Home                         Collections                      Products

  • Robbin Rawlings
  • Pat Richter
  • Alan Giana
  • Donna Gelsinger
  • Liz Goodrick Dillon
  • Annie Lapoint
  • Tina Wenke

Robbin Rawlings
“Enjoy the moments and the nice little things in life.”

We met Robbin at the 2004 Stationery Show and knew immediately that we wanted to pursue a working relationship. Her designs were fun, fresh, and different. She was exactly what Crown Point needed and we were excited about adding her artwork to our line.

Over the years Robbin has shown us that she works fast and can deliver exactly what we’re looking for when it comes to the newest styles. We trust Robbin’s judgment because she studies the market and always gives us her version of the hottest trends, making her designs very popular with our customers. We’ve approached her several times with special projects and she’s been willing to dialogue about revisions until we are both happy with the finished product.

Robbin is warm and friendly, fun to work with and always happy to help. We are happy that she is a part of the CPG family!

Robbin Rawlings is an inspired artist who owes her whimsical and upbeat style of painting to the world around her. She was born in the Southeast where the warmth of both the people and her surroundings nurtured her artistic talent.

She studied painting at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL then earned a degree in Communication Design at Parsons School of Design in Florida for more than a decade before returning to her first love – painting – where her sophisticated use of color and whimsical style is fully expressed.

Robbin now lives with her husband and daughter in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains overlooking Boulder, Colorado. She works from her home studio – a place she calls “the glass box on the hill”. There she has a full view of incredible mountain beauty, her garden, her quizzical cat and the wildlife that visit her daily.

It is this enchanting and ever-changing environment that inspires her upbeat and exuberant style of painting that she gratefully shares with the world.

Interview with Robbin Rawlings

What made you want to become an artist?

My mom was always getting me involved in artistic projects when I was growing up. I really love to express myself through art.

How would you describe your art to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

My art has been labeled ‘whimsical’ by many. I like to think of it as ‘funky-joyful-expressionism.’ It’s also very human. There are lots of hand-drawn details that combine to express emotions.

What has been the biggest influence on your design work?

The world that I live in, basically. I look to nature for inspiration.

What is your personal motto?

Find the beauty and joy in every moment!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming an artist?

Keep growing and changing. There’s a ton of great artists out there! I want to exploit my own uniqueness to set myself and my art apart.

What inspires you? Where do you get inspiration for new concepts?

Mostly from nature. Then I’ll try to combine artistic elements that excite me with concepts that might work for upcoming projects. Also, I’m often inspired by companies that approach me for new art. They’ll start with concepts or ideas and I’ll just run with them!

What is your favorite work of art (done by you)?

I did a painting of a grouping of houses. I think it expresses community and ‘neighborhood-ness.’ I’m pretty proud of that one.

What is your creative workspace like?

Well, I have a studio in my home, but I don’t restrict myself to it. I like to move around! I’ll work outside in the yard, inside on the couch, really anywhere that feels good at the moment. My studio has the usual stuff: drawing tables, easels, computer, storage, and of course, the latest art project mess!

If you could spend a day with one artist, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

I’d love to take a hike in the desert with Georgia O’Keeffe!

What art projects are you currently working on and how are they different from past projects?

We’re expanding into more and more product categories. I’m also doing more patterns and stuff for things like fabric designs and home furnishings.

What statement do you hope to make with your art?

Enjoy the moments and the nice little things in life.

What do you feel makes your designs unique?

The hand-made feel, with all the fun details, squiggly lines and paint spatters. I really hope it’s expressing something that makes a connection with people.

What stands out to you as one of your favorite professional highlights so far?

Seeing my art in people’s homes gives me real satisfaction!

What is your favorite part of your job as an artist?

Making connections with people that ‘get me.’ Some folks are so nice!

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The non-art side! Turns out, you can’t just make art-you have get out there and promote it!

Do you have a website to showcase your designs?

Yes I do: www.robbinrawlings.com

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to get my art more recognized in more mediums. I want to be known for my own artistic vision and style.

Can you describe your professional experience with Crown Point Graphics?

We go back a long way! CPG is the first company I did greeting cards with. They have been so very helpful over the years!
They have given me great advice, whether it benefited them or not. They’re like family.

Pat Richter
“Hard work and long hours will take you where you want to be…don’t quit!”

