Interview with Local Artist, Patricia Peuschold

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Patricia Peuschold a local jewelry artist that I just met earlier this year and fell in love with her work. Patricia is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Patricia! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this morning.

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Katelyn- Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself that isn’t art related?

Patricia- I was born in Córdoba, Argentina into an extraordinary creative artistic family. World travel feeds my creativity and soul.  Expressing my creative side in the kitchen is one of my passions.

Katelyn- What a blessing to be born into a family who understood the importance of creativity.  I agree with you about how world travel can feed your creativity and soul. It does the same for me.

I am always curious about what is the favorite medium artist like and why? Can you tell us what yours is?

Patricia- I love vintage & antique medallions, amulets, or pendants. As well as vintage & antique gemstones, pearls, metal, or wood beads. Refurbishing & repurposing vintage & antique jewelry is the hallmark to my jewelry.

Katelyn- I love your creations.  They are like vintage treasures, each piece so unique and beautiful.

Can you tell the readers why you create art?

Patricia- I love statement jewelry and giving life back to a vintage/antique piece is truly exciting.

Katelyn- I imagine people who buy your pieces treasure them. Every artist gets a creative block sometimes.  What do you do when you get a creative block?

Patricia- I listen to murder podcast!
Katelyn-  I had to look up what a murder podcast was.  From what I can tell it is a murder mystery where they try to solve murders.  I can see how that would expand your creativity because they have to be really creative to figure out what happened and when you watch them you are in the same frame of mind trying to figure it out.

Do you have a favorite artist who inspires you?

Patricia- Nature totally inspires me.

Katelyn-I understand that completely.  That is my go-to place to find inspiration too.  I imagine there will be some aspiring artists reading this blog. What advice would you give them?

Patricia- Find your personal voice in your art and soar with it. Creativity is healing and peaceful.

Katelyn- So true, creativity and making art is very healing. How can people support you in your art career?

Patricia- Please follow me on Instagram: pptaller11. I appreciate all the love and comments I receive.

Katelyn- I remember talking to you when we met and you said you have a very active Instagram page and that is the place you post your new pieces first, so if people want to follow you they will get the first look at your new creations.

What is your Instagram name?

Instagram: pptaller11

Etsy Shop: pptaller

Interview with Local Artist, Izzy Welsh

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Izzy Welsh a local artist that I just met last weekend and fell in love with her work. Izzy is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Izzy! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this morning.


Katelyn- you tell our readers a bit about yourself that isn’t art related ?

Izzy- I’m a fairly recent transplant from North Carolina, about a year and a half now. My husband is a Minnesota native who was stationed at the army base about an hour from me back home and we pretty much decided that we were going to get out of the south and move to the Twin Cities around our third or fourth date. I hold a degree in Creative Writing from NCSU and will be teaching writing and performance classes at the newly opened (and absolutely freaking incredible) Creators Space in Lowertown. I’ve worked in the theatre/film industry for a couple of decades predominantly as an actor and scenic artist and have lent my voice to some Japanese cartoons. My grandest aspiration for the near future is to write and produce a musical puppet show about chronic depression. I have a toothless chihuahua named Goblin and am a Twin Peaks superfan.

Katelyn- We met at Creators Space at the Open House last weekend. It is an amazing space to be in and to teach in.  I came up to your table because I was drawn to your art and a fun playful conversation broke out! It was a great way to connect for the first time.

What inspired you to start making art?

Izzy- I was the only child of a working single mom, so I became very adept early on at finding things to do to keep myself busy. I can’t really remember that “first time” I picked up a pen or a crayon or a stick and drew on something…I guess I’ve been drawing for longer than I remember, ha ha, it’s just something I’ve always seemed to do. I remember this book I had when I was, like, five where you drew little animals with basic shapes and step by step instructions and there was a snail in there that drove me absolutely bonkers because I couldn’t get it right. I mean I fixated on it, trying to draw that damned spiral in his shell over and over, always doing it wrong somehow. This culminated in a massive tantrum and I think I tried to tear the book but I couldn’t because it was made for children. At five, I was having an existential crisis over a cartoon snail. I’m in my mid-thirties now, and I really haven’t changed all that much. I can draw a snail now so I can say I’ve genuinely improved.

Katelyn– LOL! your first existential crisis at five, with a book that was supposed to help you draw!  I remember those books! I think I might have gotten frustrated and traced the pictures.

Do you have a favorite medium to work in?

Izzy- I like acrylics because they’re quick and easy. They’re sort of the one-night stand of paints. Oils want you to have this whole long-term relationship with them. I paint on wood because it’s durable and forgiving…also, you can make it into an end table if it comes out really nice.

