SCBWI SE Wisconsin Meet up with Deb Gross & Jessica Salyer

Please join us for the SE Area Meet-up at the Wauwatosa Library.

DebraGross12October 1st from 10-3pm @ Wauwatosa Library
10-12pm Creating A Picture Book Dummy with Illustrator Deb Gross

Creating book dummies isn’t just for illustrators. All creators benefit from laying out their text in a page-turning format. In this presentation Deb Gross will cover the purpose and general construction of a picture book dummy. I will talk about how to layout a storyboard, create simple sketches, organize a book dummy package and submit to publishers.

Deb Gross has enjoyed working in children’s publishing for the past 16 years. She works in pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, and colored pencil. She also creates illustrations in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator alone or in combination with conventional methods. Her clients include Barron’s Educational Series, Harcourt Educational, McGraw Hill, National Geographic School Publishing & Compass Publishing.
Deb serves as the SCBWI-WI Illustrator Coordinator.

jessicaOctober 1st from 10-3pm @ Wauwatosa Library 1-3pm
Using Scrivener
w/ Jessica Salyer

Ever wonder why people use Scrivener? Come learn the basics and the unique elements that make Scrivener an Author’s tool box essential.

Jessica Salyer is the co-author of Secret Catch, a modern day Romeo and Juliet retelling with a happy ending. She can be found furiously typing on her laptop when her kids go to bed, but she probably won’t hear you because of her earbuds and loud music. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website where she will hear you.


Our Next Meet-up is December 3, 2015 @ 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Wauwatosa Library Children’s Storyroom. Youth librarian Anne Kissinger will present How Picturebooks Work

tosa libraryJoin children’s librarian Anne Kissinger as she discusses how picturebooks work– peritextual elements (endpapers, covers, book jackets) design elements (fonts, orientation of the book, borders, etc.) visual grammar (offer and demand, color, composition), mindful literacy (What does the text say? What does the text mean?), adult-directed & child-directed books (read by an adult to a child or child reads independently), appropriate age and classifications for writing, close reading (writing), how the library handles acquisitions and gaps in the current collection, and how to effectively communicate with your librarian.

Following the presentation there will be time for discussion with an opportunity to peruse the collection and check out books. The library closes at 9:00pm. Wauwatosa Public Library 7635 W. North Avenue 53213 (414) 471-8486

Author Visits for Fall 2015

I have a few dates open for Fall 2015. If you’re interested in having me visit your school, please email to schedule a program.

I love visiting schools to share my experiences as an author and an illustrator. I have a number of presentations, workshops, and art residencies available. Below is a preview of some of my programs, but a higher quality PDF of my full program listing can be viewed here—Andrea Skyberg Author Visit Program Sheet (Full Version) 2014

Author visit_Andrea Skyberg

Andrea Author Visit Image_4Andrea Author Visit Image_2Andrea Author Visit Image_3Andrea Author Visit Image_1


Milwaukee Environmental School Mural Installed!

I just installed the 9′ x 33′ tree mural for the Milwaukee Environmental School, which includes almost 500 metal engraved leaves. Each leaf was created by a student as either a self portrait or a designed word that featured one of their schools six character traits: Respect, Grit, Craftsmanship, Leadership, Integrity, and Stewardship. Even the parents joined in and created a leaf for the tree. The art residency took place during three months in the Spring. Over 200 K4-7th grade students worked with me on this mural. The project was funded by Arts@Large and a grant from Toyota Family Learning.

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Manitoba Exhibit Opening!

Last night we had the opening for our Rainforest, Arctic, and Antarctica exhibit at Manitoba school. The K5 & 1st grade students did such a great job as museum docents! You can see the making of this exhibit here.

