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Artist Interview: Tanya @ Moonlake Designs

May 7, 2011

Today we interview Greeting Card Universe artist, Tanya, aka Moonie, who joined GCU in 2008.


Moonie, what drew you to join GCU?

So many designs and not a clue what to do with them, so I goggled greeting cards, and up popped GCU, so here I am.

Please tell us who you are, where you are, and what you do.

Not sure who I am exactly, I guess that changes like the weather. I am retired so I do my thing at home every day, too much of the day. The rest is walking and taking photos with the hubby at our local nature reserves.

I live in Northumberland, a small town called Blyth right near the harbour. I’m happy.  I am Welsh but left there 12 years ago to be with the hubby, who is a paramedic by trade. I am 46 going on 16 most of the time, until the morning and it takes a while for my face to wake up.

What’s your favorite greeting card on GCU that you’ve created?

Oh heck, now that is a hard one! Well, as it was one of my first and one of my regular sales, and basically started me off on 3D  art, it has to be this one. She sells a lot so she deserves to be my favorite.

Birthday for Granddaughter by Moonlake Designs

Where else can we find you?

You can find me on
Facebook (personal)
Facebook (Moonlake Designs)
Squidoo (where my Zazzle designs are live updated)

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am painfully shy. I can’t even promote my cards offline. I hand make mohair teddy bears that have sold around the world since 1999 (in the process of restarting Avalon Bears). I play too many MMO’S  (massively multiplayer on-line games) and have just lost 7 stone in weight.

How did you become an artist?

I was living in a small village in Wales, remote, depressed when I passed a telephone box. I don’t know why I went in but there on the shelf was a leaflet saying Free Computer Course – anyone welcome. I don’t know again why I went but I did, and a week later I had passed my first GNVQ 1 with distinctions in Computer Literacy. The rest is where I am now it was a long road but well worth the walk. Photography… well, that is a more recent thing. Drawing is a very long story and would bore you. I do love to draw when I can, but I suffer with so much self doubt with hand done things, most end up in the bin.

What or who inspires you? And what motivates you to create greeting cards from your photographs?

Everything inspires me from the sea to a colour I see on a particular day, Goths (yes, I did say Goths), my husband and other artists, although that can be a depressing route  if you start yearning to be as good. I just take outside and bring it back and design.

I think it’s more of an obsession to design that comes first. The second – oh wow, people like them! But it feels so so good that one person likes a card enough to actually purchase it, that keeps me going and trying to make people happy with the designs I do. Even after this length of time and 9 thousand card sales in total (6,765 from GCU), I get so excited when that mail comes in saying Card Purchased. It really makes me so happy, and I always hope the recipient really enjoys my designs no matter how odd they may be.

Where do you find ideas for your work?

I start with an image and play with it for a while, then it either ends up scrapped or I start to see it emerging. Recently I struggled with a rabbit in a tea cup, eventually things started to come together. I have always worked like this. Holidays really govern what and when I do things. I do what I do for my own pleasure usually and if I like it at the time, it ends up as a card, if not it is binned or kept one side until I work on it again. I always hope if I thought – oh yes that is the one! – that other people will find the same. It does not always work like that, of course, but well… it’s so enjoyable and I just love doing it all the time.

What tools do you use to create your work?

Wacom, Lightroom, Poser, Vue, Photoshop, Illustrator, Sony A700, Art materials of all kinds, scanner. Can’t live without any of them.

Why did you start selling your designs as greeting cards?

So many designs and not a clue what to do with them, so I goggled “greeting cards” and up popped GCU, and I thought that people might enjoy my art but at a more affordable price, rather than huge prints and posters. Pricing is also why I make a lot of postcards of my large productions so that anyone can enjoy. This seems to do well for me.

What do you do to promote your greeting cards on GCU?

Not a lot of promotion is done. I find it rather awkward. I really should do it but even with blogs and things, I find I am left not quite knowing how to do that, and just hope people find me. I can’t promote outside of the house. Now and then I will submit to search engines (never sure this works). Also I really don’t like being pushy, so apart from Facebook and Twitter, I can’t force people to check out my designs plus most of my friends on Facebook are graphic designers and artists from Wales. They would not be impressed, I think. 🙂

 Is there a tip about GCU or promoting your GCU designs you’d like to share with other artists?

