Friday, September 16, 2011

Artist Interview with Ann Marie of That Girl Designs

Today I'm excited to share an interview with Ann Marie of That Girl Designs.  We met through Flying Lessons, an e-course sponsored by artist Kelly Rae Roberts.  Ann Marie is a former custom jewelry artist who owned a boutique and now is living her dream of being an interior designer and artist, and along with her husband, owns Go Design, a design + build company in Austin, Texas.
Do you remember when you first really started to enjoy creating things?
I don’t remember a specific age at which I found my love of creating and designing, but from a very early age I loved to color!  In fact, I would spend hours with my coloring books and even submitted my “works of art” to local grocery store coloring contests.  I was always very precise with my coloring, making sure to color in the lines. ( That was my left brain fighting for a spot in the activity.) What is funny to think of now, is that my mother was an extremely talented seamstress.  She would have loved for me to join her and be her student, but I was a tomboy and would have no part of girl stuff like sewing or cooking. 
Who are some artists that have inspired you or are still inspiring you along your creative journey?
Rex Ray is one of my favorite currently active artists.  His collage work is so inspiring to me.  I bought his book, keep it in my studio, and look at it often.  Beatriz Milhazes is another artist whose work always inspires me.  Her use of color speaks to me as it is how I think of color in my own mind.  I always say that “color is my muse” and her work certainly is color rich.

Which brings me to my next question which you partially answered above: Do you have a muse or an inspiration that helps you with your creations and design?
Color is my main muse, but nature is right up there with it.  In fact, I get a ton of color inspiration from looking at nature.  The color of the sky as a backdrop to the green tree tops.  That sort of thing.  And, this might seem strange, but words, phrases and quotes are also ever inspiring.  I actually painted a recent work based solely on a word and its definition.  It came so easy to me, that I plan to do more art based on single words and their meanings.

If you could have lunch with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
Totally not art related, but I would have lunch with Cary Grant.  He is my all time favorite movie star.  I just read his daughter’s book about her life with him and his fathering of her and fell even more in love with him.  I own most of his movies and watch them over and over.  His comedic roles never cease to make me happy.
 If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you’d do for a living?
Well, since I’m an interior designer, I guess I already have an alternate to being an artist.  Although, the two are very closely related.  Honestly, I’ve waited so long in life to be a creative, that I can’t even think of any other career that would be suitable. Or acceptable!
 What is your favorite quote, motto or affirmation?
My own mantra is “find your peace” and another is “i have all the tools within me to have the life i want to live.”  (That second one is going to be a poster for sale in my shop soon.)  Favorite quotes include: “your work is to discover your work and then to give yourself to it with all of your heart”  Buddha.  And.... “live a balanced life.  learn some and drink some, and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some” by Robert Fulghum.  Each of those are on my blog home page. 
I know your husband is your partner, aside from him, do you have a community of other artists or friends/family members who you consider to be supportive of your creative endeavors?
My friends and family are supportive, but until KRR’s class and meeting all of you, no I didn’t have an artist community.  I’m so, so grateful to have found all of my Flying Lessons peeps!  My husband and my son are incredibly supportive of my art making and have given me courage to put it out there in the world. 

If you have an afternoon free, all by yourself, what would your dream day look like?
I’m pretty fortunate, and actually have lots of free time (wasn’t always the case) and every chance I get, I’m up in the studio creating art. 
Do you have any favorite blogs you enjoy reading and would you share them with us?
Yes, in no particular order: - love this gal’s take on life. - this one is about wellness, nutrition, and spirit.  It is Kris Carr’s blog who is a gal living with cancer which she “treats” through healthy living and a plant based diet.  She also has documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer.  Good stuff on this blog. - just really cool stuff found here.  Great inspiration for creatives of all types.
Do you have any future dreams or goals that you are working on or dreaming about?
I constantly dream of having a second home outside of Texas.  I love my home state, but really feel the pull of a cooler climate. My recent trip to the mountains of Colorado sealed the deal.  It is the mountains for me.  One of my goals is to sell my artwork to help us pay off debt and save for travels and a little home somewhere in New Mexico or Colorado.  I’ve got it on the three year plan!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists who truly want to live a creative life?
Just to never give up.  I just turned 47.  I went back to school at age 44 to pursue my interior design degree.  I’ve waited a lifetime, or it seems, to live a creative life.  I’ve done all the things I had to do to get here.  I was a single parent for a while and worked many, many 9 to 5’s and jobs I hated just to pay the bills.  My point is, that I believe that we are where we are supposed to be at any given time, and that there are many hills on the way to the mountain top.  Never give up on reaching that mountain top.  It will happen!
I would like to thank Ann Marie for sharing so much with us about herself, her art and her future goals.  I especially love her optimism and positive outlook.  I hope you enjoyed "meeting" her as well.


  1. lovely interview - really enjoyed this x Loved finding your your inspirations x

  2. what a great interview! Nice to get to know Ann Marie better.


  3. Really enjoyed the interview. Lots of insights and things to ponder.

  4. Great interview. She is so cool and her art is beautiful. Very inspiring.

  5. It really was great to hear from Ann Marie-what an inspiration. She's so positive and upbeat about her life and her future! I also love that we are both inspired by quotations and words.


  6. Love this--the idea and the interview. It's great, Jill and Ann

  7. Thanks -- loved this! It's nice to get to know Ann Marie a bit better.

  8. It's so great to hear from you all and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview with Ann Marie as much as I did.



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