Interview with Daydreaming Artist Kathy Ahrens
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt
|Zentangle Art by Kathy Ahrens
How do you think your environment has influenced you as an artist?
I was born in California and spend most of my life moving around the U.S. exploring nature and loving every minute of it! If you described me as a child, you would say I was a daydreamer. As I would hike with my father, I would imagine in my mind how beautiful a tree, a leaf or a stream would look in a drawing. I would run home and start drawing my abstract doodles.
|Artist Kathy Ahrens
My father could manage take any negative in life and turn it around to be a positive learning experience. Raising me was no different. Being a “daydreamer” was considered a negative in school and I was always reprimanded for it. When he and my mother would attend school conferences, my mother would say, “We’ll talk to her about it” but my father would say “she is creative with a beautiful imagination”. “Yes, she is a daydreamer but she is a happy girl”.
My father gave me my first drawing pad and markers and each day after that would come home, walk over to me and ask to see my latest “Masterpiece”. So yes I am still a daydreamer and I am proud if it!
|Colored in doodle by Ahrens
How long have you been selling professionally?
I am a self taught artist who started a life of crafts at age 3. My mother loved crafts and shared her love with all of her children. I will always be thankful for that. I started selling handmade cards on ETSY in 2010 (shop is KatAhr) and loved it but my family was needing me and as nothing can compensate for failure in the home, I decided to put my crafts on hold. My children are all grown now, with lives of their own so I restarted selling on ETSY June 2012 and it’s been absolutely wonderful.
It’s my hope that I was just as good of a parent to my two sons as my father was to me. Although they were more happier reading or running outside than ever doing crafts, they are happy and for that I will always be complete.
|Doodle Art by Ahrens
Describe a typical day for you. : A typical day is relaxed and easy. Of course my day begins with clicking on my ETSY shop to see what I sold and to send these out. Then I visit my friends’ newest items. In the spring and summer, my days are filled with gardening. I have quite an extensive garden consisting of anything and everything that can grow in the Wisconsin state. Believe it or not, keeping up with my crafts and gardening, my day is complete.
What is your studio space like?
My studio is a huge bedroom that sits over my garage. It’s mine and it’s beautiful and I couldn’t be happier. I have everything I need in life! I am indeed blessed. From a special window in my “studio” I can see and hear the hundreds of birds that visit our yard. Since we feed them year round, they stay forever. When my window is open it sounds like a jungle and I am in heaven.
|Daydreaming on @etsy