Sonia Browder: The Five Question Interview

Sonia Browder is a photographer, designer, and owner of Lordnidesign. She is a busy portrait photographer and loves taking photos of Elgin.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

Paul and I were living in south Austin when we started looking for a home in the country. We wanted land big enough to settle a couple of families—ours and my sister and hers. We found enough acres to raise our kids in the country just outside of Elgin. Soon after, my parents and brother with his family moved out here, too. It’s our retreat!

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

I’ve always enjoyed making and creating. I’m sure I picked up this idea that I could from my mom and her ability to make and create. When I was growing up, we didn’t have much money for extras but we still never did without. If we saw something we liked to wear, my mom would sew it, crochet it or knit it —for us AND for our dolls! It’s always been good therapy for me to create something—it’s a good feeling to make a family portrait, a plate of enchiladas, a hand-lettered sign for a friend, or a T-shirt for a much loved small town festival! It’s art to share!

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

1. Gardening: Water regularly.

2. Jesus went INTO the fire with  Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego (Daniel 6.) We need to invite Him into our tough situations. It’s better to go through life with Him than without Him.

3. Spanish was my first language, but when I don’t use it, I lose it! Im glad for the many opportunities I’ve had in recent years to speak more Spanish. The practice has helped me. I am able to translate and communicate in Spanish more and

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Making:  I just finished working on the Western Days 2020 Commemorative T-shirt. The printed shirt just delivered. I am also working on a couple of logos; one for Evergreen Farms and another for Nanny Goat Salsa and have an engagement photo session planned for the weekend.

Reading/Listening to: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Watching: Just started watching Outlander—I’ve got a very long way to go!

5. Cake or Pie?

Pie —coconut cream, cherry, pecan & millionaire pies for starters!

Instagram @lordnidesign
Facebook @lordnidesign
Website enyecreative.com

Susan Hanft: The Five Question Interview

The artist in her Bastrop studio

Susan Hanft is creator/owner of Gone To Pot. She studied both ceramic sculpture and printmaking and uses drawings, pattern and typography in her pieces, giving them a distinct graphic quality. In addition to her ceramics, she also shares her enthusiasm for sewing and stitching on her Instagram feed.

She lives in Bastrop with her dog Pearl.

1. Why did you move to the Bastrop area? 

After a bad breakup, I decided to leave Houston, where I’d been living for the previous 30 years. I’d loved being in the crowded, vibrant city during that time, but was ready to experience a slower, calmer lifestyle in the country.

I chose Bastrop, in particular, because I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my aging mother. My father and sister were already residing in the county, too.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

I don’t know, but think most people have the creative urge. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved in some artistic endeavor. Since childhood, I’ve drawn and sculpted. As a kid, I also studied violin (my playing was awful) and taught myself guitar (equally bad), but dance was my primary interest. When chronic injuries ended that career, visual arts became more of an outlet. I’ve always enjoyed writing, too. 

Spending time in the studio now helps me quiet my mind during the ongoing pandemic.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

I’ve learned how to colorize black and white photos and gained a few rudimentary computer animation skills. 

The big lesson has been patience. A while back, I adopted a little feral dog. Pearl was terrified of everything human, so fearful she tried to jump through a closed glass-paned window the day I brought her home. 

It’s been impossible to hurry Pearl’s trust in humanity. (It was nearly a year before she wagged her tail at me.) She’s taught me to better accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Making stoneware teapots while listening to the Global Psychedelia channel on Mixcloud

Pearl

5. Cake or Pie?

Pie, fruit or pecan, but vegan, please. 

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Emily Koller: The Five Question Interview

Emily Koller is the creator and owner of Paintbrush Print Company. She designs and creates modern hand printed souvenirs with just the right amount of class & kitsch. 

She grew up in a small town in Wyoming that saw its fair share of Summer tourists on their way to Yellowstone. Her obsession with retro roadside art started by collecting vintage travel things.

She taught herself how to screen print after she discovered her first Harwood Steiger fabric in a vintage store in in Tucson, Arizona.

1. Tell me about your recent move from Elgin to Amarillo? 

We were happy in Elgin! But, it felt like the right move for a lot of reasons.  Much of it was about a professional opportunity; however, I was also really excited about living in a city with Route 66 history and getting a little closer to family.  I love roadside architecture, collect vintage travel things, and make modern souvenirs, of course. Being here gets me a little closer to the places out West that inspire me the most, but I can also proudly say I’m still in Texas.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

This is actually something I have learned about myself through the transition this past year. If I am not making things or letting my mind get lost creatively, I start to feel trapped. The creative process has a calming effect for me – I just feel happiest when I am making things or solving design problems.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

Thing 1: Can I count what I said in #2? 🙂 It is an important realization because I have not identified as a “creative” in the past, but it now means that I have to both allow myself that expression, while also protecting myself from burnout. I have a “normal” kind of demanding career, but also want to do all sorts of creative things on the side. In the next five years, I will figure out a better way to balance it all.

Thing 2: Screen printing – I first learned how to do it exactly five years ago.

Thing 3: That we’re all too hard on ourselves.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

These are the kind of questions where you want to sound really interesting and intellectual. I’m sure my parents will be disappointed. I have two stacks of books that I pick up occasionally and read very slowly. One stack is about yoga and wellness and the other is a stack of Route 66 and roadside architecture books. I read Texas Monthly pretty religiously and I like to follow travel writers. My mind requires total immersion in TV shows so we just finished Jack Ryan and The Stranger.

5. Cake or Pie?

Cake 100%. I would even go without dessert if my only choice was pie.

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