Shop Annapolis Cats has ten cats, and a mouse, who design in a workshop to fund historic preservation projects. It combines my passions of historic buildings and creative art projects.
The story was written to share the history, architecture, and design of Annapolis. It also encourages entrepreneurship. My purpose is to create art for you that is charming and full of personality just like the cats!
I grew up in Annapolis, and inspired by all the exceptional colonial architecture began studies in a college architecture program. A class in colonial American history led me to switch majors and then I transferred to the University of San Diego, where I received a B.A. in history. Annapolis, and the chance to work in historic preservation, drew me back home again after graduation.
I've always been fascinated by all aspects of design. Although self-taught as an artist, recently I've been taking Open Studies courses in illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Pen and ink and watercolor are my media of choice. It's satisfying to combine the precision of pen and ink with the looseness of watercolor for my greeting card designs and artwork.
After illustrating the ten cats, and a mouse, for the Shop Annapolis Cats story I made them come to life by turning them into decorative characters. They are handmade and sewn by me in my studio. New designs are released regularly.
Imagination is my greatest talent. A lot of my artistic inspiration comes from family stories, Annapolis history, and friendly neighborhood cats. I'm also inspired by the architecture and design in the Annapolis Historic District. I use the colors, textures, patterns and style from my surroundings, especially classical design, which is my favorite.
I'm also inspired to promote entrepreneurship through the story of Shop Annapolis Cats because of my personal experience. I started at about age ten with a lemonade stand with friends outside my house, and then in my teens I built wooden toy castles to sell at local events. Over the years I've attempted many ventures; however, my most successful one was a ghost and architectural tour company. It is important to teach children the value of entrepreneurship, as the key skills of creativity, confidence and self reliance that they learn from it will help them adapt throughout their lives and careers.
Annapolis is one of the oldest cities in the United States and was founded in 1649. There are an eclectic variety of historic styles of the buildings, with many that date from the 18th century.
Judge John Brice House
Ca. 1739 it is one of the oldest in town. It is central to the story of Shop Annapolis Cats and was the inspiration for me to get into the field of historic preservation. For five years I lived in and helped to maintain the house. It has a fascinating history and like all good old houses, ghosts!
Diverse cats all over town are a real life inspiration for the artwork. My tortoiseshell, who was gorgeous and devoted to me, recently passed away. My 17 year old ginger, is an orange love bug and the friendliest cat ever. She spends a lot of time on my desk watching me create new artwork and reminding me that it is mealtime again. Every artist needs a cat, or two, for inspiration.