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El Dorado Hills Artist Has Spent a Lifetime Creating

Apr 30, 2015 11:10AM ● By Style

Artist photos by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group

Tauni Fessler was once too timid to share her art. “I had to dig deep and find confidence to enter shows and talk about what I do,” says Fessler. “If I hadn’t gathered the courage, I’d still be creating art that no one else would enjoy.” Fessler now shows her whimsical children’s illustrations, paintings and murals as a freelancer at the Sutter Street Artist Gallery, and will be at the El Dorado Hills Art and Wine Affaire (May 9-10). You can also purchase her work on Etsy. “It’s exciting to know that my art has shipped to seven different states—as far as New York!”.

HLB: Were you artistic as a child? 

TF: I can’t remember a time when sketching or painting was not a part of me. As [a toddler] I would spend time in my dad’s office—under his desk—drawing for hours on end. In high school, I was fortunate to have two wonderfully inspiring art teachers. It was then that I decided art was more than just a hobby, and it began to blossom into something bigger.  

HLB: What or who are your influences?

TF: Most important is the beauty that exists in nature and the guidance I receive from my children. I sometimes have a tendency to complicate my art, but some of my best work began as simple ideas captured from my three- and seven-year-olds.

HLB: How do you develop your ideas?   

TF: My art mostly comes from my imagination. I start with a blank page and let my thoughts bring an idea [for me] to draw. I love drawing animals more than people, and I find that everything I do has a cartoonish, happy style, which fits with my desire to create art for kids. Seeing a child react to a mural or painting that their parents have me do for them is priceless. A child’s room is an important place in their lives, and there’s a lot of value in creating a space that inspires their imagination. 

HLB: If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

TF: At this point, I don’t think I could not be an artist in one way or another. One aspect of my creativity that I enjoy is teaching art to children and helping them express themselves, which I’ve had the opportunity to do in my son’s classes. Children are naturally good artists, and helping them find and develop their creative abilities is an inspiration. If they can be encouraged early on, they can develop their talent and keep it as an outlet their entire lives.

HLB: Do you ever feel “stuck” with your artwork?

TF: I often feel stuck! Like many artists, pressure to be creative usually causes more harm than help. The work I’m most proud of came at times when I did not have strict time constraints or wasn’t trying to create something specific.

HLB: Any advice for young artists?

TF: For an artist—or anyone really—to do their best work, they must first get to know and love themselves. It’s important to discover not only your strengths but also one’s weaknesses. Figure these out and there isn’t much that can get in your way. •

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