Crown Point Graphics was introduced to Pat Richter in 2007. One thing led to another and we licensed our first 14 pieces. Pat’s art immediately resonated with our customers. This was not a surprise because her art has a way of making you feel like part of the scene she’s painted. Several years later we visited her studio and licensed another 36 pieces.

Pat’s snowmen, religious and winter scenes continue to be popular with our customers. Her art lends itself to extending her brand into many Crown Point Graphics products in the Christmas category.

We are very fortunate to work with Pat and her husband Dave. In fact, their daughter Kristin is a freelance designer for us, creating many beautiful products. They are such a great team and part of the Crown Point Family!

Interview with Pat Richter

What made you want to become an artist?

I have always loved all types of art - and wanted to create.

How would you describe your art to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

I paint things that are familiar and comfortable, be it still life or landscape.

What has been the biggest influence on your design work?

I have painted forever, but when I was thirty-five I took classes at the local college. It was life changing.

What is your personal motto?

Be open to learning from everyone and everything.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming an artist?

Hard work and long hours will take you to where you want to be...don't quit!

What inspires you? Where do you get inspiration for new concepts?

Inspiration can come from where you are, who you're with, the color of the sky.... life is inspirational.

What are your plans for the future?

My future holds more painting, metal-smithing, cut glass work, volunteering, traveling, and doing things with my family. We motorcycle and spend our winters in Arizona.

What is your favorite work of art (done by you)?

A lot of my recent work is very large, and consists of flowers and skyscapes.... so I enjoy each new piece, and call it "favorite" until the next one is completed.

What is your creative workspace like?

My creative workspace is in my home, it is not large, but has windows and a sky light, and contains art of all types, shapes and colors...they surround me.

What is your creative process like?

My creative process is to hit the studio each day, work on several canvases at a time, then one day they are all completed!

If you could spend a day with one artist, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

I would have liked to spend the day with Steve Hanks, in hopes of watching him create a beautiful watercolor painting...his women are fabulous!

What statement do you hope to make with your art?


Enjoy your life and what’s around you.

What stands out to you as one of your favorite professional highlights so far?

I am continually amazed that people enjoy my work!

What is your favorite part of your job as an artist?

I love being able to paint what I want, and people accept it!

What do you feel makes your designs unique?

I don't know if my designs are unique, but high detail is always evident, and a signature of my work.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Challenging? Not challenging...always fun!

Alan Giana
“There is amazing beauty all around us to behold.”

Crown Point Graphics and Alan have been working together since they met at Surtex in 2003. He captured the New England Nautical look that met the customer need. Since that time Alan has grown to be one of our most successful nautical artists. His summer lighthouse scenes make you feel like you’re sitting right there on the beach and his winter/Christmas scenes are so detailed and charming.  

Alan is always a pleasure to work with and is willing to contribute thoughts and ideas. We look forward to representing Alan in the Crown Point artwork library for as long as he continues to create.

What made you want to become an artist?

I was always drawing as a child, and I was encouraged by my parents to draw and use my imagination. One of the stories I tell on my website is that when I was four years old I took a permanent black magic marker and scribbled drawings on the wall. Redwood paneling to be exact, and the drawings stayed there for many years.

My father was a gifted ceramic artist, and I would watch him work in the “ceramic room” downstairs in the house where I grew up. He was really great at it, applying glazes to achieve different textures and effects, and he often let me paint some coasters and vases. I was blessed with a vivid imagination, and creativity, so being an artist was something I always wanted to be.

I went to college and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design Management, which was more about the graphic design, print production, and business management side of the art world. This has really helped me throughout my career. Before I started my own graphic design and illustration company in the early 1990’s, I worked as a graphic designer and art director for two companies here in Connecticut. As my business evolved I began doing mostly illustration work, and in 1999 I began licensing my artwork, which has been a really amazing experience.

How would you describe your art to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

The scenic artwork that I am known for is realistic, colorful, peaceful, and full of life. I like to try and give the viewer an inviting place where they can escape reality for a few moments. Even with the winter and Christmas scenes I do, I try to convey a sense of warmth. My Christmas paintings are among my most popular and I am able to get a little whimsical at times with the animals and birds I put into the scenes. Seagulls helping to decorate a dock, or chickadees ready to open Christmas presents, for example.

Who / What has been the biggest influence on your artwork?