Tia Chianti Richardson’s Studio Tour

Today on Tuesday Tours we’ll look inside the studio of artist and owner of Cosmic Butterfly Design Tia Chianti Richardson, who’s studio is part of the Kunzelmann-Esser artists lofts in Milwaukee—an apartment building that offers galleries and a workroom for the residents to use. Tia refers to herself at a Community Integrated Artist because a large portion of what she does centers on the process of creating the work in collaboration with community members. Working together, Tia and her group paints large colorful murals that incorporate issues that are of concern to the community where the mural is being created. During these residences Tia also teaches people new art skills, helps build relationships among the participants, and offers art as a tool for healing in the community.



Milwaukee Environmental Services School mural (8’x26′ acrylic on panel)

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative medium.
I call myself a “community-integrated artist”. I’m a muralist. My approach is holistic in that I facilitate making art—specifically murals—by group listening in a way that integrates the voice of the community and the collective spirit of working together to build a new vision. I work with youth and adults of all ages. I’m less interested in working on my own paintings in my studio. I get occasional private commissions like portraits and paintings in oil and acrylic but I prefer to work on community art and teach people how to do something they’ve never done before, by working together around issues they care about.

Tia facilitating a talking Circle

Tia facilitating a talking Circle

I like to do this by using talking circles and group exercises that build relationship during our design planning phases. In this way art becomes a tool for healing community. That is my practice. The final, permanent mural is done in acrylic. I’ve led over 25 residencies around Milwaukee in public schools and community organizations. Three murals are outdoors.

full studio view

How long have you had your space and how does it affect your creative process?
I’ve had my space for nine years. My building is a renovated furniture factory turned into artists live/work apartments. If I’m working on a painting late in the evening I get to take breaks by lounging on my couch where I still have a view of my painting, cook dinner, eat and watch my painting until I see how I need to approach it again. Plus I like to multi-task. I might do home-stuff while working on a painting. I wouldn’t feel as relaxed if I weren’t in my own home.



Portrait of a Bride (22″x24″ oil on canvas)

Describe a typical work day.
If I’m not scheduled with a school that day, its open for planning, appointments with any potential clients, or relaxing. A typical day during a residency involves preparing any props that I make so the students have a 3D example of their project. Making a class outline. Transporting materials/props to the school where I leave them in storage, if I can, to minimize hauling. I ‘ll do an hour in-class with anywhere from 8-24 students, guiding them each step of the way. The first half-hour might be an introduction, a talking circle or brainstorming, followed by a demonstration and instructions for that day, followed by work— individual sketching or group painting. I always close with each student saying something they appreciated about the day or about something someone else in the room did. Sometimes I have two or three classes back to back. Repeat weekly for three to eight weeks. I have managed up to six different residencies at five different schools in one semester.




Goddess of the Dawn Raven (22″x36″ acrylic on canvas)

What do you like to nibble on or drink while you work.
At home I have water or hot tea—my favorite is Egyptian Licorice and Equal Exchange 85% dark chocolate—nothing tastes better.

If you could share a studio with anyone in the world, who would you pick?
Kofi Annan. I know, he’s not an artist, but he’s an exemplary ‘artist of bringing humanity together’ and that is what I strive for in my work. Second choice: Lily Yeh. Third choice: Milwaukee’s Sara Daleiden because I like the way she listens, and her ability to put inner processes into language I can relate to. That would make for some great conversations.


Workshop in the artist live-work studio building where Tia lives

List three of your favorite things in your studio.
My red micro-suede futon couch, my colored turkish wall tapestries given to me by my mother from her travels, and my six-foot high, 10’x15′ wooden loft that my dad built—all add coziness and warmth.
living room

What would you say is the most useful tool in your studio?
Probably my laptop and wifi. I use google and photoshop a lot for image references, photo-manipulation and research. It’s a lot quicker to mock-up a mural composition or portrait in photoshop for me than by hand and takes less resources.


Silver Spring neighborhood Center food pantry mural (4’x6′ acrylic on canvas)

What advice do you have for people who want to make a personal space where they can be creative?
Allow space for self-care. Having my futon, bed and kitchen nearby means I can sleep, eat real food and relax when I need to. Personally, organization is ultra important for me so I have storage that ‘hides’ because I like the feeling of openness and not clutter. Understand your unique work style and design your workspace accordingly.


