Trends for 2012

So, do you have a great art idea?

While you want to stay with your unique artistic style, being up to date with what’s going on in the market place in regards to color, fashion, home decor (aka Trends!) will help you incorporate that great idea into a marketable, valuable piece of artwork that manufacturers will want to buy.

So, today at SURTEX there was panel of industry experts who gave their insight as to what trends are to come for 2012.

Most trends start on the runway from fashion and usually France is ahead two years from the USA. French home decor magazines like Maison Francaise and Elle Decoration are best references to get trending ideas. However, what may be trending in France does not mean it’s trending in Italy at the same time therefore it’s key to be aware of what’s trending in your surrounding area.

Where do you get good trend info from?
Go out to the market, speciality shops, visit, walk gift and home trade shows, and constantly see what’s out there selling. There is also the Color Association of the United States that shows color trends in home decor from fabric and paint manufacturers. So, look them up as well. Since these manufacturers are buying your art, you may want to ask them how your art art can help take their business to the next level.

Both color trends and themes are important – in a nutshell, here’s what’s to come for 2012:

Neutral beige tones in home decor, browns in fashion this fall with an accent of bright colors
Different shades of blues and greens on the color spectrum, honeysuckle, demin, marigold and spicy colors and bit of hot pink, red but maybe not too much – just to accentuate the design

Vintage is hot but it’ll be evolved to vintage with a twist of modern, hip, cool, edgy design
Eiffel towers, global baazar, word inspired artwork, connection and real feelings during these difficult economic times. Instead of drawing one coffee cup, draw two because it’s “connecting”

Long skinny ladies walking their poodles! Owls! Anything Sex and the City or indulgent

I hope this all helps – trust me, I’m no expert! But hope this inspires all of you artists to stick with your style, throw in some change of color and content and make it happen! $$$

I love EVOO and Rachael Ray

So, early tomorrow morning I will be going to the Rachael Ray show as an audience member. I love watching her show and really am into 30 minute meals. Who has time to cook a ton of stuff? Rachael makes it quick, easy and fun! I’m crossing my fingers in hopes of giving her this caricature I did of her. Wish me luck!

Shopping for A Better Sense of Self

I love to shop. I love getting a good bargain, finding a piece of clothing or funky jewelery to make myself feel good. While a piece of clothing can make you look fabulous, what really is important is to FEEL FABULOUS from within. Not easy to do at times. I’m currently taking these cool online classes to help improve oneself from within – conquering fears, going for the dream, and changing for the better. What I have learned is that once you accept where you are at this moment, that is when the doors to change can really occur. So if you are feeling frustrated with a particular part of yourself, learn to befriend and embrace it. Accept it as part of this process called life. And while you are living it you might as well look fabulous along the way! So go out and shop to celebrate YOU. Within budget of course!

Happy Easter!

I’ve been home in Chicago all this week and it’s been quite crazy with family obligations. When I was a kid, I loved Easter. One of my favorite memories was the “Easter Bunny” would leave paper footprints from our bedroom doors that would lead to the living room. Following these footprints was so magical. In the living room would be these Easter baskets and then we’d hunt for those plastic eggs full of M&Ms, jellybeans and good stuff. Easter not only celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection, but also renewal and life. I always like to think of Easter as an opportunity to renew ourselves and as a “rebirth” as to who we are meant to become. Happy Easter!

Earth Day Week with The ScrapKins

A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. That’s a lot of containers! Why not make some cool art projects out of them with The ScrapKins?

My buddy author / illustrator Brian Yanish created The ScrapKins from his childhood drawings that his mom saved over the years. The ScrapKins are a group of fun-loving monsters that live in a recycling center and build their world out of the things we throw away. The ScrapKins mission is to encourage creativity and resourcefulness through stories and recycled art projects. In honor of Earth Day, there are many events that The ScrapKins are doing throughout New York City. New Yorkers are invited to attend to these events and also purchase the book: The ScrapKins Build It Book: Volume I. 12 Things You Can Make from Junk which you can find on AMAZON. For more information go to

Get Your Ducks in a Row

Spring is here which means April Showers – and lots of rubber duckies! I’m currently working on some sketches to help my client out for her book. She runs a company called Duckies In A Row
and it’s about getting your goals in gear and organised. My friend thinks this one duck looks like Glenn Beck – can you pick out which one? In any case, here are a few suggestions to get your ducks in a row:

1. Get a clear vision on what you want
2. Understand your values, purpose and mission
3. Understand and embrace your essence – Be who you really are
4. Get a master plan organised by having the right people join your team
5. Master your mind – clear out negative thinking and embrace the positive

I’m the first to admit I’m quacked and have a lot to work on within myself. Hopefully these guidelines will at least get you inspired and get your ducks in a row! Have FUN with the process!

