Welcome to our first Designer Feature on Weekly Scrapper!
We had a chance to talk with Donna Salazar and get to know more about her life, her art and her upcoming projects.
Where are you from?
I currently live in Orange County, CA (about 15 minutes south of Disneyland), but I grew up in West Covina, CA. After I got married, my hubby and I moved around a lot but we never left California. We moved to Orange County about 10 years ago and I never want to leave!!!
What are your roots?
My dad is Filipino and my mom is white (French, Irish & Scot mostly). I look like a blend of the two of them, my coloring comes from my dad and my freckles and smile from my mom. 🙂
How did you get started?
I’d always been crafty but my mom had to “force” me to take art in high school (I didn’t want to do it because I thought it was nerdy). I fell in love with art during my first class, got summer scholarships to art colleges, and I was gonna be a fine arts major in college but I decided to get married and have babies instead of finishing school. I was in the corporate world for a long while after that until a car crash changed my plans. I started to focus on my art again in 2005. I was “discovered” during a filming of Scrapbook Lifestyle, a “reality scrapbooking webshow” for Scrapbooks Etc. magazine) at The Red Bee, and from there things just started to happen for me in this industry.
How has your art changed over your career?
I began by teaching classes at my local scrapbook store, The Red Bee. I got a dream gig painting murals and teaching art therapy type classes at facilities for adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia so I added that to the classes. I kept in touch with a couple of the designers from the webshow and we started making our own low tech videos. I started getting published and getting onto Design Teams and then I got an offer to work for a scrapbook manufacturing company and jumped on the chance. Eventually I was forced to choose between working for the manufacturer and everything else that I was doing and I decided to leave that company. The owner of that company told me that leaving would probably be the best thing that had ever happened to me… and she was right (even though it didn’t feel like it at the time). Leaving pushed me to pursue creating my own line of products and I am now licensing product with 6 different companies. I was comfortable where I was and had I not been nudged out of the nest I wouldn’t be living the life that I love.
What is your focus now?
My focus for this year is to educate people about my products and all the different ways that they can be used. The most efficient way for me to do this and reach the maximum amount of people is for me to do online classes. I have several classes at www.MyCreativeClassroom.com and I have several classes that are going to be offered on my Ning site, http://donnasalazardesigns.ning.com as well.
What brings you joy?
I’m a pretty happy person most of the time. I am joyful spending time with my fam, creating in my studio, being in beautiful places, playing with my puppies…
What inspires you?
I am inspired by books, music, art, and movies. I love when something is so good that it moves me to my soul.
What inspires your art?
I am inspired mostly by sight and sound. I love finding amazing artwork on Pinterest, in magazines, and in galleries. I’m also inspired by watching clouds, walking in a garden, finding antiques or junking. But listening to music, a rainstorm, my wind chimes, the birds singing… these are all inspiring to me as well.
Who has been most influential in your career and why?
The one person who has been the most influential to me is the owner of Product Performers. He is not only my distributor but his whole family is very dear to me. They are just really good people, very caring, and business smart as well. He was the first person who I feel really believed in me and to this day, I still run ideas by him and ask him for advice before I make any big career decisions.
Ooooh… this is tough! I LOVE collecting quotes. I can’t pick just one so here are a couple:
“I’ve decided that the stuff falling through the cracks is confetti, and I’m having a party!” ~ Betsy Canas Garmon
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Paint… for sure. And Inky stuff. But then there is glitter… Oh, and cardboard. I also like denim an awful lot… but mostly paint.
Indigo… but color themes can invoke an emotional response in me… even if there isn’t any indigo in them.
Wherever my hubs and I can kick back and relax… but if I had to pick my most favorite place to kick back and relax with my hubby it would be a toss up between Laguna Beach and Big Bear.
Favorite room in your house? Why?
My studio… of course! I just love being in my studio surrounded by all my goodies. And the fact that my worktable faces the living room where the family hangs out is a bonus… because I can still be a part of what they are doing while I play work in my studio.
Favorite object? Why?
My favorite object is a ceramic face vase that my daughter made for me in her ceramics class. It is artsy and unique and I keep my paintbrushes in it.
I have 2 adorable fur babies that are Bichon litter mates (who follow me around the house like little ducklings) and a gorgeous cat that is half Siamese and half Tomcat (he has stripes where a siamese would be dark).
I work with 6 manufacturers and something that I do that (I think) is different is how I make “Compatible” product for each manufacturer that will work with a product from one of the other manufacturers. You can find out all about my “Girlie Grunge” world on my ning site where we have contests, challenges, random giveaways, and we even feature artists who upload work that we think showcase some of my products really well. I also have inexpensive e-Classes on my site where you can learn more about my products and techniques that you can try when using them. http://donnasalazardesigns.ning.com
I’m a BIG DREAMER! One day I’d like to be the Martha Stewart of Generation X… meaning I’d like to have licensed product in several industries, published books, have a crafty show, etc… but all of it would be appealing to people who love my “Girlie Grunge” vibe. I know this is not just dreaming big… it is dreaming HUGE… but I believe that we should all have dreams that are outside of our reach so that it will cause us to grow. I also believe in the law of attraction and that there is power in sending my dreams out into the universe. Even if I don’t get the whole package, having even just a little of what is on this list would be FABULOUS!