We’re still smiling from our interview with the Crafty Chica
, Kathy Cano-Murillo. Her positive outlook, passion for creativity and zest for life come through in everything she touches – from her signature love shrines to her carefully crafted novels. Get ready to put a smile on your face, too!
We are so inspired by your mission – “To spread positivity through creativity.” Tell us more about this incredible statement.
Originally I didn’t quite know what my theme was. I just loved to use bright colors. It makes me happy to make things. It has been a constant in my life – not only to make, but to share. I would ask myself, “What is something good that I can offer to the world?” I was looking for a sense of purpose.
The answer was right in front of my nose. Now I feel I’m changing the world for the better one glitter sprinkle at a time.
I use a lot of hearts, bright colors, and glitter. I’m inspired by spreading positivity through creativity. And it’s free – happiness and creativity.
When people put something they’ve made up in their house, they are happy when they look at it. It’s also the process of making it – all of that together.
Tell us about your show – For the Love of Arte (La Melgosa Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, Feb 7 – 28).
My husband and I have been artists since before we were married. In our house we have all these pieces from being working artists. They are expressions of different times and places in our relationship. In the show, there are more than 100 pieces of art that we’ve created over the past 20 years covering all different genres of art and craft – and all different areas and skill levels. The collection shows the progression of everything – where we were then and where we are now.
Tell us about working with your husband.
We were both born and raised in Phoenix and are working artists. The art is a celebration of that experience. All are Latino themed artwork. Some we collaborated on together. In the early days, my husband would never use glitter. Then one night I glitter bombed one of his paintings. He said, “Actually I like it.” Now he adds glitter to some of his pieces.
All his work is comical and positive. We have different styles … but, when you put them together they fit so well.
What do you teach at your workshops?
I first started with Love Shrine
workshops. Now I do lots of different things like painted ceramic mugs. The workshops show the spectrum of where I started and where I’m at now. I love working with people and love that they leave having made something.
You’ve written several books and novels. How did you get started with writing?
I had been writing before I’d been crafting. I grew up wanting to be an entertainment newspaper reporter, and a novelist like Judy Blume. I read People Magazine
faithfully. When I grew up I became an entertainment reporter for the Arizona Republic
. Then, they asked me to do a craft column. I was at the paper for 13 years – it was my dream job! I started as a news clerk, went to night school to get my bachelors, and eventually became a syndicated national columnist. My experience there made me think that if I can reach this goal by breaking the traditional formulas, why not try that with a craft product line or writing a novel?
Can you tell us more about how you translate your passion into print?
I got serious during National Novel Writing Month in 2004. I had a book outline that I had been playing with for a year. I decided to take stories of crafting as a subject. Crafting is an emotional release. We craft to express, to celebrate, to remember, to get away from something. This made me think – what are the stories that bring us to that point? I focused on the emotional things that happen in those people’s lives to bring them into being an artist.
I’m working on a new novel right now about a cake decorator. I’ve had two novels published (Waking up in the Land of Glitter
and Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing
). They are also audio books. It’s fun to listen while you craft! I’ve also had seven crafting books published.
You have such a distinctive style. What do you call it?
Mexi-Boho – it celebrates Mexican American culture, but not the traditional type of things. It’s Bohemian, fun and contemporary. I mix a lot of contrasting colors and themes.
How do you find time?
This is a full time thing for me. I work full-time as a designer, blogger and product developer for iLoveToCreate
. They are the manufacturers of my Crafty Chica product line
and of Aleene’s Tacky Glue and Tulip paints. I also do a lot of designing, writing and blogging for Disney’s Spoonful
and Lowes. From my deadline newspaper training, I map out my whole week. I put in what I’m going to do, get organized. Sometimes things get blown out of the water and you never know when creativity and inspiration are going to hit. But, you do have to schedule it. While I’m making one thing I can daydream about new things. There are always things going on in my head.