STITCH Milwaukee 2013 Community Mural (8’x8′ Acrylic on plywood)

As an art educator, how do you use art to inspire youth–is there a story you could share about someone that was inspired after your workshop/residency?
Many of the teachers I work with are inspired. I often see young people I work with around town after a residency and enjoy hearing their feedback about how their family or parents responded to a project they took home, or how they kept creating after the residency. I co-facilitated a group of adults on the STITCH Milwaukee community mural project, many of whom did not have art backgrounds. I got feedback from someone who had no prior art experience who was deeply inspired by the meditative space that happened when we were painting, and did not know painting could feel like that. She says the 3-month long process catalyzed a sense in herself that an artistic identity was starting to form she never knew she could identify with. I know her personally and she continues to nurture that creative expression through photography and poetry.


Gallery in the artist live-work studio building where Tia lives

1st floor gallery in the artist collective building where Tia lives

1st floor gallery in the artist live-work studio building where Tia lives

What’s coming up for you and where can we find out more?
I’m currently doing a bookmaking residency at Pierce St School. We are making traditional hand-bound illustrated books used as autobiographies or journals. The highlight of my year happened the weekend of October 4th when I collaborated with a group of four other artists through BeIntween, and with international community artist Lily Yeh, on a project called Urban Alchemy Phase I. We were trained in her methodology of using art as a tool for bringing community together. In one day we transformed the swing park under the Holton Bridge with temporary art made with the help of many community members. Urban Alchemy Phase II recently happened Nov 15th; community members and the core artist team shared stories about family and painted story sticks and built a large chandelier made of the sticks that we installed in the Swing Park.

Beinbetween--Lily Yeh-inspired Urban Alchemy Phases I

Beinbetween–Lily Yeh-inspired Urban Alchemy Phases I


Playback Milwaukee Theatre Company performance at UWM (2013)

That same weekend Playback Milwaukee Theatre Company, of which I’m an active member, hosted a separate event with Lily in person and screened her documentary using playback as tool for facilitating the workshop. In Playback, an audience member tells a true life story then watches as its played back by trained playback players using spoken word, movement, visual art, music and… magic!

Lily Yeh-inspired Urban Alchemy Phases I and II installations

Lily Yeh-inspired Urban Alchemy Phases I and II installations

Lily Yeh’s film documents her journey to honor and heal personal pain in her own family and how that has strengthened her authenticity and solidarity within the communities she serves around the globe. Those of us who attended are community artists and activists who wanted to use her film to inspire and inform our own work here in Milwaukee. Playback Milwaukee Theatre Company’s next public performance will be Amani United Uplifted! Everyday Heroes and Sheroes of the Amani Neighborhood Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society in Milwaukee.You can find out more about me on my website.

Thank you, Tia for sharing your amazing studio space, as well as all of the inspiring work you do in our community!

Lily Yeh-inspired Urban Alchemy project

Group working on the Lily Yeh-inspired Urban Alchemy project

Kari Couture & Kim Loper’s Studio Tour

We’re in for a special  Tuesday Tours today, because we have not one, but two fabulous artists! Kari Couture and Kim Loper share their studio in the Walker’s Point area of Milwaukee. In addition to being an artist Kari, manages the Milwaukee Public Schools Partnership for the Arts and Humanities program. Kim, a collage artist, also works as an art educator with several non profits throughout the city. Both artists admit that working in the same space seems to influence one another’s work and it also makes for a playful work envioroment. Between the tarot card readings by Kari, the snack shelf full of mustard and pretzels, and Kim blasting Beyonce music, it seems it could be more of a party than a work space. But, this fun vibe ads to their art, giving real meaning to the belief that when you love what you do, it’s never really work.


