Learn More About Artist and Illustrator Susan Black

We caught up with Posh Coloring Studio artist Susan Black to learn more about the person behind the coloring pages.

Susan Black is an illustrator, a connoisseur of art and design, and one of our talented artists here at Posh Coloring Studio. Her artwork is bold, whimsical, inspirational, and it’s all done with passion and curiosity. When she’s not creating fanciful designs for her adult coloring books, she’s designing greeting cards, creating prints for her Etsy shop, or working on projects with big-time brands like Starbucks. In addition to having her designs featured here, she’s published two adult coloring books—Posh Adult Coloring Book Inspired Garden: Soothing Designs for Fun & Relaxation and Posh Adult Coloring Book: Cats and Flowers for Fun & Relaxation.

We caught up with Susan to learn more about the person behind the coloring pages:

Artist Susan Black
Photo courtesy of Susan Black

Inspiration is everywhere! How do you come up with your designs?

I have been a working creative for over 30 years now so I’ve reached a point where design is somewhat second nature to me. That said, I think I create art that I’d want for myself, art that makes me happy, and art that I’d want to give to someone. My artwork has always been about the everyday beauty and wonder found in our natural world, with a particular emphasis on flowers.

I have struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life. I’ve found being in nature and really noticing all the details and variety in leaves, in flowers, all the smells, the colors, the bird songs, helps me to come out of that darker place and definitely is a huge inspiration in my work. I also love quotations and inspirational/motivational words. I keep a special journal for words that I find encouraging and try to include them in my artwork as often as possible.

Did you have a special audience in mind for your book(s)?

Susan Black's Studio
Photo courtesy of Susan Black

Anyone who needs a little extra happiness! I hope my audience finds my work to be cheery and uplifting. My two Posh coloring books would be especially appreciated by anyone who loves flowers, nature, gardening, and cats.

Give us one fun fact about yourself.

I love spiders and almost all insects...I could have happily been an entomologist.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Some of the best advice I've gleaned in my life has come from a quotation I've read and collected. One of my favorite mantras is based on words from Glennon Doyle Melton—that it's always OK to "be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyway.” This philosophy of not letting fear ever stop you has gotten me far in life.

What is your dream project?

I'm currently working on my dream project and I'm super excited about it! It's an illustrated book (in the proposal phase right now) that gathers together the best "how to live a happy life" advice that I've collected over the many, many years that I've struggled with anxiety and depression. A book filled with my favorite full color illustrations combined with self-care practices, tips, habits, daily rituals & routines, prayers, affirmations, favorite quotations, journal prompts, and life lessons.

I'm also working on creating products that will be a support to the book's concept—planners, journals, a deck of illustrated affirmation cards, calendars… it’s a passion project indeed!

What’s your most prized possession?

My blog is my most prized possession. I began blogging completely on a whim one summer day back in 2007 when blogs began to really take off. I called my blog 29 Black Street, which was my street address at the time (and is especially relevant as my last name is Black!).

From day one I was totally smitten with blogging. Being an avid photographer, I suddenly had an outlet for documenting both my visual world with photos (nature and life in and around my rural seaside village) and the ups and downs of my ongoing struggles in words. It felt private; it felt like I was writing in a journal. I blogged religiously and daily for nearly 7 years. I posted photos of nature, my pets, my home, the seasons changing, the ocean, the beach, and the simple day-to-day activities that made me smile, that made me feel happy. These photos became like a visual gratitude journal for me. The words I posted each day felt as if I was talking to a friend, which was a wonderful release of tension and very therapeutic. I would often search the internet for inspirational quotes to help lift me up and those quotes would be added to many of my daily posts.

Because of my blog I began to really see in a brand new way, and to purposefully look for all the wonder and beauty around me in my day-to-day life. And as it turned out, there was SO much wonder in my simple life. The act of blogging/documenting daily showed me all of that joy and wonder.

My creative work is often inspired by my own personal and spiritual journey. A journey that I documented my blog without even realizing at the time that that's what I was doing.

Sometimes I go back into my blog's archives and visit a month from another year long ago and I always feel quite honored and thrilled to be there, to be a part of her life and then the realization that that "her" is me. It makes me feel very proud. I think my blog is my greatest creative achievement and I love the idea that these photos and words might live on forever.


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Tags: Susan Black, Inspiration