Cecil County Arts Council: How did you get into art?

Colleen Tiefenthal: For as long as I can remember I have liked drawing and creating. I became serious about it when I was a freshman in college deciding between staying at the Ohio State University with an undecided major and transferring to the Columbus College of Art & Design. I transferred and never looked back!

CCAC: What type of art do you create?

CT: My degree was in Illustration and Advertising, and I worked in advertising after graduation, creating ads, package design, brochure layouts, logos and things like that. But, I love to paint, on any number of surfaces from traditional canvas to driftwood, reclaimed furniture to walls. I enjoy working with various mediums, including a current love of traditional wool rug hooking (often confused with yarn latch hook but very different). I enjoy creating my own designs which enables me to bring in my illustration style. Hand-dying the wool to make the colors I want is almost like painting but with fiber!

I also really enjoy home remodeling/decorating. It brings in design, color, texture, details, and style. Working with a structure and making it flow and be an enjoyable space to be in is very satisfying. Working within a budget can actually force creative problem solving and sometimes make me come up with ideas that an unlimited budget might have let me overlook.

CCAC: Who are your artistic inspirations?

CT: That’s such a big question! I find inspiration everywhere. Nature, fellow artists and their energy and love of art, the masters such as Michelangelo have always inspired me. Artistic energy grows when shared so being around and working with other creative people keeps me inspired!

CCAC: What do you enjoy about your work?

CT: I enjoy emerging myself in a project. When I’m working on a piece I’m really enjoying, time passes so quickly. I get great satisfaction if I am creating a piece for a client and they are as thrilled with it as I was creating it. I enjoy learning new techniques, mastering old techniques, and sharing my knowledge with other creative people.

CCAC: What is your favorite piece?

CT: That’s a difficult question. Currently I think I would have to say my home. We bought our place a year ago and it needs a lot of work. Getting to choose color palettes, styles, and redesign parts that just weren’t functional and making something unattractive beautiful and personal and inviting is very satisfying. I read once that art is an experience, not an object. I feel the creative process is my favorite part and the outcome is a lasting bonus.

CCAC: What would you like to do next?

CT: I am looking into teaching some local classes. As I mentioned, I really enjoy sharing my passion for creating with others and in that sharing I also get to see projects from another person’s perspective and I grow creatively from that interaction.

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