Katelyn- Okay you are cracking me up!  And end table would be fun, it’s kind of like a one night stand!

So…Why do you paint?

Izzy- Oh man, there are a few answers to this one. On the practical side, it’s just a really handy skill to have. Like all art, really. That’s why I don’t understand them taking art out of schools! I mean, if you need a birthday present that’s original you can’t go wrong with something hand-made. Have an ugly wall in your house? Get some latex paint and make it look fabulous…you know, that kind of thing. You can actually save a lot of money when you do your own decorating. It’s gotten my foot in the door at some theatres, too. To be honest, though, I think I really just paint to keep from going completely insane.

Katelyn- The insanity factor is big for me too! Art is the best therapist.  Don’t get me going about taking art out of schools, it’s ridiculous!

So most artists have creative blocks from time to time. What do you do when you get a creative block?

Izzy- I try to work on a lot of projects at once so when I get bored or blocked with one, I’ve got something different to fixate on. I’ll work on a piece for a while, get completely infuriated with it, sequester it in a corner, then discover it six months later after getting mad with something else and be like “Wow! This is a goldmine! Why did I ever stop on this?” I also play video games when I get totally burned out. They are an invaluable part of my creative process.

Katelyn- I have some paintings like that which are taking me years to finish. Sometimes I stumble on something that was tucked away and say “Wow, who painted this, it’s amazing” forgetting it was me.  I can see how video games can unlock a creative block too.

What Writers inspire you and why?

Katelyn- I’m fired up by writers who aren’t afraid to satirize. Like Vonnegut. Or the guy who wrote A Confederacy of Dunces…John Kennedy Toole! I can’t believe I forgot his name. He was a GOD. I mean, he’s got this fat arrogant man-child sidling around New Orleans being a jerk to everyone and it’s absolutely freaking hilarious, but it also captures the very ESSENCE of the human idiom – how enslaved we all are by the act of “fitting in” and earning money and that modern society generally just kinda makes itself miserable. He could have explored these same concepts in a very heavy-handed tome with lots of tragedy or a thesis paper or something but he didn’t, he made it hilarious and breezy and NAILED IT. I think that’s the most beautiful thing when an artist doesn’t take themselves too seriously. We have this weird notion that high thought can’t be funny and I just think that’s dumb.

Katelyn- High thought and play can be the funniest most awaking form of art!

I imagine there will be some aspiring artists reading this interview. What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Izzy- Don’t listen to ANYONE who you don’t like. Also, spend the extra money on the good brushes…you’ll be happier in the long run.

Katelyn- Ah, good brushes, Yes! I would add to that to clean them well.  When you think they are clean, clean them some more.

How can people support you in your art career?

Izzy- Please sweet God, buy my art. Have a friend buy my art. Give my art to family members on national and religious holidays. My art is free of trans-fats and safe for those with nut allergies.

Katelyn- Oh my Gosh! Fat and allergen free, what could be better.  Buy Izzy’s art right here…

Izzy- I have a lot of my work available on Redbubble at and my official site,, should be up and running any minute now! So Check Back!!


Interview with Local Author, Lisa Metwaly

Tonight I have the pleasure of speaking with my friend, Lisa Metwaly author of, Kindness Travel.  Lisa is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Lisa! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this evening.


Katelyn- Tell us a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related.

Lisa- I love to laugh, dance and go on adventures. My gardens are out of control with flowers and I also love to give bouquets away to randomly nominated people that live in my city. I’m currently engaged with World Kindness USA and getting trained to be a global ambassador of kindness.

Katelyn- I love the kindness bouquet campaign you started. I nominated my chiropractor and she was so surprised to get the flowers.  She said it made her day.  I imagine this act of kindness it making a lot of people happy. I have watched the Kindness work you have been doing grow over the years and it is very inspiring!

I am always curious what inspires authors to write. What inspired you to start writing?

Lisa- I was inspired to start writing when I owned the Q Kindness Café. I took on the job of marketing, P.R. and general front of the house management. I had to get better at writing by default. The stories came easily because so much kindness happened there. People shared their stories and I wrote about them.  

Katelyn– I loved Q Kindness Cafe!  You had so many things around the cafe to inspire kindness in people.  It was so much fun!


This is your book, Kindness Travels, Penny Power. It is written like a children’s book but adults can learn from it too!  What genre do you write and what do you like to read?

Lisa-  I love to write self-help, inspiration and meaningful passages. Sometimes I write poetry and other times its short stories. I love to read self-help and a good mystery.

Katelyn- I am always curious why authors write. Why do you write?

Lisa- I write to get the thoughts out of my head to make room for more play time. It’s my hope that what has helped me will help others. Kindness really is everywhere to be found. It starts with us and boldly we can move it forward into the world. I believe that our children are our best hope to help better the world. This is why my kindness books are intended to reach the schools in a pay it forward, kindness travels, fashion.