Influences come from many areas – your parents, your life experiences and interests, your education and teachers, and other artists’ work that you admired growing up. All of this plays a part in influencing the work an artist does and it makes them who they are. This is true with me as well. But, my biggest influence was my late Wife, Pam, who passed away in November of 2017. Her love and support over the 32 years we shared together helped me grow as a person, and together we made a wonderful life and business together. She had a great eye and decorating sense, so I knew that if Pam liked the painting, then the majority of people would like it as well. Pam also had a great appreciation for nature, which is something we both shared. I am able to translate this appreciation of nature into the worlds I create.

What is your personal motto?

Try to be the best person I can be, utilize the God-given talents I have been blessed with to make this world a better place, and brighten someone’s day with my art.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming an artist?

To be patient and to handle rejection. Not all of your work can appeal to everyone or be used on every product. You need to realize that the timing just may not be right, or your style and/or subject matter may not be what a certain manufacturer is looking for to go on their products. You need to keep positive, be persistent, and most of all, do the only thing that you can really control… and that is doing the best art you can do. The rest will fall into place.

Who / What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything and anything. From the birds I feed on our deck, to the beautiful plants and flowers that Pam planted in our gardens, the clouds in the sky, a beautiful sunset… you name it. Inspiration is all around us, you just have to notice it and appreciate it. Inspiration for new concepts may come from all of the above that I just mentioned, but also from day trips we have taken to the beach, or out to the country, or while we were traveling. One painting I did years ago was inspired while I was looking out the window of our hotel while on a business trip to New York City, others while on trips to California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, and throughout New England. I continue to travel and find inspiration in all of the places I visit. Sometimes a company will request a certain concept or theme they are looking for, and you have the basic inspiration for the piece. Then it’s time for you to put your own spin on it and make the idea a reality.

 

What is your favorite work of art (done by you)?

My favorite work of art is a painting I created to honor our country and the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The painting is titled “Silent Wings of Freedom”, and it depicts a patriotic red, white, and blue-themed garden by the sea, with an American flag, a lighthouse in the background, one seagull flying free in the sky, and another seagull in the process of taking off. This painting has appeared on many different licensed products over the years, including a beautiful ceramic tile and wooden music box that played “America the Beautiful.”

What is your creative process like?

The creative process is pure magic! It is really amazing how things fall into place. For me, once I get an idea for a painting, I might do some doodles and quick sketches, or I would try to convey my idea to Pam with words (and talking with my hands, hey I am half Italian). I will then think about the scene in my head, often painting mentally, and trying to layout out how the scene will look. Once I start painting things just happen – imagination, divine intervention, inspiration, whatever you want to call it. My paintings and creativity take on a life of their own. I will see things as the painting progresses and I will get new ideas to enhance the scene. Pam would often see the paintings as I was working on them and give me an idea, or a critique (I got better at handling those over the years – smile). She may say maybe you might want to put a bird over there, or maybe brighten that area up a bit. It was nice to have another set of eyes looking at your work. Sometimes you get too close to your art and often miss some obvious things that may not be working.

What is your creative workspace like?

My creative workspace is filled with all of the tools I need to create my artwork, and run the art licensing business. There are a few art pieces on the walls that we have collected over the years, some family photos and mementos, and an airbrushed painting I did back in the 1980’s of an Orca (Killer Whale) that helped propel my art career. I enjoy listening to all types of music while I paint.

If you could spend a day with one artist, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

I would spend the day with Michelangelo watching him paint the Sistine Chapel, help him clean his brushes, get him water (or a cannoli), anything to be there and witness the creation of that masterpiece.

What art projects are you currently working on and how are they different from past projects?

I am currently working on a series of paintings for jigsaw puzzles, and a few Christmas scenes for lighted canvas prints, which will then also be available for Christmas cards, and other products. Every painting is different and unique in its own way, but these current paintings fall in line within the style and creativity I always strive to achieve in my work. The type of artwork that companies have come to expect from me.

What stands out to you as one of your favorite professional highlights so far?

I would have to say seeing my artwork on products being sold on the QVC television network, and seeing thousands of them sell out within minutes. That was amazing to watch! What better example of instant and personal artistic gratification knowing that the public loves the work you have done, and that they would want to have it for themselves.

What is your favorite part about being an artist?

The best thing about doing what I do now is that this does not seem like a job. Doing paintings, licensing them for products, and making a living from it, is really a dream come true. I get to paint what I want (typically), and when I want. Doing something that you love does not seem like work. Again, I am truly blessed to be able to do what do, and to be able to share it with the world.

What do you feel makes your artwork unique?

