Susie Johnson

Susie Johnson

Susie Johnson's eclectic taste and creative flair is displayed in the diverse subject matters and styles she illustrates, ranging from whimsical children's novelties to sophisticated watercolor florals inspired from nature. Her professional career as an illustrator has landed her employment in many diverse fields, giving her the opportunity to let her creativity run wild and the ability to hone her skills in the world of graphic illustration.

"Creativity for me is like breathing — it's just a necessary part of life, and though I've had many job descriptions through the years, running through them all has been the thread of creative visual communication. I came from an artistic background as my dad was an illustrator, first for the Detroit auto industry in the '50's and 60's, and then as an illustrator of paperback book covers. He was passionate about the great artists through the ages and shared that enthusiasm with me, always defining the differences between things like form and balance, shape and shadow," shares Susie.

Susie attended Syracuse University in upstate New York, majoring in fine art and art education. She completed her studies at Wayne State University in Detroit. After graduating, she began her career as an art teacher in the elementary schools of St. Clair Shores, Michigan. When Susie relocate to Colorado, she joined a small advertising agency in Colorado Springs. Susie left the ad agency, and, with a friend, launched a small design company, Jazz Tags, specializing in pre-printed resort wear, catering to the ski resorts around Colorado and the West. Her designs were featured in leading apparel stores and mail order catalogs, including the popular Coldwater Creek. Working mostly from home, allowed her to spend more quality time with her two sons, Aaron and Tyler.

With the start of a new century, Susie joined Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan at Possibilities/Great American Quilt Factory. It was because a new passion for quilting, which she learned from a friend and from several good quilting book resources, that she applied for a job with this Denver-based company. During her 10-year tenure at Possibilities, Susie worked as Design Department Coordinator, honing her illustrative skills in Adobe Illustrator to create over forty different coordinated quilting fabric collections — from floral to whimsical, decorator fabrics to kids' stuff, including writing and illustrating sewable cloth books and companion fabrics for toddlers. In addition, she created over 200 quilt designs, Blocks-of-the-Month samplers and related projects for use in How-To books. "I was lucky to have worked with so many talented quilters for whom fabric and thread were such great eye-candy!"

Explains Susie, "I think I've found my own personal style in the little people and critters that I create. The images are so pliable and expressive, while being constructed of such simple forms. I also love the opportunity to be playful in creating lines. It's just fun to make up silly scenarios in which the characters can interact."

Susie also enjoys designing elegant floral collections inspired from her own personal garden. She shares, "I also love designing lines that take their inspiration from nature and from my very challenging garden — which I share with dozens of deer. Some years they eat the yellow tulips and some years they eat the red! I look forward to whatever comes next." Susie currently resides with her two needy cats in the foothills outside of Denver, Colorado.

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Susie Johnson