Katelyn- I have been impressed with your commitment to getting the book into a lot of hands and the buy a book and a book gets donated to a child.  What a wonderful way to spread kindness!

I know every creative person gets creative blocks once in a while.  What do you do when you get a creative block?

Lisa- I get around water. I’ll put my fingers in a plate of water and swirl it around as I sit with the question of “what do I need to know?” Water is a great conduit for intuition.

Katelyn- You are so right about water.  It immediately opens you and like you said helps you to tap into your intuition.

What writers inspire you and why?

Lisa- Sark, Susan Branch, Rachel Awes, Maya Angelou … they all write from their heart. They inspire kindness and playfulness.

Katelyn- Sark was an early inspiration for me to open up creatively.  Her books can really help with breaking through creative blocks too.  Rachel Awesome has a similar style and way of helping us to expand the way we think.  Great choices!

I imagine there are some aspiring writers reading this blog. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Lisa- The only thing that cannot be fixed by an editor is an empty page.

Katelyn- That made me smile.  I always say, just start writing, it doesn’t matter what comes out, just let it come out!

How can people support you in your writing career?

Lisa- I’m always seeking sponsors that want to get their name out to the local schools. If you have schools that would like to do a kindness project, I’m here to serve. Please send me referrals of principals or teachers that would be open-minded to more kindness.

Buy a book or host a book party where kindness is created. Kindness books can be purchased in bulk at wholesale and sold at retail for fundraisers.

Katelyn-What is your web address or where can people find your books and connect with you about your kindness work?


Interview with local Author and Artist Carole Hyder

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with my dear friend Carole Hyder she is a nationally recognized Feng Shui expert, author, and artist. Carole is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Carole! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this morning.


Katelyn- Hi Carole can you tell our readers a bit about yourself that isn’t art related.

Carole- I am cat-centric:  I love all things cat.  Almost all of my adult life I have had a cat, or two, or three.  I work hard not to be the crazy cat lady.

Katelyn- I know about your love of cats and have met some of your furry friends in person.  As another cat lover, I have decided that it’s okay to be a crazy cat lady!

Can you talk about what inspired you to start making art?

Carole- I have a degree in print-making so art has always had a high interest for me.  Painting is a creative outlet that uses different parts of my brain and body.

Katelyn- I have known you for many years and I didn’t know this about you.  I have a degree in print-making too.  How cool is that?

I don’t know about you but I never did print-making after I graduated because I didn’t have access to a printing press.  Do you have a favorite medium that you like to work with now?

Carole- I enjoy using acrylic paints with a palette knife because it offers me freedom of expression, plus they are very forgiving.

Katelyn- I love how you are using acrylics in your art. Here is an example of Carole’s work from a recent show:


I am always curious to know why artists create. Why do you create art?

Carole- Painting is a creative outlet that uses different parts of my brain and body.

Katelyn- I think that is key to making art because it gets you out of your thinking brain and allows you to access intuitive information.  Most artists run into creative blocks from time to time. What do you do when you get a creative block?

Carole- I walk away from the canvas, give myself some time and space, and then come back to it.  My return may be the next day, next week or a month later.  The painting lets me know when it’s time for us to work together again.

Katelyn- I love the idea that the painting calls you back to it.  I never thought of it that way but that is what happens, isn’t it?

What art/artists inspire you and why?

Carole- I’m inspired by the Impressionists who captured the essence of a scene or object without the need for precise details.  The viewer understands the spirit behind it.

Katelyn- I can see the impressionistic influence in your work.  It is really beautiful! I feel the same way.  The painting speaks to the viewer and the viewer really doesn’t need language to understand what they are seeing. The work speaks to everyone differently.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Carole- I am not sure I will ever get over feeling like I’m an aspiring artist—-I’m always aspiring to a new expression or a new approach.  My advice would be to maintain a steady relationship with your art and let your art lead you.

Katelyn- I love that answer.  From that perspective, the work is always fresh and new.

I also want to say that Carole was the one who introduced Feng Shui to Minnesota.  That could be a whole other interview. She has written several books on Feng Shui that she will have at the Festival along with her art. I know she would love to have conversations about both her art and Feng Shui.  You can find her books at

Thank you so much, Carole, for taking the time to share with our readers.

Interview with Local Author, Amy Zellmer

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Amy Zellmer and author of, Life with a Traumatic Brain Injury, Surviving Brain Injury and Embracing the Journey.  Amy is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Amy! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this morning.