Kari at workKARI COUTURE
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative medium.
I moved from Eau Claire to Milwaukee in 2000 to go to school at MIAD where I studied printmaking. When I graduated, I entered the Public Allies program which validated my thoughts about and empowered me to start doing community, youth, and non-profit work. I have met and worked with some really amazing artists and arts organizations in this city that have all played a part in my formation as a socially conscious artist, community arts administrator and arts education advocate. My “day job” is managing the MPS Partnership for the Arts and Humanities and MPS Arts Internship programs, both related to engaging children and youth in out-of-school time arts experiences. In a lot of ways I consider this an art form just like my studio practice!

Kari’s corner

In the studio, I have moved away from printmaking and more toward drawing, collage, mixed media type of work. Since moving into this studio, I am really just getting back into a regular art-making practice so I’m enjoying doing things that are a bit more immediate. I use a variety of drawing materials and I like to layer and play with how they interact with each other both physically and visually.

Yes, you’re right. I think the community work is one of the best kinds of art forms!

by Kari Couture

How long have you had your space and how does it affect your creative process?
Kim and I moved into this studio in February 2014 and it has been AMAZING. This is my first studio outside of my house. I consider it a great privilege to be able to have this space!  It has encouraged me to make art more regularly and allowed me to work much bigger and much messier than when I was working at home! I also LOVE that I don’t have to finish things in one sitting. At home I have two cats and my studio space didn’t have a door so if I left anything out and unfinished, they would walk on it, lick it, lay on it – you name it! So when I got to just leave my first few studio projects unfinished and lying out at the end of the day, I was so thrilled!!

Tarot Cards

Kari uses a set of tarot cards made by her artist friend Rebecca Schoenecker, which can be found at:

It also provides me with a place to just be. Sometimes I come here and just listen to music or relax on the couch or have friends over or read. I’ve also been practicing reading tarot a little and the studio has been a great space for that. My work is a lot about human interaction and relationships and how we navigate through knowing ourselves and each other. Tarot has an interesting way of opening up people’s stories.

That’s so interesting! I’m in the middle of writing a young adult novel that uses tarot as a way of telling stories. I find the cards to be an amazing tool for connection.  

Please tell us about a time you had the most fun working in your studio.
I’m actually a very social person so I love the buzz of having other people around. The times when I know I can spend all day at the studio are the best. I like to bring food and be around Kim or invite other people to stop in and visit. I love to talk about life or art or about what’s happening related to my work in the community. I really enjoy when others bring projects they are working on and we can just work simultaneously. Or when kids come and visit! This winter my nieces spent an afternoon there with me and we totally destroyed the place and danced—it was fantastic!

Does music influence how you work? What’s on your playlist now?
What I listen to varies a lot depending on my mood and what I’m working on. When I know I’m going to be in the studio for several hours at a time, I like to settle in with some podcasts, usually Radio Lab or Savage Love. As far as music goes, I had a lot of friends ask me what I might want for “studio-warming” presents when I moved in and I said make me a music mix or playlist so I have a good variety! Left to my own devices, I’ve mostly been listening to Estelle, Common, Mos Def and Raphael Saadiq.

Kari's grandma's reproduction of 'The Gleaners'

Kari’s grandma’s reproduction of ‘The Gleaners’

What would you say is the most useful tool in your studio?
Honestly, I don’t know. I feel like I would have to just say the space itself. It is very empowering to be able to make a mess or not make a mess, to start something new before finishing something old, to hang stuff and take stuff down, to play loud music or just be quiet, to really push myself or give myself a break, to gather people or to just be alone – all these options really allow me to create exactly the kind of atmosphere I need in the moment.

Studio pets

Studio pets

Is there a favorite drink or food that you have while you work?
We are snack-aholics! Seriously, I think the mini-fridge and the “snack shelf” where probably the first areas of the studio to get truly established. There are a lot of pretzels and mustards, nuts, anything spicy and always a little candy. Ginger beer and coconut LaCroix are staples.