A Rise to the Occasion

A few years back while I was working at Scholastic I was asked to do what seemed to be the impossible – a caricature of Ms. Deborah Forte who is the President of Scholastic Media. She is an Emmy-award winning producer of over 300 productions and including films such as The Indian in the Cupboard, The Golden Compass and Clifford’s Big Movie. Currently Ms. Forte is working on future films such as Mortal Engines, Goosebumps (Columbia Pictures)and will be producing the The 39 Clues movie with Steven Spielberg. She’s extremely talented, super smart and one TOUGH business woman.

I was very nervous and challenged to really do something special – and rose to the occasion. I remember being up all night trying to think of something creative and different and of course to do a caricature that would make her look fabulous! I remember doing her in pencil, pastel and mixed media to give her a nice “soft” look and really enjoyed drawing the Scholastic book characters. I used a shadow box and made the characters pop out by having it look 3-D.

After the department presented the art to her I had no idea what she thought of it. A few days later I was stepping out of the elevator from my long day at work. Ms. Forte saw me, ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug and said, “OMG Cathy! I LOVE IT!”

I’m proud to say it is STILL in her office to this day and has been one of my most challenging but rewarding pieces of work! I always seem to get a surprised response when I tell people I did Ms. Forte’s caricature so I thought it’d be fun to show it to you all.

How to Pitch for Animation

Last night the Women’s in Animation (WIA) and Women’s in Children’s Media (WICM) hosted a great event at animation studio Curious Pictures here in NYC. Was a great talk about how to pitch for animation lead by Kristin Martin and Marina Grasic. Here are some great pointers for those of you who’d like to pitch to tv companies:

Who are my characters? Character development is most important in this process. What are these characters like? Where do they live? What is their world? What are the elements of your show idea being funny? Adventurous? Interesting?
Why is the show unique and different?
What style of animation? There is 2D, 3D, claymation, computer generated
What network do you visualize your tv show to be on? Be sure to do your homework and watch episodes and programs on their channel before doing a pitch. Look for what is “lacking” in their programming schedule and fill that niche!

A pitch book is what you present to a broadcaster so they can get an idea about what your show is about, what is the setting, and who your characters are. In regards to character development, here are the roles:
The Artist draws the characters
The Producer coordinates the information and ideas
The Writer outlines the characters, describes the scene and setting
The Showrunner is the executive producer/writer and outranks the director.
Main responsibility is to manage day to day production. Usually has a close relationship
with the broadcaster.
An image of all the characters and their environment ought to provide the broadcaster a sense of what the show will be about and if it is humorous, a drama, live action, etc. Of course mention the show title as well!
Have a brief introduction page showcasing all of your characters with a two sentence blurb.
Then have one page of each character and in 2-3 paragraphs describe the character’s personality, background, relationship to the other characters, hobbies, interests, quirks, etc. Keep it brief.
Background setting – describe the setting, have visual backgrounds showcasing the environment, town, homes, etc.
Visual development – the characters and backgrounds are showcased but plays with the color, design, style and their world
Written treatment – describes the main concepts and characters of the show in less than 6 pages.
Episode ideas – builds on the treatment and visual development to lay out episode ideas. Use only 4-5 ideas and keep them no more than half a page. About 2 paragraphs should be enough.
Can a pitch book be more than six pages – of course! But keep it brief and to the point so that the person you are pitching to is not overwhelmed at all and “gets” the concept of your show.

For more information about WIA go to
For more information about WICM go to

In the WhiteHouse! (well, almost!)

A few months ago, I was asked to do a caricature of Congresswoman-elect Nan Hayworth. She represents the NY state district 19 area. I really enjoyed the challenged do doing an elected official and it’s now hanging in her office in Washington, D.C! Who knows? Maybe she’ll run for president someday! Whether someone is an independent, democract or republican – to me it’s just a person whom I’d love to draw! For more information on Nan, check out

Eat Pray Draw

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the best selling novel, Eat Pray Love. I loved her book and she was amazing in person. She spoke at the Academy of Life here in NYC and was witty, charming and very funny. Everyone kept asking her about the meaning / secret of life and even she is still figuring that out! I did her caricature and she loved it. For more information on Liz, check out