Katelyn- Amy can you tell us a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related?
Amy-I was a professional photographer for 20 years before retiring in 2018 due to my brain injury. I love all things sparkly and glittery and am addicted to Miss Me jeans and Starbucks coffee.
Katelyn- Those are some fun, harmless addictions! I have seen your photography and it is wonderful. I am so sorry you had to retire that career. I know that you have been speaking all over the country about your experience and what you have learned about traumatic brain injury and impacting a lot of lives in a positive way.
I know what inspired your writing but could you tell the readers?
Amy- After suffering a traumatic brain injury in 2014, I began writing as a form of therapy. From there I submitted a piece to the Huffington Post which went crazy viral and thus became my advocacy platform. The rest, as they say, is history.
Katelyn- Writing can be such a great form of healing when we experience something traumatic. I am glad you got confirmation from the viral post that you were on the right track.
Can you tell the readers what genre you write in and what kind of books you like to read?
Amy- I write non-fiction, and I also love to read non-fiction. I also love a good mystery book!
Katelyn- I am always curious about why authors choose to write and go through the process of getting their writing published.  What compels you to write?
Amy-As I mentioned, I began writing as therapy. I now continue to write to help others who have experienced a brain injury and to help educate loved ones, caregivers, and the medical profession. With over 3.5 million TBIs each year in the US alone, it is a grossly misunderstood and misdiagnosed injury.
Knowing that my writing is helping thousands (if not millions) of people around the world who are lost and confused in the world of TBI keeps me writing. I receive the most amazing cards of gratitude for my pieces, and it’s truly touching.
Katelyn-I am so glad you are out there as an advocate! Traumatic brain injury is just starting to get the recognition it needs.  So many people have had one and don’t even know and the effects of TBI can be devastating as you know.
As a writer and creative person, I am sure you have had at least one creative block.
What do you do when you get a creative block?
Amy- I can either sit down and write an article in 5 minutes flat, or I sit and stare at my screen for 20 minutes before realizing I need to go for a walk outside in nature to clear my mind from all the chatter.
Katelyn- Ah, nature is my place to clear my mind too.
I imagine some of our readers also feel like they have a book in them and don’t know where to start. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Amy- I am asked often by fellow TBIers how to get started writing. I tell them to write no matter how little or how much. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Just get it down on paper and out of your head. A good Editor will help you flush it all out and turn it into a piece of art!
Katelyn- I agree. Just start and don’t worry about it being a finished product.  Like you I started by blogging and feel that is a great way for people to start writing and getting feedback.
How can people support you in your writing career?
Amy- I have started Keynoting at conferences to help the medical community understand the reach of TBI and how it impacts us when we are brushed off by doctors who we are supposed to trust. I am always looking for groups who would be interested in having me speak and do a book signing!
Katelyn- Thank you so much for spending time with me and sharing more about you, Amy.
What is your web address or where can people find your books or get in touch with you about speaking?

Interview with Michele Rae of The Center Within

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Michele Rae, of the Center Within and author of Living From the Center Within: Co-Creating Who You Are Becoming. Michele is a participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,

Welcome, Michele! It’s an honor to spend time with you today!

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Katelyn- Let’s start off with you telling us a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related.

Michele-I have a passion for supporting humanity as we choose timelines that have the most positive outcomes for the greater good during this time of tremendous transformation. It has been my heartsong for many years now. I founded The Center Within, LLC in 2001 and provide intuitive holistic life coaching designed to accelerate and support personal, professional and organizational transformation. While working with me, clients tell me they become more confident and engaged as they enhance their gifts, talents, wisdom, and passions. Part of this process of transformation also requires we all gain clarity and power as we expose and unblock limiting beliefs, stuck patterns, and fears. As an empath, my abilities in deep listening, intuition, appreciative inquiry, spiritual practices, mindfulness, presence and emotional intelligence are supportive as clients create self-directed strategies to implement the changes they desire to create a life they love.

I also offer classes and retreats through the Center Within. In addition, I am a graduate faculty at the University of Minnesota in the Center for Spirituality & Healing, The Humphrey Institute and the College of Pharmacy. I teach about mindfulness leadership, Mind-Body Science, spirituality and human development. I will talk and teach about these topics wherever I get invited! Supporting people on their journey to wholeness and full discovery of their holiness is a true delight!

Katelyn- You are teaching powerful information which is so needed right now. People need to learn to be self-empowered to be able to navigate the waters of change we are in right now.

I am always curious to learn what inspires an author to write. Can you tell our readers what inspired you to start writing?

Michele- I had clients, students, friends and family ask if I had the information we talked about in one place so they could read more and share it within their circles. This prompted me to write blogs and articles that eventually made their way into this book.