What are the three best things about your studio?

Kari's desk

Kari’s desk

I love the big window! The southern sunlight is really nice, we’ve got a bunch of very happy plants and we have a great view of the Allen Bradley clock tower.

The location! We are right near the train tracks and I love to hear trains going by. At night I like to watch the Amtrak because if passengers have their lights on you can see in and it feels like you’re watching a movie (I hope that doesn’t sound creepy!). I also like that we’re within walking distance to an art supply store, coffee shops, frozen yogurt, great Indian food, some nice bars, and the lake—everything you could need.

The building. There are a lot of really cool artists in this building! Between my dear friends Val Tatera, Eric Koester and Mary Osmundsen down the hall, the musicians next to us, the Alphabang Collective, a photographer, woodworkers in the basement, Live Artist Studio upstairs and Continuum Architects (who I rarely see in the building but I have seen them out at meetings around the community), its just a really diverse and creative place to be.

It sounds like a very cool place to work!

If you had a couple hundred dollars to improve your space, what would you do?
I think we could use better lighting, maybe a new table that isn’t so wobbly and a good stereo to bump our music on! But mostly any “extra” funds I might come across I would probably put into supplies!

Robes of Gold by Kari

Robes of Gold by Kari

What colors inspire your creativity. Are those colors incorporated in your space?
I am definitely going through a gold phase right now, well, I guess I have been for a couple of years. I can’t even think of a piece that I’ve made recently that doesn’t have gold or a golden yellow color in it. I just like its warmth and its reference to things that are sacred.

The main wall on my side was blue when we moved in and I really wanted to paint it red, but we spent a whole day priming it, going up and down this HUGE ladder and after that, we decided to just leave it white!

Kari's altar shelf also featuring work by Rebecca Schoenecker and Della Wells

Kari’s altar shelf also featuring work by Rebecca Schoenecker and Della Wells

What advice do you have for people who want to make a personal space where they can be creative?
Do it!! Whether it is a corner of a room or a whole room in your house or a separate studio space—do it! Give yourself space where you can focus and be away from everything else. A place where you can make a mess and be free.

Kari just messin’ around with marigold seeds

What are you working on now and where can we find out more?
I will have a piece in an upcoming show on November organized by the great Jeff Redmon! Along the lines of the recent Culture Jam MKE show, Easily Discarded will be a show of work that challenges dominant notions of the relationship between human beings and their physical and mental environment. One night only: Saturday November 22nd, 2014 from 7:00pm until 11:00pm at 228 S. 1st St, Milwaukee, WI.

I don’t have a website! Maybe that’s what I should spend my “couple hundred dollars” on!!

Thanks, Kari! Good luck with your upcoming show!

Kari and Kim

Kim Loper and Kari Couture

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative medium.

I’m a youth worker and art instructor with several non profits in the city.I work with cheap materials that are easy to get ahold of—magazine and paper collage on large wood surfaces. There’s a very fine line between my work and my play, I learn things from my teaching practice that influence my personal fine art practice, and conversely, learn things from my fine art practices that influence my teaching.

Kim's corner

Kim’s corner

I’m a painter by trade and currently call myself a collage artist. And actually, the move from paint to collage happened accidentally. When I came back to Milwaukee after college, I didn’t have any space to paint in, so I literally just substituted magazine paper for paint. I map out my images on a wooden board, and fill in those parts, like a paint by numbers, with color coded swatches of paper. Currently I’m really interested in people, human anatomy and biological configurations and I explore this by cutting strips of paper and reassembling them to create muscular structures.IMG_6907

How long have you had your space and how does it affect your creative process?
This studio came to me at the most perfect time, when I needed a space of my own to unload some emotional messes I was going through. It was new and sort of served as my creative fairy godmother. Consoling me, nudging me to go deeper into my practice, letting me know everything was going to be ok, giving me confidence and courage. The studio saved me. The work that I produced during this time was survivalist and is some of my most prominent and proud work to date.