My paintings are very detailed, realistic, and colorful. My ability to paint light and shadows the way I do plays an important part in the unique look of my paintings.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Again, the work I do does not seem like a job, but I would have to say the most challenging times are when I get many requests for custom commissioned artwork and projects coming in all at the same time. I pride myself on customer service and making sure the manufacturers I work with are happy is my number one priority. I love to rise to the challenge and create great artwork within the deadlines I am sometimes given. This is where my years of working as a freelance illustrator for advertising agencies comes in handy. In that world, everything needed to be done yesterday, so I was used to working long hours in a short time frame to finish a piece.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are to keep painting, and to honor Pam in all of the new artwork I create. I want to reach as many people as I can with my art by continuing to build upon the relationships I have established over the years with the manufacturers I work with.

Do you have a website to showcase your designs?

Yes, I do have a website, with separate areas. One area is for the public to see that contains some examples of my artwork. This site is more geared to promoting the licensed products my artwork appears on and where people might be able to purchase the products. The other area of the website is my art licensing section for manufacturers and companies who license, or want to license, my art. This area has a complete portfolio of my artwork and is more licensing industry oriented, with lists of retailers who have sold products with my art. I also started a Facebook fan page for my art in early January of 2014. This has been a wonderful experience, a really great way to promote my work, and the licensed products my art appears on. The best part is that I have gained thousands of new fans over these past years and that I have been able to directly connect with them on a more personal level. https://www.alangiana.com

I would like to thank Crown Point Graphics for the opportunity to answer these questions, and to share a little bit more of who I am, and what I do. I really appreciate all of the years we have been able to work together, and I look forward to what lies ahead in the years to come.

Dona Gelsinger
“It is a great blessing to be able to do what I love each day as my chosen profession.”

From a very young age, I had a love and appreciation for art. I would sit for hours watching my Grandfather as he told a story through his brush strokes, creating beautiful landscapes in oil. I went on to study art in college and began my career as a staff artist in advertising. After starting a family, I turned to freelance work and found my real calling when I was blessed with a commission to paint the Stations of the Cross for my church in California. From that point on, I knew what my life’s work was supposed to be, to use God’s gift to the best of my abilities.

Crown Point Graphics and Dona Gelsinger have been working together since 1996. Former owner, Mike Bursaw, recalls that she painted the best people and was drawn to the paintings she had of little girls in their winter coats and furry hats. This led to several of her Christmas angels being a part of the Crown Point Christmas line. Dona’s son and business partner, Jesse, recently shared, “Mike asked Mom to paint the first Santa Claus she ever painted. That has worked out incredibly well for us!”.

In 20 years we’ve licensed 50 pieces of Dona’s beautiful artwork. It’s safe to say tens of thousands of cards with the Dona Gelsinger signature have been sold across the United States. Her painting, “Blizzard Buddies”, licensed in 2006, continues to be a best seller for our customers today.

Jesse Gelsinger also shared, “Crown Point Graphics was one of our very first licensing agreements when Dona was just getting started in the industry. Crown Point’s owner, Mike Bursaw, has been a wonderful mentor throughout Dona’s career and we can’t thank him enough for all the encouragement and sound advice he has given us over the many years we have worked together. Mike has a heart of gold and we’re so thankful to count him as one of our dearest friends in the industry.”

Interview with Dona Gelsinger

What made you want to become an artist?

I was born with the desire to create art and have been drawing from a very young age. As a kid I would sit for hours alongside my Grandpa while he would paint these massive landscapes in oil. I always had a pencil or crayon in my hand as a kid, I just loved it.

How would you describe your art to someone who is unfamiliar with it?My Christmas Wish by Dona Gelsinger

We call it Heartwarming Art. It’s basically a realistic style of painting with the goal of making an emotional connection with the viewer.

Who has been the biggest influence on your design work?

Collaborating with my son Jesse, who is my business partner, has had a profound impact on the direction my work has taken.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming an artist?

It is a great blessing to be able to do what I love each day as my chosen profession.

What is your personal motto?

Begin each day with the LORD and try to live each day as He would like me to.

What inspires you? Where do you get inspiration for new concepts?

Many things in nature are inspiring to me and I never tire of seeing the way the golden light of evening colors the trees or the way sunlight shines through a rose petal, or the smiles on my grandchildren’s faces. It truly is all around us.

What is your creative process like?