Katelyn- I think a lot of authors start by writing a blog.  I know I did and it helped me to get more clarity on my thoughts before jumping into a book. I imagine your clients and students are grateful that you put your wisdom into Living From the Center Within!


Do you have a genre that you prefer to write in and to read?

Michele-Spirituality, human development, self-care, transformation, the evolution of consciousness, mindfulness

Katelyn- Those are some of my favorites too. I have found that authors have all kinds of reasons for choosing to write.  I am interested in why you write.

Michele-I write because we are living amidst a huge shift and in a transformative period which is creating lots of confusion, uncertainty, and change. This book is a roadmap for us to utilize as we move towards a new way of being human. Cultivating higher consciousness in myself and others brings me joy. This book invites the readers to join more deeply into this conversation so that together we may build our capacity to live at higher levels of consciousness. I encourage all who read it to connect and build the community of people living with intention and expanding our awareness. I invite each of us to support one another as we co-create who we are each becoming with love and compassion.

Katelyn- I think it is so important for those of us who have been on the path for a long time to pass our wisdom along to others, which is what you are doing. Those who are newer on the path, as you say, are faced with confusion and uncertainty and books like yours will give them more of a sense of peace as they move through the change.

As an author and creative, I am sure you get creative blocks at times.  What do you do when you get a creative block?

Michele- In the book I have a chapter dedicated to transforming practices and have utilized all of them at different times when I have a creative block. In the book, I define transforming practices as activities designed to center, quiet, and open the mind-body-heart. They help us focus attention and awareness in the present moment. These mindfulness practices encourage open receptivity, accepting and observing without evaluation or judgment. Here are a few from the list:

  • Breathwork: patterns of breathing
  • Meditation: mindfulness, concentrative, moving, open
  • Music: listening to chant, singing, toning
  • Silence: binge in quiet
  • Smell: aromatherapy
  • Mindful eating: intentionally prepare and eat a meal
  • Body Movement: exercise, yoga, qi gong, tai chi, stretch, walk a labyrinth, dance
  • Guided Imagery: autogenics, visualizations
  • Journal: writing and reflecting, creating a gratitude journal
  • Art: writing, drawing, sculpting, creating mandalas, making collages
  • Biofeedback: using instruments that provide feedback on physiological changes  
  • Being in nature: walking, sitting, observing
  • Contemplation and study: sacred text, poetry, koans, myths, symbols, metaphor, archetypes
  • Ritual: a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects that support an intention
  • Dreams: recording, contemplating, exploring meaning and insights in dreams

Katelyn- That is a fabulous list of ways to move through any kind of block.  Many of them I have used myself and know that they work.  It looks like there is a lot of valuable information in Living from the Center Within.

I am sure you have read a lot of books over the years. Do you have writers who inspire you and can you tell us why?

Michele- I am inspired by other’s who are visible in leading conversations and building community during this time of transformation. They are envisioning a new world and providing tools and insights for us all.  A few include:

Deepak Chopra, A.H. Almaas, Wayne Dyer, David Hawkins, Ken Wilbur, Barbara Marx

Hubbard, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, Jon Kabat-Zinn

I also find great wisdom in the sacred teachings and poetry

Katelyn- A great list of leaders in the new world movement. Anyone of them would be a great place to start if someone is interested in exploring this field in more depth.

I imagine there are people reading this blog who might want to write a book themselves someday. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?


Let your writing be a dance. Let it move you, show you new ways to know yourself and the material that is presenting. Let it transform you. Write from the heart, let the head, details and how unfold like magic to support your art expressing into the world. Create routine time and space in your life for your writing, just like setting aside time for spiritual practice.

Katelyn- That’s a beautiful way to look at. I love the metaphors you use. You are speaking my language!

As we end this conversation I would like the readers to know how they can support you in your work?

Michele- People can buy my book, write a review, share my book with other likeminded lightworkers, way showers and those interested in living a life they love. You can also support my writing by sending me feedback on the book, participating in one or many of the many classes I offer or come in for a coaching session.

Katelyn-What is your web address or where can people find your book and connect with you are coaching or speaking? or contact her at or 612-465-9775

Direct links to more about my book:

Interview with Local Artist, Jennifer Maroney

Katelyn-Today I am spending time talking with Jennifer Maroney about her art. Jennifer is another participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors,  Good Morning Jennifer! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself that isn’t art related?