What a great metaphor—I love the idea of a studio being a creative fairy godmother!

Kim's corner close up

Kim’s corner close up

Please tell us about a time you had the most fun working in your studio.
Most fun? I think it was when I first got the studio and was cranking out work that totally impressed me. For like the first time ever. That’s fun. Oh, and also, parties with Kari! She has the best food, best tunes, and best tarot card sessions.IMG_6904

Yeah, that sounds like fun!

Does music influence how you work? What’s on your playlist now?
My work is really meticulous—cutting swatches/strips of color from magazines and working large scale on wooden boards often over 4×4 ft, so I listen to a lot of podcasts to pass the time. Lots of Savage Love, TED talks, Planet Money, The Read, This American Life. And when I really get serious is when the music comes out. Currently: the new Flying Lotus Album—You’re Dead and Kelis’s most recent album—Food; both have been playing exhaustively on repeat. Also, lots of SBTRKT, Kendrick Lamar, The Internet, etc.. and Beyonce. Always Beyonce. Always.

IMG_6910What would you say is the most useful tool in your studio?
Glue. Nothing would happen without the glue.

Is there a favorite drink or food that you have while you work?
Kari has become recently obsessed with mustard and pretzels and so I always eat all of her food. We have a snack shelf that we try and keep stocked with delicious treats. What’s on there now…. Old popcorn, pretzels (what’d I tell you!), candy, sriracha cashews, chili lime pistachios… We eat pretty good in here. We’re also a big fan of whiskey gingers and wine ‘round these parts.

Kim books

What are the three best things about your studio?
Our beautiful plants (mine’s dying, but lets not talk about that).
The amazing nap couch that will swallow whole you in one bite. With no remorse.
My studio mates advice.

IMG_6905If you had a couple hundred dollars to improve your space, what would you do?
Probably a bear skin rug (faux bear of course, Kari’s a vegetarian so I’m not too sure she’d be thrilled if I brought back dead animal skin).  Really, something to cover the floors because it feels a bit bare at times, especially when it’s cold.

Better shelving or organizational structures for my materials. I have lots of paper clippings and other small items that could use some discipline.

And actually, I’d buy as much glitter as I could afford. How much glitter do you think I could get for a couple hundred dollars? Enough to change my life I bet.

DSC_0401What colors inspire your creativity. Are those colors incorporated in your space?
I’ve been working with bright colors—black, teal, peach/pink, red, and gold. Lots of flowers and patterns in my work. It’s pretty bubble gummy right now. Very playful and light.

Kari’s side has a different feel, with different colors and is reflective of the type of work she does. I guess one common strain in both of our work, is our use of profiled, bald figures. Subtly, I think I’m definitely influenced by having her work up. We both kind of explore human relationships and interactions but use totally different color palettes. There is a lot of gold in our studio though, throughout. It’s mysterious and magical in here.

IMG_6912What advice do you have for people who want to make a personal space where they can be creative?
Don’t get the internet. Create a space that have your studio be a mystical space that doesn’t look like anything else you’re forced to deal with in the outside world. Allow yourself to sit in it for hours, sans actual work. Make sure the nap conditions are optimal. Have other smart creative people in it often to talk about art and gossip. Oh, and probably get some books. Make it safe so you can play and explore as freely as possible.

Great advice! Especially about the napping conditions and the lack of internet. 

Kim's piece 3

Where can we find out more?

Thanks, Kim for sharing your space!

Join us next Tuesday when Caldecott Honor-winning artist Molly Idle will share her lovely studio in Arizona!


