Spotlight Series Day 28 , Marcella – Power Poppy

 

MarcellaHawley-withDoug

 

Who are you?  
Marcella Hawley, owner, illustrator, and creative director of Power Poppy

Where are you?
Midwest is best! (I saw that on a t-shirt)

 

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Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley
Power Poppy Blog
Instagram: @marcellahawley

 


When did you first start drawing/designing seriously?
My mom used to tell a story from when I was about four, a nursery school teacher said, “Marcy, when you grow up, do you want to be an artist?” I replied, “I already am an artist!” I developed cartoons based on my friends and our adventures, spent hours figuring out how to hand-letter skateboarding logos, illustrated album backer cards at my high school job as a record store clerk — but after i got a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois, I started getting paid to do art and design. How do ya like them apples!

Which decade do you think had the best music?
Huge music fan from all decades and so many genres. Punk rock, classical, jazz, funk, soul, Americana, rock n’ roll, ska, power pop… there’s so much in there I could never narrow it down!

How many people work for/with you?
We are fortunate to work with so many smart, talented, good people. I am based in my St. Louis studio, we have an awesome advisor for marketing and business in Montana, and we have a two incredible teams of designers from all over the world who show the possibilities with our stamp designs: the Bloom Brigade and the Instant Gardeners. I have excellent vendors and distribution folks, too. Also, my kids help pack up orders. 🙂

What was the first product you ever had for sale?
For the longest time I didn’t create products, I worked as a graphic designer, botanical illustrator, and magazine art director helping other folks promote and sell their wonderful products. 10 years ago I started a design and branding studio, working for all kinds of clients, from entrepreneurs to global companies, and I still operate this business. I launched Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley in 2014. My very first product was the Azalea stamp set, and it remains one of our best sellers.

PPAPR1401_Azalea

PowerPoppy_Azalea_Handpainted_MarcellaHawley

Here’s an example of my watercolor/gouache treatment of this stamp

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name your favorite cartoon.
Old school Bugs Bunny. Grew up watching Looney Tunes and still am entertained by the humor and cleverness of the team that put those together. Big fan of Mel Blanc. Those cartoons helped shape my sense of humor! Along with Stan Freberg, Three Stooges, and my dad.


Favorite quote?
Again, I have so many! But this one by gardener Alan Lacy sums me up pretty well: “I was born in the spring and never got over it.”

What’s your favorite craftroom/business supply or tool that you couldn’t live without?
Sakura Pigma Micron pens/Bristol illustration board, and my trusty Mac loaded up with the Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

When you get the midnight munchies… what do you grab?
Cheezits are my downfall. So I really try not to buy them, or I will eat the whole box.

If your parents had named you something else… what would you have picked?
That is a great question! As a kid, I wished my parents had named me, and this is how I would spell it, “Anjelikka” — and oh, how I am grateful that they did not take me up on this concept. I’m named after the little girl in the Raggedy Ann series of books by Johnny Gruelle, which was also the name of his daughter: Marcella.

MarcellaHawley_PeoniesinmyGarden

 

 

 


If you were getting a tattoo… what would it be?
While my guy has a bunch of tattoos, I have harbored no desire to get one. I mean, once you get it, there it is forever. That said, recently I started seeing gorgeous botanical tattoos of a few artists on Instagram, so beautifully done and without the thick black outline…. wouldn’t a wisp of rosemary intertwined with a budding peony be kind of cool?

 

 



What is your best and worst personality trait?
Best trait: I’m a positive person and I like to bring a positive spark to others, even by just being cheerful to you know, the gas station checkout guy up the street. That just might make him feel a little more cheerful, and then he’ll pass it on, and so forth.
Worst trait: Extreme over-scheduler, over-complicator and procrastinator. So, I guess that is three worst things. Good thing I’m so positive or that could be really depressing!

What is your favorite piece in the whole store?
It is so hard to pick a favorite, I’m sure you hear that all the time, but they are all my babies. I’m a fan of the “more is more” school of thought, so my true favorites tend to be the more rich and intricate images. One that I am very proud of is Daffodils, and particularly in that set, I love the bouquet of multiple Daffodil varieties bundled with Muscari. When I see what crafters do with this image, I almost feel like crying. Folks are so talented, and it’s just really heartwarming to watch how each person uniquely brings my artwork to life.