Promotion – no, although you should at least every few months do a free online search engine submission, I think.

Name three other GCU artists whose work inspires you or that you admire.

Corrie Kuipers: Why? Because I just love those animals – bright, colourful, cheerful. And no, it is not because it’s Corrie’s blog. It’s genuine admiration.

Salon of Art: Basically because she is so versatile and like me seems to go from style to style. I like that a lot.

Robin’s Coloring Book: How cute are they!

Miss Printed Editions: Because she has a heart of gold, and her items – again like Doreen’s (Salon of Art) – are versatile and stylish.

Christie Black: They make me smile.

Many more to be honest – I’d fill the blog up!

What blogs to you follow?

Not many, to be honest. I always look when artists on GCU post their blog etc. but do not actively seek them out. Everyone with a blog should post so that we can see who to follow.

Is there something you’re really proud of having done?

Apart from the having children and bringing them up, I guess my weight loss is No1 at the moment.

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

Miserable 😀 but if I could be anything, I’d be a writer – hilarious when you’re dyslexic. Or an interpreter of many languages. This has always been fascinating even though I can barely manage English and Welsh *laughs*


Thanks for the interview, Moonie! If you would like to participate in an upcoming Artist Interview, get in touch: gcucommunity(at)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2011 11:50 am

    WILD…that’s one artist with a great sense of humor!

  2. May 7, 2011 2:37 pm

    Great job Moonie!! You know I’ve been your fan since day 1…you go girl!! I could listen to the virtual laughter in your voice all day!

  3. May 7, 2011 4:02 pm

    Interesting all around. At first glance I was stunned by your big ………………….. sales.

    • May 7, 2011 4:26 pm

      First, LOL, Tom! You’re funny! 😉

      But more importantly, Tanya, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your interview AND YOU! I feel sooooo connected to you because most of what you said could fit me to a T – especially this quote: “Everything inspires me from the sea to a colour I see on a particular day, Goths (yes, I did say Goths), my husband and other artists, although that can be a depressing route if you start yearning to be as good.” I really enjoy admiring the work of other artists, but start to feel depressed when I yearn for that kind of talent, too. :/

      Anyhow, great interview, Tanya! It’s wonderful to get to know you… and I’m a fan of your work. 🙂


  4. Priscilla of Periwinkle Cards permalink
    May 7, 2011 7:53 pm

    Great job Moonie, I too, like you am not a blogger, nor a promoter. Just not that computer savvy.
    I really enjoyed reading about you and your life. You go girl … on that weight loss!!


  5. May 7, 2011 11:00 pm

    Sweet Moonie, what a treat. Thank you for a lovely, inspiring time in your company and for being who you are.

  6. May 7, 2011 11:16 pm

    Moonie, thank you so much for letting your guard down and letting us get to know you a bit better. I never would have guessed that you doubt yourself at times – you come across so very confident and “there”! I’ve always admired your work and now can admire it even more, knowing that it took a little courage and extra belief in yourself to publish it for the masses to enjoy. Hugs –

    • May 8, 2011 1:10 am

      Aww thanks guys your all so sweet 🙂 I love so much of everyones art it would fill the blog up a thousant times over….. lol@Tom that make me chuckle. Only wish I’d used more of the spell checker *laughs* but well it would not be me if it had none, probably shock most, can’t wait to read the next artist, so much fun getting to know the other side of people 😀 . I love this community blog I think it’s good we get to know each other just a little bit more, and support one another, we all need a bit of help now and then I think, I am well inspired to be good and start promoting 🙂 I have a website I never touch since I stoped making the bears regular, think it’s about time I re-vamped and promoted.

      Hugs to all and Corrie for asking me really truly is appreciated.

  7. May 8, 2011 6:11 am

    Gosh Moonie, I was surprised and certainly honored to see my name mentioned in your interview! I have to tell you, you are a great inspiration to me as well. I have three children, all with dyslexia. I am so thankful that they are all creative and artistic and can use that as their outlet to release the frustrations they feel day in and day out! I never want them to feel dyslexia will hold them back …and you are a great testament to that!
    Hugs, Christie

  8. May 20, 2011 8:09 pm

    Love it, great to read Moonie 🙂

    Your lovely fairies are simply mesmorizing!

    I have to admit I had to look up that 1 stone = approx. 14 lbs – WOW! congrats 🙂

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