Jennifer- That is a hard question because my entire life is art-related. *wink *wink. I have a very spoiled 8-year-old Chihuahua named Sid. He is 6.5 lbs of pure love. He is my constant companion as I work from home as a graphic designer. I also collect tiny erasers shaped like food. My favorite is a tiny ramen bowl with ramen noodles inside. I am an avid reader and usually have about 3 books I am reading at all times.
Katelyn- It is so fun to have our pets around while we work to add moral support! I love your collection, I can see it as you describe it to me. Can you tell our readers what inspired you to start making art?
Jennifer- I have doodling and drawing since I could hold a crayon and drew on the walls at our home – yes I did that! Everything inspires me – early on it was my love of horses and animals and then it turned into everything around me, nature, dreams, things I’ve read or conversations that I hear or have had.  All of those things can inspire a drawing or painting. I am constantly doodling and keep numerous journals to hold all of my ideas.
Katelyn- I love how your love of art started early and didn’t stop!  It is so true that we can find inspiration everywhere.  Do you have a favorite medium and why do you like it?
Jennifer- Black ink. All of my drawings and paintings start with a sketch in ink, where that is a Sharpie marker or regular in pen.  After that, any medium with color, such as acrylic paint, watercolor, oil pastels and markers.
Katelyn- That’s interesting, I start with black ink too.  I have never even thought about it as my favorite medium but you are right. I see that you are a book illustrator too.  I love your work. I am always curious to know why a person chooses to do art. Why do you create art?
Jennifer- It makes me feel good and I can’t help it, I must create! Making art is my happy place.  It is meditative and the one thing I can do where I lose track of time and everything around me.
Katelyn- I went looking for a piece of art that I could add to this blog and found this one that demonstrates exactly what you are talking about to me. Your happy place!



Katelyn- With all of that creativity flowing you still must get creative blocks at times. What do you do when you get a creative block?
Jennifer- I doodle abstract shapes, practice lettering, look up inspiring quotes, read, look through my photos and look at images of old toys and vintage advertising, that always sparks something.  Pinterest is a fantastic way to unblock. It is window shopping for creativity.
Katelyn- I love that idea of window shopping for creativity, and Pinterest is a good place to shop! I am curious about what artist/artists inspire you and why?
Jennifer- There are so many! When I went to college for Art, I LOVED my Art History Classes.  Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro’ Frida Kahlo, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse- all so inspiring!  I also love William Morris’ pattern designs and the Art Nouveau Movement.  All of these artists inspire me with their color and vibrancy as well as their individual narratives. Frida’s self-portraits, Chagall’s images from his childhood, to Matisse’s ever-evolving style and medium choices. They LIVED their art.
Katelyn- Those are some of my favorites too.  I especially see Kandinsky, Chagall and Miro’s influence on your work. I love all of the colors you use.  I know there are some aspiring artists that are reading this blog. What advice would you give them?
Jennifer- Just be yourself. Paint, draw, doodle, sculpt.  Whatever your passion is, do it and do it with our authentic self 100%. No one else can do what you do or create what you create. Not that long ago, I had put all of my art supplies away, convinced I couldn’t ” make it” as an artist, so what was the point.  A friend of mine encouraged me to just do a little art every day, just for myself, even if it was only 10 minutes.  That got me out of my rut, and help me see how much I missed creating. No matter where it takes me or if no one ever sees something I create, I create primarily for myself now and if someone else enjoys it is a happy bonus.
Katelyn- I so resonate with this advice!  I have done the same thing.  Put my art to the side and gave up because I thought what is the purpose if I was the only one seeing it.  We artist have to get to a healthy space where we create because we have to and not make it about “Making it”.  It sounds like you got there!
One of the reasons I created Brush and Pen: A Festival for Artists and Writers is to give local people who are talented a place to be seen. Where we can connect with other creative people and the community and make connections. I am so glad you are a part of the event.
How can people support you in your art career?
Jennifer- People can support me by liking my art that I post on Instagram or Facebook and telling me that it makes them happy! That is always the best! Also, buying my work is a blessing- to know that something I have created has touched someone so much that they want to have it in their home.  I also love to collaborate.
Katelyn- Thank you for spending time with me, Jennifer.  It was a pleasure to get to know more about you.  Where can people see your art?



My website and Etsy shop is at and I am on Instagram as Jennymaroney.

Interview with Local Author, Dawn Morningstar

Katelyn: Today I am interviewing another participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors, Dawn Morningstar. Dawn and I have known each other for years.  We first met when I had my group, Magnetic Business Women Networking, and there was an instant connection.

Katelyn:  Good Morning Dawn! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related?

Dawn: I grew up on the East Coast and moved to Minnesota in 1990. My first winter here was unlike anything I’d ever experienced! Yet because of the enlightened people and quality of life, here I am 28 years later, loving being a Minnesotan!

I love connecting with people in authentic conversation, not surface stuff! This is a time when rich connection is essential–and hanging out with my tribe really feeds me.