PPAPR1503_Daffodils

Daffodils_2Bblog_2B2-wm

Gorgeous card sample using the image from Daffodils that I love, by designer Katie Sims:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotta pick a favorite digital stamp, too, Spring Meadow Bouquet. I am all about seeking out, celebrating, and illustrating plants that aren’t the most popular or in the mainstream. Everybody can draw a daisy. I like to draw Fritillaria meleagris, Leucojum aestivum, Dicentra spectabilis… I’m a plant nerd to the core. I hope to convert others to more exotic plants, and help teach them that there is more to life than Tulips. Though I do enjoy Tulips. 🙂

PPMAR1602D_SpringMeadowBouquet

PP_2BSpring_2BMeadow_2B2_2BCO_2B0316

A gorgeous card made using this digi by designer Christine Okken:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you were reincarnated…who would you have been in a former life?

Gosh, I would love to think that it was someone like Gertrude Jekyll, the British horticulturist and garden designer. But it was probably more like an odd Trillium plant out in the woods somewhere.

What’s your favorite color?
All shades of green. I am passionate about green – the essence of plants, moss, lichen, ahhhhhh green.

When no one is listening…. do you sing in the shower?
I sing in the shower whether or not someone is listening. Also, in the car and at my desk

MarcellaHawley_FrontsideGrind

 

 

Do you plan to grow old gracefully, or disgracefully?
Ha! Well, let’s see, I still go skateboarding at age 45, and a few years ago, got my motorcycle license and started riding off road and on the street. I don’t know if I’ll go out, as Doug hopes to: “worn down like the nub of a pencil”, but I hope to live it up as long as I can, and not complain about feeling old. I took my boy to see AC/DC earlier this year, and watching those 60-70 year old dudes rocking extremely hard for two hours without showing an iota of tiredness — that moved me. If Angus Young can do it, I can do it!

 

If you were a classic car…. what would you be?
I’d be my zippy little 1974 Yamaha RD60 café-racer-style motorcycle, in metallic turquoise with racing stripes.

Who is your inspiration/muse?
I have so many, from artists and designers such as Tasha Tudor, Botticelli, Josef Frank, Mary Engelbreit, Susie Cooper, Redouté, Lulu Guinness, and writers/thinkers such as Henry David Thoreau, Anais Nin, and Wayne Dyer. Gardeners and plant hybridizers inspire me. Doug’s zest for life inspires me. But it all begins with my mother, Susan. She was and is my muse. She instilled so much encouragement, love, and genuine care for us, not to mention keen interest in art, gardening, decorating, collecting. I am into all of those things because of her opening our minds to exploration. My mom’s mantra was “act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic!” Boy, was she ever that. I miss her more than words can say, she passed away in February from breast cancer. She ruled so hard.

I painted this image of my mom for a magazine article

SusanSmith_portraitbyMarcellaSpanogleHawley

 

 

and a link to my blog post about my mom, if you are so inclined:
http://powerpoppy.blogspot.com/2016/02/in-memory-of-susan-h-smith-mama-susan.html

 

 

 

 


What’s your guilty pleasure?

Sharing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with the love of my life, Doug, drinking from supercool handblown glasses by Missouri artist, Kaeka Maehata (http://www.kaekomaehata.com/Home.html), sitting in bed watching The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt on Netflix.

What job did you have BEFORE you started drawing/designing for a living?
I worked as a hostess and a server at the Olive Garden in college. Hospitalino y’all. (Of course I found a way to commandeer the chalk board and hand-lettered the welcome sign and today’s specials!)

If you could hang out with ANYONE in the world ….  who would it be?….and what is the one question you would want to ask them?

Oh man. I would have to say zenmaster Thich Naht Hanh. I don’t have anything I could even ask, I would just bask in his calm presence, his peaceful knowing, his smile. He is the wisest person alive in my opinion.

