I recently discovered some of the most beautiful fantasy artwork that is available in the jigsaw puzzle format. I immediately searched the internet for the Artist and located Rose Cat Khan. The information I found showed how this artist truly has a passion to share her images on various products including jigsaw puzzles. I had the pleasure of arranging the following interview with her. If you are an artist, you may find her journey interesting. If you are a puzzler, you may enjoy having one of her jigsaw puzzles in your collection.
(Q) For our Readers, which state do you live in? (A)New York
(Q) Where did you grow up?
(A) Syracuse, NY
(Q) Did you travel a lot and which images were created as a result of your travels?
(A) Before the pandemic, we traveled a few times a year. Often conventions would bring me to interesting places, like Vegas, or the mountains of Utah.
The Dragon's Garden is directly referenced from the courtyard of the Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was so beautiful, I spent many hours in the courtyard doing sketches. I just had to incorporate it into a puzzle!
(Q) How did you become interested in art licensing to jigsaw puzzles in the first place?
(A) My art was already licensed on many products like figurines and cross stitch patterns. I was fortunate to meet the Art Director of Ravensburger Games at a convention in New York. It seemed like a great fit for my work.
(Q) What kind of education do you have that gives you the ability to be so creative in your artwork?
(A) I have been drawing since I was a small child and always knew I wanted to work in the arts. I have an associate's degree in graphic design and a bachelor's degree in illustration.
Q. What did you do for a living before you decided to get into art licensing?
(A) I was a graphic designer and art teacher for about a decade before my portfolio was strong enough for licensing. Graphic Design and Illustration are very different fields, even though they sound similar. Graphic Design is more focused on text and advertising, but illustration is all about story telling.
Q. Who were/are your biggest influences and inspirations in the art licensing world?
(A) My first licensing inspiration was Amy Brown. I remember looking at her fairies in Hot Topic in the 90s and being absolutely amazed. What an awesome job! Now we have the same agent.
Q. Where do you get all the photos you use in your designs?
(A) I take all of my own reference photography.
Q. What products other than jigsaw puzzles have you licensed your artwork to?
(A) Figurines, cross-stitch, Diamond Dots, posters, wall art, tapestries, woven blankets, credit cards. Check out my website to see the full list! www.RoseCatherine.com
(Q) How does photography enter into your work?
(A) I often take reference photos that serve as a basis for much of my art. People think that artists need to make up everything or draw from imagination. In truth, I practice drawing from real-life objects daily in order to study light and shadow. I sketch from imagination, but when it comes down to detail, I need to look at a photograph to get the proportions accurate.
Q. Have you always identified yourself as an artist?
(A) Yes, when I was in elementary school, I said I wanted to be an animator for Disney. I always wanted to tell stories with pictures.
Q. What is the average length of time it takes for you to create one image?
(A) 100 hours!
Q. Do you know how many puzzle images you have licensed over the years?
(A) Thirteen, some of those are unreleased but under contract.
(Q) Is your artwork digitally enhanced or hand-painted?
(Q) Were you from an artistic family background?
(A) My family was always very focused on making as much as we could. All four of my grandparents were Italian immigrants. They had elaborate gardens, did their own home improvement, and sewed their own clothing. They did these things in an effort to be cost-conscious as when they came to the US in the 1940s and 50s, they had nothing. This sort of 'can do' and 'teach yourself' attitude has influenced my art over the years.
Q. Out of all your licensed images, do you know which image has sold the most puzzles?
(A) Twilight Marketplace from Buffalo Games
Q. This is a big ask....do you have ONE favorite?
(A) Oh, that is so tough! It may be Glimmerstone Bakery, also known as the Magical Bakery.
Q. If a person was interested in doing the same work you do, what is the best advice you can give them?
(A) Draw a lot and study from artists who you enjoy.
Q. I would also like to see/know how your 'work in progress' happens - are there images/stages that you can share?
(A) Sure! See the BEFORE and AFTER images.
Q. Do you have a specific art studio or work from your home?
(A) Yes, though in truth I work everywhere. I draw on an iPad Pro with Procreate, so I will work everywhere from my couch to the backyard.
Q. Can you share something personal about yourself to us that is not on your website - like perhaps you do jigsaw puzzles? Or besides painting, do you have another hobby? Or maybe you know a famous person personally?
(A) I write as well as illustrate and minored in Creative Writing. Centernia is a fantasy universe that I have been building over the years. Much of that world is the inspiration for my puzzle art.
Twilight Marketplace Original release: 2019 Manufacturer: 1000 piece Buffalo Games 250 piece wooden Mosaic Puzzles Black Sea Puzzles, Bulgaria
Special thanks to Rose for sharing her Artist's journey with us!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - With her self-published book and over 300 jigsaw puzzle reviews, Linda has established herself as a prominent social media marketing influencer and jigsaw puzzle-preneur. If you want to send Linda a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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