     

    As her art has evolved, Katie has started using her own phrases instead of quotes. She’s into evoking feelings and emotions, she says, relying on memories of her childhood and time spent outdoors.

     

    And what she’s doing is working; her combination of florals and inspiration has hit a chord. Katie’s recent book, How to Be Wildflower: A Field Guide, was a New York Times bestseller, and she’s a full-time artist.

     

    She now lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3-year-old son. “Bend is a really lovely place too,” she says. “It’s a different sort of landscape than I grew up with but it’s got different things to explore.”

     

    What will Katie Daisy be exploring next? Whatever her imagination can conjure. “I don’t think about the commercial side a whole lot,” she says. “I’ve never hopped on the trend bandwagon. I’ve been really lucky that I can paint what I want and people respond to that. I truly believe that if you’re expressing yourself authentically, people can see that and will want a bit of it for themselves.”

  • Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Meet Brett Blumenthal

    Brett Blumenthal’s art continues to inspire us. Her baby animals have the sort of soulful air that only an artist and an animal lover can create. Brett is both those things. We talked with her recently about how her art career is evolving.

    Oopsy Daisy: What inspired you to focus on animal portraits?

    Brett Blumenthal: When I was pregnant with my son [Alexander, who is now 4], I wanted to create art for his nursery. I did a series of safari animals with our cat, DaVinci, intertwined into them. I did a series of a family of three, plus our cat. People who would look at Alexander's nursery art said "oh my goodness I had no idea you could do this. You should sell it." When I did start selling my art, the family thing wasn't resonating as much as I hoped, so I started exploring what I thought was interesting.

    OD: Have you always had a passion for animals?

    BB: Yes. One of the reasons I dedicate ten percent of my own profits to animal welfare and wildlife conservation is that they don't have a voice and we do.

    OD: Do you have formal art training?

    BB: My dad was an artist and most of my training came from him. I took lots of art classes through grade and high school and never thought of it as a career, but I did become an architect. Lots of design classes and art are part of that curriculum.

    OD: What is next for you?

    BB: I will always continue to focus on animals because that is a passion of mine. I did a set of dinosaurs for a customer, and dad cancelled the order because the family switched their nursery theme to trucks. I asked if I could do some trucks for him instead and he agreed. At the same time, my son is getting into trucks (he’s not so much into animals anymore). I have been exploring the path of opening a new genre for boys. I am branching out and finding it challenging and interesting.

    OD: What would you tell kids who are interested in a career in art?

    BB:I would tell a kid to never be scared of being out there. I'm a pretty literal artist, which is why I'm a realist instead of an abstract artist. You might have a bit of fear of going out of the ordinary and wondering if it's going to be accepted. Don't let fear squash your creativity, and do something every day. Find a way to have an artistic outlet every day.

    I find that if I look at what I did for Alexander's nursery compared to what I'm doing now, you really can't compare the two. If you don't keep working at it you won't get better.

    Brett Blumenthal lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, cat, and son.

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