MarcellaHawley_herbtags

 

 

 

What’s your favorite hobby when you want to relax?
Gardening, cooking for pleasure, reading decorating magazines. I find it challenging to really let down, so relaxing for me often involves still doing something.

 

 

 

 

What was your favorite subject in school?
It usually wasn’t the subject as much as the teacher who inspired me to enjoy the material. As such, I had a great experience in Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry, even though I don’t “like” math. The inspiring teacher was key! Am fascinated by history, but had several snorefest teachers along the way that made it brutal to sit through. I’m curious about English and Literature, History, Philosophy, Religions … anything in the Art & Design Studio, especially Typography, and all areas of Art & Design History

Who was your first celebrity crush…and have you drawn them?
I would draw all of the boys I had a crush on, celebrity or not, from Maxwell Caulfield, the star of Grease 2, to a huge watercolor of Martin Gore from Depeche Mode that I used in my portfolio to get into the Fine Arts program. In fact, I still like to draw cute boys.

If you weren’t doing what you are doing now…. what job would you have?
I wrestle with that one. On one hand, I can see going to get an MBA. I’m fascinated with strategy and creating a message, and I would love to know more about the business side of things. I also love being involved in branding and design and being a part of big ideas, but at this phase of life with young children, I do not want to get so caught up in something that I can’t be there to pick them up from school and go to their ballgames, and just enjoy each moment of life before they go off to college. Then again, there are days when the idea of running away to a little cabin and pulling a Thoreau seems quite lovely. “Launch yourself on every wave!”

Would you go cave diving with sharks?
That comment above about launching yourself on every wave… I would not do that if there were sharks involved.

 

MarcellaHawley_EverythingsRosyProcess

 

How long does the average design/art work take from concept to final product?
I take forever, and work very intensely on every step. Doug came up with a tagline for me, “Marcy: Making things more complicated than they need to be, since 1971.” It’s really true. We start with a concept for a stamp set, and I’ll roll it around in my mind and research it, discuss it with my trusted advisor, Julie, who will also do research and develop ideas, and sometimes I’ll run it past our brilliant design team members to get their feedback. I’ll go through heaps of magazines and books and read up, I’ll work on sketches, I’ll revise my concept. I’ll go work in the garden, be struck by a flower, and I’ll go in a new direction, then I’ll come back and rework, or start over completely. Eventually – weeks later, maybe months – the “THAT’S IT!” feeling hits me, and I get in my zone and finish up my drawings, take them into ink, scan, run through fine-tuning in Photoshop, search for the perfect fonts or create lettering myself, and send out to our wonderful manufacturers. They turn things around for us very quickly most of the time, and are very patient with my last-minute requests. So, to answer your question, it varies, but it’s a wild ride from start to finish. 🙂

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57 comments

  • Linda Tagg

    OMG!!! Such beautiful flowers
    <3 <3 <3

  • Love your style! I am a ACDC fan all the way.

  • Erica Bruton

    Hello (waving) great read. interesting thought on getting a tattoo. i often wonder if I should get one 🙂 Love your illustrations. the flowers are so beautiful.

  • Gorgeous flower images! Thanks for sharing

  • Farrow mascoe

    I love your digi’s! Thank you for sharing your story with us 🙂

  • I’m really new to coloring…I’ve had my set of Spectrum Noir markers for over two years but have only dabbled in coloring with them. I’m wanting to learn how and have purchased a few of your digital images to play with…just seems like time gets away from me and my desires to learn. Your images are so awesome and I just don’t feel like I can do them justice. This was a fabulous read and so kind of you to let us in on your personal life. Thanks for doing what you do so that we can look good, even if we don’t have any artistic abilities!

  • Linda C.

    Loved this insightful Q&A to all things Marcella!! What a gifted and delightful woman! Love her amazing floral designs!

  • Hi Marcella, great to read all about you – a girl after my own heart with a love for flowers – probably why I’m drawn to your exquisite, detailed and fine stamps – I love them. So pleased to read I have the Azalea set that was your first and very happy that your love of creating fabulous artworks brings us all such joy to use…thank you Robyn

  • Lorna Baumann

    Marcella is a really amazing artist and a really great person. I would love to know her in person. I love all of her stamp designs. Thank you for sharing all of the inside stuff about her and giving us a chance to win.

