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Design Spotlight: Patty Cimlov-Zahares

April 17, 2012

We’re putting the Design Spotlight on Patty Cimlov-Zahares today – thanks for the smiles, Patty!


Like probably most of us here at GCU, I’ve loved creating art since I first picked up a crayon. As a kid, I was always making greeting cards for friends and family. I can’t imagine doing any other kind of work for a living, although I don’t consider what I do as work, it’s more like a hobby where I get paid to do what I love.

This is my Mom in the early 50’s, striking a dramatic pose. She was actually imitating my grandmother (her mother-inlaw) who was a bit of a drama queen. My Mom loved spoofing people. The photo was taken by my Dad and I added the vintage background and photo corners to give it a nostalgic look. The Academy Awards came to mind when I found this photo, so I thought it would be a fun and unique way for a woman to send a thank you card to someone. I work in Photoshop and/or Illustrator and layout my cards in InDesign.

With my warped sense of humor and wild imagination, I love that I can do just about anything with Photoshop. To create this fun birthday card, I photographed the pansies and took some self-timer shots of myself. I exaggerated my features with Photoshop and laid out this card in Indesign.

I’m a native Californian and live in Discovery Bay with my husband, Mike and Riley, our spoiled Golden Receiver. I’ve been a graphic designer and art director for various ad agencies since the early 70s. In 1980, I started freelancing full time as Patty Cimlov-Zahares, Another Artist, designing everything from logos to ad campaigns, annual reports, brochures, point-of-purchase displays, web sites, etc. for large high tech companies and retail accounts.

After winning a few Hallmark Card contests, I got hooked on creating my own line of greeting cards, so I opened a store at GCU in November 2011. I have so much fun creating cards now, I sometimes  have a tough time focusing on my advertising accounts. For fun, I also wrote and illustrated my children’s book, “Ugh! I’m a Slug.

I love seeing everyone’s creations here at GCU and honored to be in the spotlight. Thank you! You guys are great!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2012 7:15 am

    Wow, Patty, Congratulations….What a great Bio….! Your cards are GREAT !

  2. April 17, 2012 9:23 am

    Patty, what a fun shop you have. Congratulations and great to get to know you.

  3. April 17, 2012 1:39 pm

    Patty, I love your style and sense of humor!

  4. abigail157 permalink
    April 17, 2012 2:44 pm

    Super interview! I enjoy learning about our fellow artists and it seems like we have a lot in common. I wish you much success, Patty!

  5. April 17, 2012 3:41 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments, support and encouragement! Now I sound like my Thank You card. LOL! A little disclaimer…I was describing two different cards (I couldn’t decide which one to highlight), so the paragraph about pansies is not about the card pictured. See you all at GCU! 😀

  6. April 17, 2012 9:22 pm

    Always great getting to know a fellow artist. Wonderful Spotlight. Love the card.

  7. Lisa Crisafi permalink
    April 18, 2012 12:48 pm

    Patty, I love this card. What a great bio! I checked out your website too and realized you have an awesome job!!

    • April 18, 2012 3:35 pm

      Hi Lisa! Thank you! I have a feeling they’ll be spotlighting you in the near future. Love your cards! 😀

  8. paintedcottages permalink
    April 18, 2012 3:18 pm

    love your cards, love your sense of humor…way to go!

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