We 💛 artists. YellowDog has collaborated with many talented artists over the years — usually by making prints of their original works. We’ve helped artists productize their art with everything from giclee prints on canvas and archival posters to stickers and postcards.
In this series, we interview a new artist each month and talk to them about the life and business of being an artist here in Colorado. Today we’re talking to Tasha Rae Fontanes, founder of wedding invitation design powerhouse Tasha Rae Designs.
YellowDog: Hi Tasha! Can you briefly tell us what kind of art you do?
Tasha Rae Fontanes: I am a graphic designer who specializes in invitation and stationery design. I’m also a painter, specializing in acrylic and oil.
YD: What has been your journey into an artistic career?
TRF: I think my artistic career started at birth! When I was a kid I was always making things. I decorated the large front window of our house with a huge winter scene made out of cut paper, made clothes for my teddy bear, and always had a big box of craft supplies handy for any inspiration that came my way. I learned to knit when I was 10 years old, and still love to break out my knitting needles as soon as I get the first whiff of autumn air.
As a teenager, I loved to shop at thrift stores and bring my finds home to sew/alter them into something totally unique. In high school, I wrote poetry, and my favorite classes were drawing, painting, and screen printing. After high school I headed to Colorado for college and graduated with a degree in Visual Communications, and in 2001 I started my own business designing wedding invitations.
I decided to start painting again in 2019 and I love it! I am a dog lover (also since birth) so what could be better and more relaxing than painting adorable dog faces? It kept me busy in 2020 and brought a little joy to the crazy year!
YD: Describe your artistic style in three words.
TRF: Evolving. Evolving. Evolving.
The business of art
YD: Do you sell your original pieces? If so, how and where?
TRF: Yes. All of my pieces are by commission, so all you have to do is ask!
YD: How do you get the word out about your art?
TRF: Mostly social media – Facebook and Instagram, and of course my family and friends are great cheerleaders too.
The artist life
YD: What has been the proudest moment in your artistic career?
TRF: Celebrating 20 years in business this year. Although I did not have the party I had always planned on having because of Covid, I hope to celebrate 21 years next year with a big bash! I am also extremely proud of my teenage daughter who is a talented artist and illustrator. I can’t wait to see the amazing things she accomplishes.
YD: What part of being an artist do you like the best? Least?
TRF: I love being able to create something beautiful that brings joy to other people. I try not to dwell on the parts I don’t like.
YD: Where do you go (virtually or in-person) to experience great art?
TRF: Everywhere I can! I love traveling the world and finding inspiration in different cultures, food, architecture, people and nature.
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Early bird or night owl?
Go-to drink of choice?
Diet Coke or Sauvignon Blanc
Best party trick?
I am usually the one throwing the party, so no time for tricks. But if pressured, I can say the alphabet backward really fast.
What show are you currently binging?
Just finished Mare of Easttown, and just starting Physical.
Any book you’re currently reading?
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
What do you miss the most about pre-pandemic life?
Traveling. And fitting into my jeans.
YD: Thanks so much, Tasha! It has been such a joy to bring your wedding invitations to life on our print production floor over the years. Keep ’em coming! P.S. We’re huge fans of your dog portraits.
Where can we find you?
Would YOU like to be featured as an Artist We Love? We’re always looking for local artists, makers, and designers to feature in this series. Get in touch to find out more!
Artist We Love: Anita Ashfield-Slater of Monkey Mind Design
Artist We Love: David Martinez
Artist We Love: Mallory McCamy
Artist We Love: Robin Faye Gates
Artist We Love: Karla Horst
Artist We Love: Sara-Lou Klein of BirdHead Creations
Artist We Love: Georgann Low