  • Oh goodness…We are sisters. lol I love the color green and we do like some of the same people. Keep up the great work you are into.

  • What a nice read this morning, I love that you painted your beautiful mother. Maybe it’s just the year we were born but I tend to over complicate as well.

  • PattiG

    I truly enjoyed reading the interview. It is nice to know how people ended up doing such awesome work. I love your stamps!!

  • It was so great to read abt you and Power Poppy!!! I had no idea that Azalea was your first product offered for sale. I totally LOVE that set!! But I LOVE all your products. 🙂 Many thanks for all the joy you bring to crafters everywhere…..and for the joy your products enable us to bring to the recipients of our cards and projects. Huge hugs and best wishes for many more years of success!
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com
    HerPeacefulGarden.blogspot.com

  • I commented… what wonderful reading that interview made…
    love learning about other people!!
    hugs

  • LOVE learning more about my favourite Marcella. I feel like I know you personally and just adore reading about your life and love. Your images/stamps are absolutely divine to colour and thank you as they have fulfilled my days…hugs and love and thanks for sharing more about my favourite artist…xx

  • Cathy P in AZ

    So nice to get to know Marcella – I can tell she is a beautiful person who is so full of life just like the gorgeous art she creates! So vibrant and original yet down to earth.

  • Nichole Taylor

    I just found Marcella’s blog a few months ago. I have to say that I love Power Poppy images. It was so interesting getting to know a bit about the woman who designs such fabulous stamps.

  • Nice to know more about you Marcella!! Azaleas is your first stamp set? Wow!! That’s definitely my favorite!!
    -Berina
    Moxie Craftie

  • Love finding out about you and your flower images are wonderful – gardening without the heavy digging and weeding.

  • Nancy

    You are an inspiration to many! I love your products and the love and inspiration behind each of their designs!
    Nancy

  • Such beautiful work and a wonderful background! <3

  • Shelley

    Love your artwork and the botanicals!

  • I’ve been holding off on purchasing your images but I have no excuse since you offered a coupon. 🙂 I love your beautiful nature images being a fan of botanical my self. You can almost smell them they’re so beautiful. Thank you.

  • Holly Stahly

    Marcella, You are truly an amazing lady.
    Reading your answers was like reading about,
    someone who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize or
    some other major award for changing the world.
    I’ll share a quote with you from Thich Naht Hanh
    We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth.
    Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
    Namaste
    Holly

  • Patti G

    I love reading this and could see myself in some of your responses.

  • Gorgeous images and stamps, thanks for the chance to win

  • I love Marcella … if you want to learn more and keep getting to know her, be sure to visit her blog. Often, she shares the inspirations behind each creation with photos of her or others’ gardens … her family, her home and more.

    I have enjoyed collecting many clear and digital stamps from her inspired pen; check out my website, Artelicious, to see three cards, made with Azaleas, Daffodils, and Lilacs clear stamps sets. They’re among my very favorite creations!

  • KT Fit Kitty

    Wow, your designs are GORGEOUS! I really enjoyed reading this!

  • Dee

    Wow, such beautiful flower images. Just amazing.

  • JaneyG

    Oh, such beautiful flowers! You are very talented!

  • Patti Willey

    Ah that’s our Marcy! Such a breath of life! So nice to get to know you better! It’s so hard to find a fav in your artwork but you’ve shared some marvelous gems above! Go get em’!

  • Claire

    Love your art,great getting to know you

  • Such beautiful flowers – truly inspiring

    Lovely to meet you Marcella 🙂

  • Vivien

    Love all the flowers! Please keep creating more!

  • kate

    oh wow what gorgeous images yet another i need to add to my collection (my poor wallet)

  • Love your work and love the interview–skateboarding is cool!

  • Ann

    I loved reading all about Marcella and Power Poppy. I am such a fan. I wish I could have every stamp she sells. Love them all!!! I think that is the only company I can say that about. Ha! But I love her love for botanicals. And I love how she incorporates what some would call the unusuals, like the bleeding hearts in the Spring Meadow Bouquet. Which is also one of my favorite sets. Thank you Marcella for sharing your talent with us.