I start with a concept we like and that we think our customers will like, then we create quick thumbnails until we get something we love.   I collect reference material which can involve a photoshoot, road trip, or a hike picking flowers, or anything in between. The next step is a sketch then on to the painting which is my favorite part of the process!

What is your creative workspace like?

My studio is the second floor of my home with open banisters to the ground floor. Lots of natural light and a beautiful view of a little creek and waterfall, lots of trees and wildlife. Very peaceful and quiet!

What is your favorite work of art (done by you)?

I am most proud of creating the Stations of the Cross for St Dennis Catholic Church in California. It was a 2 year project where I created 14 near life size paintings of the passion of our LORD.

If you could spend a day with one artist, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

I’d have to say Michelangelo. Watching him work on the Sistine Chapel would be amazing!

What art projects are you currently working on?

The Nativity I by Dona GelsingerI’m keeping very busy these days working on next year’s Christmas and everyday lines of art. I’ve also been working hard on our amazing new wall decor line, Glow Decor!

What statement do you hope to make with your art?

I hope to reflect in my small way the beauty and love of GOD that surrounds us.

What stands out to you as one of your favorite professional highlights so far?

Painting the Nativity is always a really fun highlight of my year. We make our own costumes and stage live photoshoots. I’m really happy with how the paintings are turning out and they continue to sell great for us on all sorts of products.

What is your favorite part of your job as an artist?

Being able to do what I love each day and the blessing of working with my son.

What do you feel makes your designs unique?

I paint in a realistic style with an emphasis on lighting and uplifting emotional qualities. I want the piece to be pretty and engaging in a heartwarming way.

What are your plans for the future?

Continue creating art for as long as the LORD wants me to!

Do you have a website to showcase your designs?

Yes you can visit us at donagelsinger.com and gelsingerlicensing.com

Liz Goodrick Dillon
Every day Creative, Every day Original and “Let’s
paint some sunshine!”

Mike Bursaw was introduced to Liz Goodrick Dillon through Landauer Publishing in 2005. He licensed “Arctic Santa”. This design quickly became a best seller for Crown Point Graphics and continues to be a favorite in the Christmas line today. We continue to license and promote Liz’s work with her “Santa’s” being a customer favorite. We have added her Religious images to our product lines with tremendous success. Our partnership has been a fruitful one!

How did art become your focus?

I grew up watching my dad tool leather purses and saddles and my mother sewing my clothes. They would just work with their hands and replicating their work became a natural process early on. I would see their patterns, colors, shadows and try to reproduce an image that would represent what I was seeing.

Who/what are your biggest influences?

The designs of William Morris influence my repeat designs. Realistic impressionism is a challenge I keep trying to conquer in my work so I turn to Monet and Remington for inspiration. For realistic coloring and shading of people I try to emulate Norman Rockwell and Michelangelo. They all have helped with my style.

Liz Goodrick Dillon Santa with PuppiesWhat, as an artist, is the most meaningful lesson you’ve learned?

Patience! Never underestimate your skills as an artist and don’t be afraid to try new things and reinvent yourself.

How long did it take for you to develop your style?

10 years and counting – still learning and reinventing.

What is your creative process like?

I get an idea and sketch it out small to get it on paper, then revise to size of project and fill in with color. Other times I just start painting. Often I use my photography to inspire and for reference.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Starting a new project for sure.

What stands out to you as one of your favorite professional highlights so far?

I design needle point ornaments and have been honored to have them adorn the White House Christmas trees over the years. I had one of my Nativity designs on a fabric panel used in the background of Dolly Parton’s TV show, “Coat of Many Colors”. They were used in the church scenes. It’s always fun to see your art on TV.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?

Do the research, buy the right materials and listen to advice and critiques.

What is your personal motto?

Every day Creative, Every day Original and “Let’s paint some sunshine!”

WEBSITE: www.lizgoodrickdillon.com

Facebook: www.cabinfever@cabinfeverartgifts

Instagram: #lizgoodrickdillon

Annie LaPoint

“More than ever, I love each moment I spend painting and creating in my studio. My hope is that my artwork brings as much joy and peace to others, as I receive in creating it.”

As one of our top selling artists, Annie LaPoint has always been a wonderful addition to the Crown Point Graphics family.

Our relationship with Annie began in 1998 when Penny Lane Publishing introduced us. Her first successes within Crown Point were with her topiary pieces. She was one of the first artists we licensed.

Easy to work with, Annie has always been opened minded and willing to branch out and adjust her style, which we love, when it comes to our company’s needs.

