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Artist Interview: Janet Lee Palaggi

June 11, 2011

Today we’re interviewing artist Janet Lee Palaggi of Janet Lee Designs who joined GCU in 2008.


Janet, what drew you to join GCU? 

An Artist, Madeline Allen of SmudgeArt Card Shop here at GCU.  We were in the same online social group, designing signature tags…(personalized graphic designs) She thought some of us might like to join.

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

I am a graphic designer, web-page designer, and photographer living in Illinois. I also sketch and paint with acrylics. I design and sell greeting cards, and Zazzle products.

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

That would have to be my Christmas Tree Card,  I love a traditional, old fashioned Christmas, and I think this design says just that. That and it happens to be one of my best sellers at Christmas Time.

Where else can we find you?

My Main  Blogs:
Janet Lee Designs
Send From Site Cards
Awesome Zazzle Stores
Summertime Food n’  Fun

Zazzle – Kumfy Keds
Zazzle – Janet Lee Designs

What would people be surprised to learn about you? 

My other passion is music. I was singer / organist, at Riverdale Missionary Church at age 11, in a band called “The Christian Cousins” (my sister and two cousins.) We often sang at places like The Moody Bible Institute and Nursing Homes on weekends. Also, I won a model car contest at age 8. All the other contestants were boys, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to see if I could enter and win. (Took 2nd Place, Yah for me!)

How did you become an artist?

In Grade School we did art blotches, (construction paper folded with a few dots of paint inside.) Mine had to be “Special“ so I worked the colors out meticulously in my head, and the metamorphosis began, it became a beautiful butterfly and I became an artist.  However, I feel I became a “real artist” after joining GCU and Zazzle and actually began selling my designs. When I received a camera for Christmas, I was hooked on photography as well. I still have a lot to learn about photography and photo manipulation, it’s all great fun.

What or who inspires you? 

Family, Friends, People Living Life, Nature, Animals, “Life Itself” Inspires Me.

What motivates you to design greeting cards? 

My passion for art and the desire to touch people, make them laugh, smile, or comfort a grieving soul, which is bittersweet for us artists at GCU, but its also comforting to know we can help in some small way.

Where do you find ideas for your work? 

Anywhere and Everywhere, From The Wal-Mart Garden Center for Floral Designs to Carnivals, Fairs, Traveling through the countryside, cities, and small towns.

What’s your workspace or studio like?

I call it Controlled Chaos, but it’s homey and comfortable.

What’s the most indispensable item you use to create your art?

My Paintshop Pro.

What tools do you use to create your work?

Paintshop Pro,  Wacom Tablet, Adobe Photoshop, Pencils, Acrylic Paints, and Various   Supplies.

When and why did you start selling your designs as greeting cards?

Three years ago a friend told me about GCU. I submitted my designs, people seemed to liked my cards, the response was so positive it sparked a desire in me to create more, and also selling my cards also helps fund my passion.

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

I Blog, I Reply To Blogs, I Twitter, I Have A Facebook Page, Facebook Share Button,  Browser Buttons > HootSuite, Shareaholic, E:mail Signatures, to name a few.

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

Blogging, replying to Blogs, ( Reply to blogs you’re featured in ). Take advantage of The GCU Forums, Wiki, Blog, and Newsletters for more tips on designing, blogging, and so on.

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

Madeline M. Allen
Delores Knowles
Tanya & Craig Amberson

What blogs do you follow?
Here are a few I follow: Day To Day DrawArt of John H. JohnsonHope For Cancer, and Red Rose Digital Art.

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

I designed complimentary Posters and Animated Screen Savers for “The Double Header Tour” Buses of Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan , Def  Leppard, Bryan Adams.  ( I received a beautiful wall hanging with  Def Leppard’s Signatures, CD Cover Guitar Pics used in the show, Photos, and Stage Pass, from my friend and their stage manager.) It was truly an honor for me to so that for the guys for moral support.

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

Not Starving, lol. Working with animals, An Organ Teacher, and/or A Ghost Hunter/Book Author.


Thank you very much, Janet, for that interesting glimpse into your life and work!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2011 10:06 am

    Very enjoyable interview with excellent hints for marketing. Really love that Christmas card!



  2. Rycky Creations permalink
    June 11, 2011 11:08 am

    I also love that Christmas card… very professional design, Janet. Fun getting to know you a little better!

  3. June 11, 2011 1:27 pm

    Beautiful cards, Janet! Especially your Christmas Card. 🙂 And lovely workspace, as well. I use PaintShop Pro, too (never upgraded beyond version8, though).

    Congrats on being the Interviewed Artist! Very inspirational.


  4. June 11, 2011 2:58 pm

    What an inspiration you are Janet for people to ensure that kids get to let their imaginations run wild and receive that all important exposure to arts & crafts in an era when so many schools are cutting art from their budget. Great interview and beautiful Christmas Card!

  5. June 11, 2011 6:47 pm

    always interesting to see an artist’s studio…

  6. June 11, 2011 10:17 pm

    Janet, Thank you so much for a glimpse a little further into your life. The photo of your desk/computer space was a really nice touch. Now I can place you there in my mind and imagine your workings of wonder.
    Your gold foil look Christmas cards has also long been one of my favorites.
    You reminded me of what a special blessing GCU was in my own personal life. Without them, I may never have learned to ‘live my dream life.’
    Thank you for the great interview!

  7. June 12, 2011 8:07 am

    Thank you All so much for the kind words. (Cindy, I still use PSP 8, & Coral Painter for my digital paintings.) The artist at GCU have been such an inspiration to me, I’m glad I can also be an inspiration to other artists. It’s also an honor to be a part of this wonderful community, I’ve learned so much.
    It was an honor and a pleasure to do the interview, Corrie made it very easy.
    Thank you Corrie!

  8. June 15, 2011 5:24 am

    Whoooo-hoooo Janet! Fantastic interview. So happy to see you are doing well here at GCU. Thank you for your kind mention my friend. Love your Xmas card and your artwork. You my dear are an inspiration! 🙂
    Big Hugs…
    Your Friend,

    SmudgeArt Card Shop

  9. June 15, 2011 7:41 am

    Thank you (((Maddy))) for your kind words. You have always been an inspiration to me, you inspired me to become a better artist, so thank you again for that and for pointing me and others in the direction of GCU, I will always be grateful to you for helping me find my nitch in life. Grateful to GCU for letting me be a part of this great community.
    (((Bigger Hugs To You My Friend!)))
    Janet Lee

  10. Michelle Dokos permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:50 pm

    So nice to meet you, Janet! I enjoyed reading your interview and love your store. Wonderful creations you’ve designed… your Christmas card you have featured is one of my favorites! All my best, Michelle @ MoMo Cards

  11. June 18, 2011 11:02 pm

    Thank you Michelle, I’m glad you enjoyed it, I enjoyed yours as well. Love you cards, very fond of the Father’s Day Fishing Card, That is so sweet. Welcome again to GCU! Janet Lee

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