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Welcome to Poetics! My name is Brian Miller and today I have the opportunity to honor a long time friend and artist in the blogosphere, Tera Zajack of Olive Hue Designs. I don’t remember where I met her, but for the last couple years I have enjoyed her art and even had the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by her artwork.

Tera Zajack, aka olive hue designs, is a a bit of a dreamer who, unfortunately, has to spend way too much time in the real world of her 9 to 5-ish job. She likes all types of sci-fi and fantasy works, often reflected in her artwork, which she uses as a sort of escape from said job. She is a wife, daughter, sister, mother to two cats, dreamer, schemer, and lover of all things sparkly.

Tera, thank you for joining us today. Can you tell us where you find inspiration for your art work?

I find inspiration in a variety of places, actually. I’m a very vivid dreamer and some of the images I have are things that I’ve dreamed about (yes, some of my dreams are pretty “out there!”) Some are inspired by other artists work, or photographs, poems, movies, sometimes even advertisements I see in magazines.

For instance, the “Story Tree” drawing I did for this years’ Sketchbook Project was inspired by an ad I saw for purses, with a girl sitting in a tree and the purses hanging off all the branches. I’m not always good at coming up with ideas, but once I get one I can take it and run!

I also like asking my blog readers for ideas, which have been surprisingly good.

Nice, what can you tell us about your artistic journey?

I started drawing when I was about 4-years old. I liked princesses and castles. My mom helped me a lot with that and was always very encouraging. I sort of got away from drawing in school, being more of a choir and acting nerd. But I always doodled. It wasn’t until I was nearly 30 that I decided I needed to get serious and went to school for graphic design and illustration. I decided, however, I didn’t like the corporate art world so much, and have pretty much just been freelancing here and there and drawing for my own enjoyment.

I can relate to that as I did not start seriously writing until my thirties as well. How do you go about deciding the elements within your art?

I like to draw pictures that sort of tell a story, even if it’s 5 seconds out of the middle of the story. And I like things to look sort of “dreamy”, without being too surreal and weird. Once I have the basic concept down, then I step back and try to think what would help further tell the story. Or what might look cool, or pretty. I watch a lot of movies and tv, plus I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy stuff, so sometimes images get stuck in my head from those sources, too.

Although, sometimes, to be honest, it
depends on whether I can actually draw what I’m thinking of! There are a number of pieces I have kicking around in my head because I don’t think I have the skills I need to properly get it on paper.

I think many poets struggle with the same thing, finding just the right words to capture the emotion or set the scene. What is the greatest highlight of your artistic career?

That’s kind of a tough one. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything really significant so far… although the Sketchbook Project has been really great in helping me sort of define what I’m doing as an artist, plus I got to collaborate on some of it with a really great poet…smiles.

I guess one of the cooler things I’ve been part of is the Cambodia Vulture Conservation Project. One of the Bronx zoo conservationists who works with the Wildlife Conservation Society, approached me about using my “Keep Calm and Carrion” prints and I ended up doing a logo and t-shirt design for the CVCP. It will never make me famous but it was really fun to do. And I got a cool t-shirt!
Very cool, and hey you stole my line with that smile. Thanks for spending time with us today Tera.

Alright poets, it is time to write some poetry. Tera has given us four pictures to choose from today for our Poetics pieces. Choose one of the pieces of art contained in this article and have at it. Look forward to seeing how she inspires you.