We’ve enjoyed working with Annie over the years and look forward to seeing what artwork we create together in the future.

Annie LaPoint loved to draw and paint at an early age and knew as a young girl she would grow up to be an artist. Annie has been known for many years for her popular watercolor paintings of mossy garden pots filled with ivy topiaries and blooms of all kinds.

Today, Annie’s fresh new artwork is keeping up with today’s trends in the world of art and licensing. Painting with bright colors and collaging with vintage hymnals and books, her fun creative designs are making a lot of people smile! “More than ever, I love each moment I spend painting and creating in my studio. My hope is that my artwork brings as much joy and peace to others, as I receive in creating it.”

If you look carefully you will find a scripture reference from the Bible tucked away in every painting. Annie says, “It’s a way I can give each painting back to the Lord God. He’s the One who gave me this talent in the first place, and He is the Greatest Artist of all!”

Since 2001, Annie and her husband Ken have had a ministry in Mexico, building homes and churches in very poor communities. Today, their organization ULBC Casabuilders, along with volunteer groups, is building “Mi Casa Children’s Home” in Tecate, Mexico. They’re looking forward to welcoming young children in need of a caring home to the five acre Mi Casa Ranch, in the very near future!

Interview with Annie LaPoint

What made you want to become an artist?

When I was a little girl, it was my dream to become an artist. From a very early age I loved to paint, draw and be creative. My mother would keep me well stocked with paint, paper, and paint-by-number kits, that always encouraged me to explore art.

How would you describe your art to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

When I began painting for the art and licensing industry in 1998, my early garden themed paintings were rich watercolors of potted flowers and ivy topiaries. Today my mixed media artwork is fun, fresh and fits right in with the home and garden gift trends of today. I love to paint with vibrant colors, collage from vintage hymnals & scripture, and I always try to share words of hope and faith in every piece.

What has been the biggest influence on your design work?

The biggest influences on designing my artwork are things in life that I love. Like flowers and birds in the garden, waves and seashells at the beach, and all the things in creation that inspire me. I also pray a lot while I make art, always asking God for direction. I would like to think that He is my biggest influence.

What is your personal motto?

“The best is yet to come!”

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming an artist?

To always keep looking forward, never stop creating new artwork, and stay encouraged! In this competitive, ever changing world of art licensing, you must keep a positive and faith-filled attitude.

What inspires you? Where do you get inspiration for new concepts?

Day to day I am inspired by many things, and it changes from season to season. I am inspired by spring gardens, summer blooms, fall leaves, and everything Christmas! God’s magnificent creation of flowers, trees, animals, and all the colors in life, motivate me to re-create all that He has made on this earth, and given by Him for us to enjoy.

What are your plans for the future?

I am sure that I will always stay inspired and creative as an artist, and I will continue make art as long as I can. Something many people don’t know about my husband Ken and Me, is that his organization, “ULBC Casabuilders” is currently building a children’s home in Mexico. Who knows, maybe I’ll become an art teacher there one day!What is your favorite work of art (done by you)?

I do not have one favorite piece of artwork of my own. There are so many that I love, that it’s hard to pick just one.

What is your creative workspace like?

My large art table sits in the middle of a comfy upstairs space I call “the upper room.” In the center of my table is always a work of art in progress, surrounded by paints and brushes, pens and pencils, and other “tools” I like to work with. I keep a small decorated Christmas tree up at all time in one corner of my table, and brightly colored flowers in the other to keep me inspired for every season. The room is filled with samples of my products, my paintings on the walls, and a cozy couch and chair where I can visit with friends and family.

If you could spend a day with one artist, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

My grandmother, Edna Moreing, was an artist that only painted a few pieces of artwork. She passed away when I was young. There is only one existing image of hers of a beautiful forest full of trees that hangs on my brother’s wall, and if I got the chance to spend one day with my grandma, it would simply be to sit together and hear her share her life story with me.

What art projects are you currently working on and how are they different from past projects?

I am currently creating fun new greeting cards for Crown Point Graphics. The designs are much simpler than cards I have painted in the past. I am giving the term, “Less is More” a try!

What statement do you hope to make with your art?

If I had to describe what statement I hope to make with my artwork, it would simply be to share Joy, Peace, Hope, Love and Faith.

What stands out to you as one of your favorite professional highlights so far?