Another thing I love to do is cook–and now that I’m vegan, it’s exciting to learn new recipes and plant-based alternatives to classic recipes. Eating this way I feel like I am doing what I can to minimize my footprint, support a healthy ecology, and be compassionate to animals. That being said, I carry no judgment about how anyone else eats!

Katelyn: I am glad you ended up staying in Minnesota despite the winters! I am always curious about what inspires authors to start writing. What inspired you to start writing?

Dawn: I’ve been writing and loving it since I was a little girl. In 8th grade, I won a bronze medal in a state-wide writing competition sponsored by the American Legion. I consider this medal to be very dear to me–and keep it on my writing desk!

Writing taps into a deep part within me and what I write feels sacred.

I wrote the book, “Venerable Women: Transform Ourselves, Transform the World” because I developed a rich and meaningful philosophy about women’s worth over many years and wanted to share that message with those seeking it.
Katelyn: What a great motivator to have the bronze medal to remind you of your writing abilities. I love your book, Venerable Women, which isn’t just a book but a movement as far as I am concerned!  Can you tell us about Venerable Women?

Dawn- Venerable Women is an organization, a philosophy, and a movement that connects and inspires those who choose to manifest a kind and loving world starting within themselves. Venerable means worthy of honor, love, and respect by virtue of wisdom and experience; profoundly honorable.

The heart of the Venerable Women philosophy is the 12 Venerable Attitudes (V-Attitudes).

The Venerable Women philosophy affirms that all people are venerable. Our mission is to elevate the spiritual, social, and economic well-being of humanity through the empowerment of women and girls. We do this best by transforming ourselves in order to transform the world beyond us.


Katelyn: What is your genre to write in and to read?

Dawn: I tend to write in the areas of spirituality and self-help–and tend to read the same!

Katelyn: It seems strange to say with all the books out there on spirituality but the world needs more books like yours that provoke us to look within and find our true nature. Why do you write?

Dawn: I write to become more clear in my thinking and to offer provocation for others’ evolution.
Katelyn: That resonates with me because I use writing to get clarity too. I know at some point we all get creative blocks. What do you do to move past it when you get a creative block?

Dawn: When I hit a creative block, I meditate. If that doesn’t work, I take a walk, call a good friend, or watch something silly on Netflix!
Katelyn: Those are all great ways to shift and get out of your head, especially the silly Netflix one.  Do you have specific writers that inspire you and why?

Dawn: Elizabeth Gilbert inspires me, as does Sue Monk Kidd. Both use rich storytelling to inspire profound observations and lessons on life.

Katelyn: I love both of them too.  They are great storytellers for our turbulent times because the write from a deep, personal prospective.  I am sure there are aspiring writers reading this post. What advice would you give them?

Dawn: Don’t ever think for one moment that what you have to say is unimportant or already been said. No one will have the perspective you do and your voice is needed.

Katelyn: Dawn, how can people support you in your writing career?

Dawn: People can support me by letting me know what I’ve written that resonated with them, and what felt missing. They can also buy my books and tell others about my work.

Katelyn: I often think people don’t realize the importance of letting authors know they were touched by their work.  Where can people learn more about Venerable Women and find your book?

Local Artist Interview With Emily Engelhard

Katelyn: Today I am interviewing another participant in Brush and Pen: Festival for Artists and Authors, Emily Engelhard.  Emily and I met at a local art crawl and immediately connected. I learned a lot more about why the instant connection when we did our interview.

Hi Emily, thanks for taking the time to share a bit about yourself with our readers.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself that isn’t writing related?

Emily: During a recent conversation with a painter friend, we both decided we were artists because “creating art feels like the most worthwhile thing to do.” But, four years ago, inspired by my friend Suzanne (who taught me to do something about it rather than just whine about it), I discovered something that feels even more worthwhile than creating art: taking care of wild birds. From mid-spring to late summer, I volunteer for The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota in Roseville ( You’ll find me in the crowded songbird nurseries, smeared with bird poop and loose feathers, dropping mealworms and crickets into noisy gaping beaks, and gently cupping tiny feathered (sometimes completely bald pink) bodies in my hands to check for dehydration and warmth. Nothing, I tell you, nothing feels more holy than healed wild wings flapping against your hands.

Katelyn: That’s wonderful that you are helping the songbirds! I know exactly what you mean by having wings flapping against your hand being a holy experience.  I volunteered at the Twin Cities Raptor Center for 7 years and I felt blessed whenever I was able to hold a bird.

Can you tell us what inspired you to start making art?

