finding passion | stephanie corfee

Stephanie corfee - watercolor & ink on wood

regardless of our own feelings of inadequacy, of struggle, of doubt, art seems to always reflect what’s at the very core of our being. that’s what i love about stephanie corfee. while i know that she may need a nudge from time to time, her art is full of joyful defiance. you can’t help but notice her daring colors and arresting textures. she was kind enough to let you all know where she’s found her passion for creating!

Stephanie corfee - original paintings on woodblocks

you’re an artist, graphic designer, mom, wife…dare i say, philanthropist? what are you most passionate about right now? what really gets your juices flowing?

haha – i don’t know if i’m a philanthropist, but i really like the idea of Random Acts of Kindness and Paying Forward the blessings you receive. i really need frequent checks to my perspective to remind me why i work so hard and keep my artistic dreams and aspirations alive. It also helps me to remember how lucky i am just to be able to make a living doing something creative while staying home with my son.

Right now i am most passionate about creating art that brings joy. The illustration of an inspirational phrase or idea, use of vivid color, creation of affordable prints that are truly affordable for more people or art whose sales go directly to charitable causes. i am also very aware of the fact that i need to be building my business and not just making art. i’ve been leaning on the very supportive crafty community around me for support, and making small steps every day. That challenge drives me.

You know what really gets my juices flowing? Looking at design magazines and the Anthropologie catalog! HA! i wish i was kidding. But the folks at anthopologie really have my number. The catalog is beautifully conceived, composed, styled and stocked. i am usually raring to go after flipping the pages. i guess my style is similar to theirs in so many ways….intricate, quirky detail, joyful feel, luscious materials as inspiration. i also like anything with juxtaposition. i like to force my brain to think in an odd way. my goal would be to one day develop an aesthetic that is mysteriously odd and suprisingly beautiful.

Stephanie corfee - if i were a watercolor...

tell me about an obstacle you overcame (or are overcoming) in finding your passion for art & illustration and turning it into a career. how does that obstacle shape your work?

i struggle everyday with finding my voice. graphic design by day, bending my tastes and editing abilities to suit many different clients sort of dilutes my OWN eye.
working in so many styles and genres, as is necessary in my business, just serves to muddle my own vision come the end of the day when i can actually create for myself.
i’d definitely say that money is always an obstacle as well. You really do have to spend money to make money and sometimes it’s stressful beyond words. But it’s helpful that my husband and i have sort of made a rule, that as much as we can help it, we will never let money make an important decision for us. We’ll always find a way to make a thing happen if we believe in it. time and patience have really been key. i’ve built up a client list over time that is dependable. i’ve developed a more cohesive aesthetic over time that is more and more recognizable. It really does require putting in the time every single day. But looking back at how much i’ve created makes me proud and inspires me to continue.

you create art that is intricate, accessible, colorful and fun. tell me about your process in designing a new piece.

Hmmmm….this is a toughie. i don’t sketch to brainstorm. i DO keep lots of lists in my ever-present notebooks. i tend to think in series, so i’ll have lists of 5 ideas at a time or something. Most of my art is completely organic….i start right on the sheet or plank and welcome spontaneous color choices and happy accidents. i let the art tell me when it’s done. i tend to be my own muse. i don’t create too much that i wouldn’t hang on my own wall. In general, i start with a series of shapes filled with color and then i fill those spaces with line and detail to add intricacy and engage the viewer. i think it’s safe to say that i have a feminine aesthetic, i don’t try to hide that.

Stephanie corfee - watercolor & ink on wood

what do you struggle with on daily basis on living out your passion for art?

Confidence. i have a really hard time coming to grips with putting a value on my work. It feels arrogant at times to say that my creativity is worthy of merit or a dollar amount. My husband says that’s my catholic guilt! Even very recently, i found myself second-guessing whether i should continue with my art business. But i think that all artists struggle with this at some time or other. i always snap out of it eventually and get a little perspective. i love creating. There is no way i’d ever stop. But the occasional thank you letter, or positive feedback, or etsy sale certainly doesn’t hurt either. Those make my whole day.

fine art & illustration by stephanie corfee :: prints starting at $24

6 thoughts on “finding passion | stephanie corfee

  1. What a treat to find you here as well! There is so much about your words and business style that resonates with me. It really is an inspiration. I get overwhelmed by all the “handmade business advice” online. I love, love these personal stories. You give us so much wisdom in an understated way. Thank You!

  2. Thanks for sharing!! I loved this interview as much as I love your work…so inspiring and uplifting. Even if you haven’t come to terms with your pricetags (ha), you are very comfortable with your skills and style…the income is sure to follow. Way to go!!

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