A huge highlight as an artist for me has been my 16 year relationship with the people of Penny Lane Publishing and Licensing. They have done an excellent job representing me as an artist, but more importantly they have become a unique group of friends and family to me that I am thankful for daily.

What is your favorite part of your job as an artist?

Next to painting and creating art, I love meeting the public and spending time with people who enjoy and collect my artwork. Also, whenever the opportunity comes up I really love to encourage others to be creative and grow as artists themselves.

Do you have an Instagram that people can follow?

http://www.instagram.com/annielapoint

What do you feel makes your designs unique?

I think an artist’s personality is what comes through and makes their art and designs unique. For me I hope it’s the essence of who I am and what I love that sets my artwork apart from others.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of designing artwork for licensed products is when someone needs designs in a very short amount of time. If life happens to be extra busy, it can be very difficult to manage it all and meet the deadline for the artwork. It always works out though and sometimes that pressure can be very invigorating!

What is your creative process like?

Whether I’m feeling artistically inspired or not, working on art and creating new designs always begins with sitting down at my art table and looking over what I’ve been working on. If I am in the middle of a painting or collection, I begin where I left off, and if I’m not in the mood to paint, it’s only a matter of minutes that I am fully engaged in the process and excited to create. When I’m in a place where I can begin fresh new artwork, I always pray and ask the Lord for His direction. I also keep a growing sketchbook and a very long list of creative ideas to pull from. I have never been at a loss of what to paint and create next. I love what I get to do as a licensed artist, and painting fills me with joy.

Tina Wenke

“I think that the common thread running through my art is that it’s happy. It makes me feel positive and I hope this carries through to anyone who has had the opportunity to see it.”

We first noticed Tina Wenke’s artwork in a Leanin’ Tree catalog and it didn’t take long to add her to the Crown Point Graphics family!   We licensed several designs in January that same year, and since that time many of her beautiful, happy, fun designs have been added to our line. One of those first designs, “Whimsical Thank You” continues to be one of our best sellers.

Tina and her husband Michael, also an artist and Tina’s business partner, are a pleasure to work with. They are in touch with artwork trends and willing to customize designs to fit Crown Point Graphics’ needs.   They often reach out to us asking if there is anything in particular we are looking for.   It is a special treat when we are able to meet face-to-face with Tina and Michael, reviewing new concepts and bouncing ideas around. We’ve dreamed up many products during those informal meetings.

Working with Tina the past 10 years has been wonderful! We look forward to seeing the most recent designs we’ve licensed go into production, and the new designs she will create.

I always knew I wanted to be an artist and began my career after art school in Cincinnati, Ohio where I’ve lived my whole life. I’ve had the pleasure to create illustrations for lots of fun products like greeting cards, gifts, party papers, stamps and even baby diapers…and most recently, garden flags. I’m always very enthusiastic about new projects and I truly hope that my art brings a little joy to anyone who has the opportunity to see it.

I live with my three children, who have been my primary source of inspiration over the years, and my husband Mike, also an artist. We work together in our in home studio. When not working, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, gardening, and everything creative. I love making my own jewelry and artsy handbags and totally enjoy teaching art to young children.

Interview with Tina Wenke

What made you want to become an artist?

I knew I wanted to be an artist ever since I was very young. I loved spending lots of time at my aunt and uncle’s house. He was a commercial artist and he would sit at his drawing table and doodle and paint in his free time. I could just watch him work for hours. I believe that their love and encouragement was the thing that helped me choose a career in art.

How would you describe your art to someone who was unfamiliar with it?

It would be a challenge to describe my art from a visual standpoint to someone who is unfamiliar with it because I love to experiment with different media, so my collections often look very different from each other. The common thread running through my art is that it’s happy. It makes me feel positive and I hope this carries through to anyone who has the opportunity to see it. As far as the design of my art is concerned, I like to have a main element or center of interest, with one or two secondary elements, and lots of little things throughout the design that keeps the viewer interested enough to stay a while and maybe come back later to see if there was something they may have missed.

What has been the biggest influence on your design work?

I think that the person who has been my biggest influence is my husband Mike. We like to bounce new ideas off of each other. He always gives good input, although I don’t always accept his suggestions warmly, he’s usually always right. He encourages and inspires me to step outside of my artistic comfort zone and try new things, which are almost always a success.

What is your personal motto?

I think my personal motto is “Always look for the good in life, especially in the most difficult times.”

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming an artist?

