Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Feature: Orange Cat Art

1. Tell us about you and your shop.
My name is Jill Davis, and Orange Cat Art is my full-time photography business. I offer photos as blank note cards, desk calendars and prints. In addition to my own work, I also include photography by my older sister, Sheri, and a few other friends who have images that make a nice addition to our library. Most of our images are from North Carolina, because we have such a variety of landscapes here - from the mountains to the coast! Although we also have photos from other parts of the country & world, having that local niche has been helpful to us in retail locations and at art festivals. (The NC Coastal and Blue Ridge Parkway note card sets, for example).

I live in Raleigh, with my husband and our two cats. The orange one, Barclay, is the inspiration for the business name, and you can see him on my "Cat Nap" cards. When I'm not working, I'm either hiking (although that is working sometimes, too), biking, playing video games with my husband, or reading.

2. How did you get started in your craft?
My education is in photojournalism, and I started out as a news photographer and photo editor. I have also worked as a studio manager, digital image wrangler, assistant, producer (and just about every other job there is!) for advertising and editorial shooters. I reached a point where I knew that the kind of photography that I enjoy creating is away from the studio, lights, art directors, assignments, etc. Just me, my camera and the outside.

I started making cards with our photographs because that seemed like a low-impact, affordable way for people to enjoy our images. Some photographers only offer large, framed prints, but that gets expensive (both for me to produce & for customers to buy!) I'm very proud of our cards, because I print the photos on a natural white watercolor paper, which gives them a nice textured quality. It's a lot of work to fold & cut them all myself, but I think it's worth it!

3. What tool can you not live without?
How about 3? My camera (Canon Rebel XTi), my computer (iMac with a 24" monitor) and my printer (Epson R1800). I couldn't do all this without them.

4. What inspires you?
At the risk of being a cliche - everything! I love everything in nature, from the tiny pattern on the back of a leaf to a huge beautiful blue sky. I also appreciate other forms of graphic & visual design, and sometimes I try to capture those different aesthetics in my photography.

5. Name one favorite item from your store

My favorite at the moment is The Old Well Collection. This set includes 4 different views of my favorite landmark from my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It's one of two sets that I have from UNC-CH so far. Getting permission to offer photos from the campus (as well as from Duke University and UNC-Greensboro) has been a huge undertaking for me, so I'm very excited about them!

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