  • Wow Marcella your artwork is really beautiful and inspiring. I love how you let your flowers come alive, each telling a story of how beautiful life truly is. Really amazing …keep bringing beauty to the world…both you and your team.

  • Glenna

    I really enjoyed reading the interview about you! I LOVE ALL your work! The gift you are blessed with is so amazing! You are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us! I really LOVE all your stamp sets and designs.

  • Fabulous flowers – my first digi from your store was prize in the challenge (I don´t remember which one – but I was excited by beautiful flowers

  • Wonderful to learn more about an artist new to me. Such intricate designs and beautiful flowers

  • Fantastic interview and the details on your flowers are so stunning and how long it takes to create an image just to get the right look is well worth it. Even if your Doug came up with that line of making things more complicated then need to be lol. We just need things to be perfect before we share 🙂

  • Your flowers are absolutely fantastic!!

  • I love Power Poppy stamps. I don’t have any yet but they are at the top of my wish list. I love all the details and flowers

  • What a great interview! So nice to know a bit more about the creative dynamo behind Power Poppy! Love the part about your mom Susan. How extremely lucky you were to have her in your life and how much we all envy you that! Cheers.

  • So fun to learn more about you Marcella. I am a super big Power Poppy fan. I use your digis and they are the most beautiful digis ever!

  • What a wonderful interview with the fabulous, Marcella Hawley! I really enjoyed getting a bit of back story on you, Marcy! You have such joie de vivre! It’s contagious and beautiful to witness. I wish you continued success and all the best!

  • Merrie

    OMGosh- your flowers are gorgeous. I love them. Thanks for sharing.

  • creatingincolors

    What a great interview. Of course, with Marcella it had to be great! I was hooked on Power Poppy the first time I came across an image on the internet, and now I’m a regular follower. The detailed images of nature are so beautiful. I have an ongoing wish list and the new Midsummer Stunner release sure made that list longer! Best wishes for continued success!

  • Great interview, now I know you even better. I have admired your work forever and was so happy that you went off on your own to do stamps. I have been having fun with them and entering your challenges since the beginning. Love what you and your teams do. I will enjoy doing the challenges even more now.

  • Carol Evans

    Hi Marce,
    I loved your interview it was so interesting to learn about the person who’s work I just love. I’m 20 years your senior and will be retiring at the end of the next school year. Everyone keeps say you’ll be bored I just laugh there are so many thing I want to try. You are so inspiring.

  • Erna Taylor-Stark

    I am delighted that I decided to go to your blog and get introduced to you! We could be soulmates, although I am a little older than you. “Born in the spring” and “procrastinator” come to mind as well as over “yes girl” (me) and “over committed”(me) come to mind.

    I quite like you and I do admire your creations. In fact, I just bought 4 and plan to come back for more. Keep on doing what you are doing for people like me to keep on enjoying.

  • Oh, Marcy, what a fabulous interview! You are one amazing and gifted gal, and I loved reading the answers to these questions – some that were such fun and made me giggle! You are one dynamo that has “just begun to bloom” in my opinion, and watch out world! I adore your work, you, and your amazing spirit for life! You are a joy! Thank you for this wonderful Q&A with the amazing Marcella Hawley! Loved every word!

  • Oh, my gosh, what a great read! I laughed, I related to parts, I was in awe. Love the “born in the spring” quote and the idea of pulling a Thoreau. Doug’s tagline for you just cracked me up. You’re so full of energy, Marcy. It takes a village to do what you do, and you’ve got a village inside you!

  • Nicky

    Fab review. Your flowers are gorgeous and thankyou for the insight into power poppy 🙂

  • Karon H

    Wow, so very interesting. I stumbled across Marcy’s work several years ago, when she was designing for another stamp company. When I found out that company was closing, I was mortified. Then along came Power Poppy YA YA . I only wish I had more time to create with Marcy’s designs.

  • Jeanne Tomshack

    Fascinating read! Marcella is a gal I’d like to meet and hang out with. She has such an interesting personality and a wonderful zest for life. Everyone deserves a Marcella in their corner. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this interview.

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