Always make sure that your artwork gets seen! I was devastated when one of my college friends and I applied and submitted our portfolios to Gibson Greetings and he got my dream job as an illustrator while I got offered a technical job. I wallowed in my sorrows for about a week and then I picked myself up and decided to use this as an opportunity to learn and grow. I would humbly use every lunch break to walk around the floor and study what the artists were working on. I felt I had learned all I could in those two years and then decided it was time for a change. I resubmitted my portfolio and do you believe it, I was told that they were so sorry, but they never saw my portfolio the first time or they would have hired me as an illustrator on the spot. To this very day I am very diligent about making sure that my art always gets seen and I try to stay humble and positive.

What inspires you? / Where do you get inspiration for new concepts?

Many things inspire me, like my faith, my children (especially when they were young), nature, the world around me, kid’s art, looking at other artists’ work on the web, in shops and in museums, and going to art and trade shows. I never know when or where I will get a new idea, so I find it very helpful to keep paper and pencils always on hand so that I can doodle down ideas and I won’t forget them.

What are your plans for the future?

If it were in God’s plan, I would love to keep doing what I’ve been doing and to grow and expand our list of great companies to work with. It’s so exciting to meet and get to know new clients and we often become close friends after working together. It’s always been a dream of mine to illustrate and perhaps write my own children’s book. It would be amazing to have the opportunity to do this, too.

What is your favorite work of art (done by you)?

I think that my personal favorite work would be my “Tiny Ballerinas.” It’s a card design from my Sarah’s Garden Collection with Leanin’ Tree. It’s an image of four little ballerinas with wobbly tutus and tights falling down. It was inspired by my daughter Sarah’s dance lessons when she was only four. It’s very near and dear to my heart.

What is your creative workspace like?

My husband Mike and I share a studio space on the lower level of our home in Ohio. It’s very convenient, simple, and if I have to be honest, pretty disorganized most of the time. We call it our international headquarters. Seriously, because of technology, we can send art in minutes, anywhere around the world …and we do. Mike works at his Mac computer and I work at an easel on my desk. We like to post visual inspiration and our latest designs on the walls as inspiration to keep ourselves motivated.

If you could spend a day with an artist, living or dead, who would it, be and what would you do?

If I could spend the day with any artist I would pick Monet. We would spend the day painting, talking and maybe drinking some French wine in his beautiful gardens in France…Wow!

What art projects are you currently working on and how are they different from past projects?

We’ve been creating lots of designs for garden flags — something we have never designed before. We have over fifty new designs that have been introduced since Spring 2014. It has been fun and challenging at the same time because I’ve learned that what may work as a greeting card design may not necessarily work for a flag. I’ve learned that our designs need to be simple and very readable, almost like a stylish billboard. Another new project that I’ve had the opportunity to work on this year is designing lots of angel figurines. So fun!

What statement do you hope to make with your art?

It’s really very simple. I want people to feel very positive and happy whenever they look at something I’ve made.
Diapers created by Tina Wenke

What stands out to you is one of your favorite professional highlights so far?

When I had the awesome opportunity to design an entire line of Pampers diapers. P&G, in Cincinnati, flew in lots of well-known artists and designers from around the world for a kick off meeting. Artists were submitting designs to decorate a new line of diapers. I’m very proud to say that home girl got the job! It was so incredibly fun to see all of my friend’s babies interacting with my cute, colorful, silly animals at changing time. Who would have thought that my highest achievement would be to decorate something that gets pooped in and then thrown in the trash? Ha ha!

What is your favorite part of your job as an artist?

Working from home, making my own schedule, and being creative whenever I’m inspired. Mike and I have worked together for close to 20 years, without killing each other I might add, and this has allowed us to be there for our kids when they were growing up. I think that’s why we’re very close to them.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is the insecurity of being self-employed. My work schedule is not usually booked ahead more than a few weeks or months and it’s hard to know what I will be working on after that. For me, it takes a lot of faith to be in the art business. Most of the time we are designing for products that will not hit the market and bring in income for a year or two down the road. This is especially tough.

Do you have a website to showcase your designs?

I have a new website: www.TinaWenke.com

What do you feel makes your designs unique?

Each piece tells a little story or a moment in time about relationships. It may be a sweet little hedgehog couple sitting on a blanket sharing a romantic moment or it may be an illustration of two teacups next to each other that symbolize a close, warm relationship between two people. Relationships are very important to me and to everyone, so I try to communicate them in my art.

Border of Tina Wenke Flowers