Featured Designer Interview with Vicki Sawyer

By • 6 years ago with 21 replies already

Today we’re chatting with Featured Designer Vicki Sawyer, about the inspiration behind her whimsical animal paintings, and the difference between making art for art school and making art for the public.


Tell us about you!

I am originally from the Pittsburgh area. I grew up in a home that was built in 1850.  My great-grandfather bought the home in 1886. My mom still lives there, where she and her father were both born in the same room of the house. The woods around our home provided a great place to explore. In my childhood, I developed a love of nature due to my surroundings.  Presently I live with my husband, Dave, in Franklin, TN.  Our children are grown and live elsewhere,  so I put a lot of the same love and passion into my painting that I did creating drawings and making costumes for them when they were small.

What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?

As a child, I love to draw, paint and make crafts. This delight continued and developed into a BA in art from Penn State. It’s one thing to have to satisfy a professor, but when I started painting murals, when we lived on Long Island, I discovered it is much more demanding to please customers. Painting murals helped me to practice, practice painting anything requested, from birds and animals to Shea Stadium.

We love your adorable animal paintings – where do you find inspiration for your designs?

Thank you for enjoying my animal paintings.  On a walk one day, I believe God put the thought in my head, “If birds can build nests, then they can make hats.” I took that inspiration and flew with it. I research birds and their environment, because they would use those natural elements to make their hats. Then I started thinking that birds could help make hats for animals.  And then, there had to be masks, too. Lately, most of my paintings involve birds in party scenes. This requires attention to minute details in the birds’ expressions.

What are your favorite product types to design on Zazzle?

I love Zazzle cards. I love that customers can customize the cards, too.  I primarily design cards, because I license with other companies and do not want to conflict with them.

If you could wish for one new product that you could design on Zazzle, what would it be and why?

Since I primarily design cards, I wish that Zazzle offered an uncoated stock for their greeting cards and note cards.  To get close to achieving that I have created flat cards on the uncoated invitation stock.

Do you have any advice for other Zazzle Designers?

The Zazzle Forum is a great resource.  Also, if you use Zazzle you have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain.



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21 thoughts on “Featured Designer Interview with Vicki Sawyer”

  1. I came upon Viki’s art by chance and fell in love. Very creative art with adorable animals. Always enjoy making a visit to her store. Keep up the good work.

  2. I really love your artwork! It is just beautiful! Is there anyway to save a specific artist to our own Zazzle account page for the future? I feel like there are so many products that I don’t think I would be able to find her again on the website. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Amy,

      Thanks for your kind words for Vicki! We’ll be adding the ability to follow an entire store in the near future, but for the time being I would recommend using the “heart” icon to Like your favorites from Vicki’s store. You’ll always be able to see all of your Liked products in your account.

      Hope that helps!

  3. In searching for a colorful, panoramic poster last winter, I came upon Vicki’s Midnight Party at the Feeder and the Finches one. Promptly ordered both and they have surprised and delighted many visitors to our home. Now her wonderful cards are my go-to ones for any occasion. Her whimsical designs bring joy and laughter to everyone who receives them. Thanks, Vicki!

  4. Love your work. Exciting and colorful. Birds and animals are a big part of our lives here in rural Vermont, with year round bird feeders. Thrilled to see your work.

  5. I really like Vicki’s art. It is truly charming in every way. I also agree with her comment about matte/uncoated greeting cards. I have created and ordered many (!!) Zazzle greeting cards over the years, and many of the times I like the glossy finish. But I do think matte can be great with art.

  6. Vickie, your art delighted me so much that I giggled out loud at every one. They are truly amazing, the detail, the expressions, the humor! Thank you for sharing your art with the world!

  7. Wonderful stuff. Really love the animal designs. All the best to her and happy New Year to everybody.

  8. omg, i just found this wonderful artist! i already have a calendar for 2016, please please please make one for next year so i can enjoy the drawings all year long then! also, do you do the bunny with the carrot hat as any other item besides cell covers?

    1. Hi Steph,

      So glad you’re enjoying Vicki’s work! On any of our calendars, you can choose the year you’d like using the “Calendar Start Date” menu under “Options” on the right. Feel free to take a look around Vicki’s store, but we’re seeing a greeting card with the bunny design you liked as well 🙂


  9. Thank you for sharing Vicki’s story…..her work takes my breath away it is so beautiful, whimsical and inspiring to me as a Zazzle Designer…..wonderful forum, simply wonderful! God blessed her with a wonderful gift!

    1. We can’t speak to Vicki’s other license agreements, but Zazzle cards are printed in San Jose, CA (often in 24 hours or less) and shipped all over the world 🙂

  10. I love your work and creativity and find myself a bit envious as I pursue my own designs. All the best in spreading your beautiful designs throughout the land. The nature and in particular the birds designs are very endearing. Great imagination and inspiring you acted upon your idea.

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