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Artist Interview: Doreen Erhardt

May 13, 2011

This week, since she’s such a big part of the GCU community, we’re interviewing photographer, artist and designer Doreen Erhardt at Salon of Art Greetings, who has been a member of Greeting Card Universe since April 2009.


Doreen, what drew you to join GCU?

I researched many online card sites and thoroughly investigated selling my designs to Greetings Card Publishers, but when I found GCU, it was the perfect choice for me. No Exclusive Rights, Solid Review Process and excellent Marketing Methods.  I’m delighted with my sales at GCU!

Tell us who you are, where you are, and what you do.

I am classified as a Master Photographer, artist and designer living in California’s Sierra Foothills, an hour from Lake Tahoe.  Though I am trained in photography, I am self-taught in my digital painting and design efforts. I’m a wife of 30+ years, a mother of furry children and a volunteer for my local Humane Society and the Sacramento Book Review.  I left the gallery and art show world in 2006 and happily sell my art and designs online…no inventory, no hassle!

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

Wow, that’s a tough choice, but I really love this pencil drawing I did in Corel Painter called “Smug Pug” and got a good laugh when I used that drawing to create this card, it’s also turned out to be a good seller for me.

Where else can we find you on-line?

PAWSitively PETrageous
Personal Expressions

Business Expressions

Salon of Art Gifts

Fine Art Gallery

Blurb Book Store

Art Portfolio

My Point of View Online Newsletter


Squidoo Lens:
Save the Date

For the Love of Squirrels

The World According to Ossa

Stray Muses…A Language Unspoken

All About Hawkeye

Choosing a Camera

How did you become an artist and photographer?

I have carried a camera in my hands since I was three. I used to shadow my mother using a non-functional twin-lens reflex camera.  I would pretend my baby buggies were rocking film developer tanks and develop pictures using photo paper with a leaf on top, which when exposed to the sun made a picture…my mother was a photographer and worked in a professional darkroom.  So, it was part of my make up at a very young age.  As many kids do, I left it behind until I got married and my husband gave me my 1st 35-mm system in 1980.

What or who inspires you?

Color and light inspire me.  Seeing someone else’s creation in a medium or style I’ve never attempted is tremendous inspiration for me.

What tools do you use to create your work?

I shoot with a Canon 7D system.  I use Photoshop CS5 in a Windows 7, 64-bit environment.  I paint with Corel Painter 11 and a Wacom Pen & Tablet.

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

My online newsletter is probably the best promotion for my cards.  I use a Facebook Fan Page, I have several Squidoo Lens, a Blog and I have a tremendous amount of GCU cards (not all mine) on my PAWSitively PETrageous website.  At the Humane Society events I go to, I take my Pet Sympathy and pet related cards with me.

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

Really match the feeling of the image to the sentiment you attach to it, AND match this image to the appropriate audience. People buy cards to express a feeling.  A scenic, for example, will not be appreciated by ages 1 to 16 for example, just like a sad dog image may not be appropriate for Happy Birthday.  This is critical, in my opinion, to creating cards that sell.

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

Corrie was the artist that inspired me when I started at GCU and why I stuck with it.

I love Betty Matsumoto-Schuch and the Adventures of Bud and Tony.

Patri Feher is truly inspiring for the photographer side of me.

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

I volunteered for 6-years at my local Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic and though being their Director of Public Relations/Ways & Means, and Official Photographer were fulfilling roles, my proudest accomplishment was rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing back to the wild over 85 orphaned Grey Squirrels.  I stayed up many nights nursing these babies back to health, sometimes wondering if they would live through the night, and setting them free as healthy, wild animals always made me proud.


Thank you, Doreen, for a truly inspiring interview! (and thanks for the mention – we love your work, too) 🙂

18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2011 7:10 am

    Thank You Doreen, I enjoyed your interview,very impressive and inspiring. Speaking of inspiring, your artwork and photography inspire many artist including myself at GCU. So, Thank you again.

    • May 13, 2011 2:23 pm

      Thank you Janet! Your blogs are FANTASTIC! Great job and they are providing all of us inspiration to get blogging!

  2. Priscilla of Periwinkle Cards permalink
    May 13, 2011 10:06 am

    Doreen’s story is so inspiring! I love her beautiful cards. Kudos to you, Doreen for rescuing the baby squirrels! There is nothing more rewarding. Very touching.


    • May 13, 2011 2:30 pm

      You are so right Priscilla! I remember one in particular. A sweet baby girl, eyes still closed she was so young, who when I arrived at the rescue site was cold as ice…yet still she drew shallow breaths. The woman who called for rescue thought I’d lost my mind, because the first thing I did was grab that baby and put her in my bra! If she didn’t warm up quickly, she was going to die. I’ll never forget the look on that woman’s face…LOL! Animal people are a different sort I guess…hahaha!

      BTW…After several worrisome hours of trying to warm her, rehydrate her and hope she survived, she let out a tremendous scream…that’s when I knew she’d be fine and she was!

  3. May 13, 2011 10:30 am

    Hi Doreen

    Stunning interview, you have always been so active on the forums, it’s like logging into friends and to get to know them better is so wonderful, especially those who help so much.

    Wow on the baby squirrels how fantastic is that and you for all that dedication!!! (((huge huggle)))

    As for your cards they speek volumes from your sales to your designs they are always fantastic, and well worth anyones pound and dollars and more, I love seeing them.

    You trully are an inspiration.

    Hugs Moonie xx

    Another top interview Corrie 🙂

  4. May 13, 2011 1:44 pm

    artist with a BIG heart, who loves to SHARE….way to go! MANY THANKS

  5. May 13, 2011 2:14 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this and found it both encouraging and inspirational – thank you – Natalie

  6. Elizabeth Eells permalink
    May 13, 2011 2:18 pm

    What a wonderful interview, Doreen. It is so inspiring to read your story. You’ve always had such beautiful cards.

  7. May 13, 2011 2:25 pm

    You are great, Doreen, thanks for sharing your life and expertise with us!

  8. May 13, 2011 2:32 pm

    Thanks so much Judith, Natalie, Elizabeth and Christie! You’ve all made my day!

  9. May 13, 2011 4:40 pm

    Wonderfully conducted interview. Doreen is very much an inspiration and is always willing to reach out and mentor others on the forum and thru emails. Thank you, Corrie and Doreen!

  10. May 13, 2011 9:51 pm

    Doreen, When I saw there was an interview with you, I knew it would be good. Clicked right on it and it was like opening up a conversation with an old friend. You are not only a talented lady, but such a giving spirit too. We’re so lucky to have you in our circle of friends at GCU!

    • May 13, 2011 10:44 pm

      Thank you so much ‘old friend’, it truly makes my world go ’round to be part of such an awesome community and giving what I have to give is just who I am…very nice to be appreciated though!

  11. May 13, 2011 10:42 pm

    Thank you Corrie for having me! It’s been a fun and didn’t hurt a bit…LOL!

  12. Cathy Gangwer permalink
    May 14, 2011 2:23 pm

    Great feature ( interview) on a talented photographic artists!

  13. May 16, 2011 6:26 pm

    Wonderful, enlightening, and encouraging interview Doreen. You are an amazing talent with a heart of gold and a truly generous spirit! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and inspiring creativity. Also many thank yous for the mention, the feeling is mutual!
    Hugs and Purrs!
    Betty & Bud & Tony

  14. Lj Maxx permalink
    May 17, 2011 4:31 pm

    Terrific interview. Congrats on this feature~ LjM

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