Todd Mrozinski’s Studio Tour

Today on Tuesday Tours Milwaukee-based artist Todd Mrozinski offers us a look inside his studio The Nut Factory, which he shares with his wife, artist Renee Bebeau. It is in this expansive studio space that most of Todd’s series live together, allowing him to see their relationship with each other. The studio is also a location that Todd and Renee offer art classes and workshops. Todd’s art is sprinkled throughout Milwaukee in various shops and restaurants, including my neighborhood favorite, Juniper61. He’s currently represented by the Woodman/Shimko Gallery.                       
Todd Mrozinskui6Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative medium.
I am a full time artist and teacher. I mainly work in oil paint because of the luminous and textural qualities it has. Above all else I follow inspiration. There are two subjects that currently hold my fascination, shadows and articles of clothing. For the past 2 years I have traced my subject’s shadow directly onto the canvas and used this drawing as the framework for the painting. For the last 15 years I have painted symbolic portraits of people by painting their clothing.

Todd Mrozinskui8

How long have you had your space and how does it affect your creative process?
I have shared a 1,200 sq. ft. studio space with my wife, Renee Bebeau for about 2 years. Before the large studio I had a small, 80 sq. ft. living room studio, where I still do much of my work. I like to be close to the work and live with it. So much of it has been about my family, friends, yard, home and light. The quote about a Velazques painting being “not art but life perpetuated” has resonance with me. The bigger studio is great for larger work and is essential to seeing each series together. The home studio is the incubator and I can get into “the zone” there quite easily, especially during morning light.
Portrait people
Todd Mrozinskui13Describe a typical work day in your studio.
On a usual studio day I get up early and paint at the home studio. Eat lunch, nap, paint more or do computer work, go to the larger studio in late afternoon, paint or hang work, have dinner, correspondence, paint at either studio until bedtime. Recently, studio visits have been a wonderful way to connect and get to know other artists.
Are there any kind of rituals you do before you start creating?
I light incence or a candle, lay my brushes out and prepare my palette. I calm my mind to focus entirely on the painting in front of me.
Todd Mrozinskui9
Is there any special item/trinket in your space that inspires you? 
The items that inspire me most are the house plants because of their stillness and lush beauty. I’m also inspired by the recent paintings that hang around the studio which inform and encourage the next work. Todd Mrozinskui7
What would you say is the most useful tool in your studio?
The most useful tool in my studio is the brush I am holding. As a series progresses, the brushes and tools that I use become my daily companions.Todd Mrozinskui10
What advice do you have for people who want to make a personal space where they can be creative?
Make whatever space you have into a space to do your work. It is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself, and the others around you, because in the space of timeless play, life is enhanced and the spirit is uplifted. Make sure the space is well lit, comfortable and a place you want to spend time in. Todd Mrozinskui11
What colors inspire your creativity.  Are those colors incorporated in your space?
I’m intrigued by the secondary colors, most of my current work consists of orange, purple and green, with occasional alizerin and white. The mixing of these colors and the way they interact continuously mystifies me. We have warm brown walls in both our home and larger studio space. I like to view work on warm, neutral, walls because it is soothing to my eyes and sensibilities.
If you could share you studio with a famous artist, who would you chose?
David Hockney, he seems like a kind and enthusiastic man with a great sense of humor, from the interviews I have seen. I admire his intensity and passion for art.
Todd Mrozinskui12
What’s coming up for you and where can we find out more?
I was chosen to be part of the Midwest Artist Studio Program. I will be showing at The Hide House during Bay View Gallery Night on Fri. Sept. 26. The Libations! and Shadow Portrait Series will be shown at LuLu Cafe in Bay View from Oct. 17 thru the New Year. Paintings from The Clothing Series will be in a group show, The Glass Menagerie: A Visual Dialogue, at 10th St. Gallery in Milwaukee from Sept. 22 – Nov. 7. Shadow Portraits will be at Bella Salon in Shorewood thru the New Year, and The Bouquet Shadow Series is showing at Juniper61 in Wauwatosa thru the New Year. You can visit me at
Thanks for sharing your studio with us, Todd! Seeing all of the shadow work together is really stunning. Best of luck with your upcoming shows!
Join us next week when we’ll get the chance to step inside Texan illustrator Mary Sullivan‘s studio where she created her award-winning picture book Ball!