Emily: From the time I was a baby until about, say, (yes, I’m actually admitting this), high school, I wasn’t fully human. Although the duration of time shortened as I grew older, I spent most of my waking and dreaming hours as another creature living on another world. Nope—save for Halloween, I didn’t dress like an animal, especially once I hit middle school. My imagination was just that powerful. A week could go by, for example, and my Dad would don the same set of eleven-point antlers, my mom the same muddy brown and black wings, my sisters the same pointy ears that twitched toward sounds and drooped when they got into trouble. Since the time I stuck a straw in my diaper for a mouse tail, worlds other than this one were more appealing, richer with adventure, deeply saturated with kindness and magic. Those were the worlds I believed in, the worlds I trusted. When you have faith in something, and when you want the ones you love to believe in and be a part of it too, you write it down. And so, I picked up a crayon and began to draw.

Katelyn: You were so lucky to have parents who let you play in your imagination.  Imagination is was of our greatest senses as far as I am concerned.  It is more important than intelligence for a lot of reasons.

I am always curious about what an artist’s favorite medium and why?

Emily; Ballpoint pen. I love this medium because when I make a mistake, I can’t erase. Instead, I must choose between one of two options, both of which are challenges for me: just let it go and start again, or find a way to transform the mistake into something meaningful, maybe even beautiful, within the big picture.

Katelyn: I was really impressed with your ballpoint pen work.  Here is an example for our readers:


Katelyn: Why do you create art?

Emily: Mostly, I create because it calms and centers me and makes me a more tolerable human. But on a deeper level, I create because I feel it’s what I’ve been called to do. The creatures I draw want to be born into this world to serve some purpose—whether to be a gift, to awaken something within the viewer, or to be sold to raise money for a cause—and they’ve chosen my hands as their portal into this world. When I deny my creatures this life, I deny myself, and I suffer. When I grant them life, I’m given a taste of the realm from which they came, and I’m filled with a bliss and understanding so divinely beautiful it’s beyond describing.

Katelyn: I imagine your creatures are very happy to come out of your pen onto paper! I can relate to it being a calling and almost having no choice but to listen and create.  Like most artist I also imagine you get creative blocks at times too. What do you do when you get a creative block?

Emily: Typically, I have a temper tantrum and avoid my studio for a month. But the world cleverly gifts something sweet when you grow bitter. Last year, I discovered Inktober, an international drawing event started by illustrator Jake Parker. During Inktober, which occurs every October, ink artists respond to a different one-word prompt each day. For example, my two favorite prompts last year were “screech” (to which I drew an owl) and “rage” (which came out as a wolf). I’d never before done prompt-inspired drawings, and I loved it! The pacing granted me permission to play, to let go of the desire for perfection in everything I drew. Now, when I’m derailed, I mindfully seek out some sort of prompt—I play my way back into the groove.

Katelyn: I would bet most artists have had a tantrum or two in their career!  Thanks for sharing about Inktober.  That sounds like a great resource for artists and even writers to use.

So what artist/artists inspire you and why?

Emily: First and foremost, my Mom (a painter and sewer) and Dad (a musician and carpenter/woodworker) because they have nurtured and encouraged me since day one. Also, my younger sister, Julia, the one who inspired me to dabble in ballpoint pen and to explore the stranger corners of my imagination. We are family and are made of one another, and so I find their work, above all others’, the most beautiful and inspiring. But I also, of course, love the work of artists whose skill astounds me and whose creatures, I imagine, might befriend my own. A few of these artists are Caitlin Hackett, Sarah Leea Petkus, Tai Taeoalii, Susan Seddon Boulet, and (a few locals) Paula Barkmeier, Annie Hejny, Lindsey Kahn, and DC Ice.

Katelyn:  You have some of my favorites on your list like Susan Seddon Boulet and I love DC Ice!  What a blessing to come from a creative family who understood the creative process and how to foster it! A lot of artists don’t have that kind of support growing up so what advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Emily: Do all that you do—including all things art—in the spirit of love. If monetary success is your only or primary goal, your art and all other personal endeavors will not be genuine, will not come easily, and will ultimately abandon you. Remember that love for your talents, your self, and others is the truest wave to ride. But if you get knocked in the wrong direction for a time, forgive yourself. In the end, what matters most is that you keep turning back in the direction of love.

Katelyn:  That is so beautiful!  It is so easy to get caught up in the making money part, I know I do at times, and forget that when it comes down to it we do create because we love to.

One last question before we go because one of my reasons for creating the festival is to help support other artists and writers so how can people support you in your art career?

Emily: Talk to me, collaborate with me, share with me opportunities that will allow me to more fully engage with and support communities through the avenue of art. Art is the way I feel most comfortable and empowered to do some good in the world—help me learn where and how I can do that good. And, of course, buy some of my art and help my creatures find their homes.

Katelyn: Thank you so much, Emily, for taking the time to share with the readers a bit about your creative process and thoughts.

What is your web address or where can people see your art.