Saturday, September 4, 2010

An Interview with Artist Tree

Facebook is a wonderful thing!  A friend of mine suggested I become a "fan" of Artist Tree so I clicked on the page to see what is was all about.  When the page opened, I immediately fell in love.  Dondee Hicks is the woman behind Artist Tree, and she is an extremely talented artist.  She creates whimsical door hangers, and I want to buy one of each!

I have suggested her Facebook page to my friends, but I wanted to also share her creative genius with you as well.  Dondee graciously agreed to an interview to give us some insight to her business.  She has also agreed to donate a few doorhangers to Our Southern Nest to use in a giveaway coming up soon, but more on that later.  Here are just a few examples of Dondee's work. 

OSN:  I just love everything you do. How long have you been painting?
ARTIST TREE:  Thank you! Strangely, I’ve only been painting about 11 years. I’ve always been artistic, but it wasn’t until I tackled my daughter’s nursery mural that I realized I could REALLY paint! It was an AMAZING experience.

OSN:  Did you major in art?
ARTIST TREE:  I majored in art for about 2 weeks, became very intimidated due to my lack experience, and changed to Family and Consumer Science Education. Home Ec:)! I LOVE teaching Home Ec.

OSN:  Do you only paint door decorations or do you paint other things?
ARTIST TREE:  I’ll actually paint anything that won’t run away from me...canvases, furniture, ceramics, walls. Murals are my specialty and I’m a beginning (very beginning) portrait artist.

OSN:  The door decorations you create are spectacular. What materials do you use to create such unique items?
ARTIST TREE:  THANK you again! I’m amazed at their popularity and feel really blessed to have such a booming business. I’ve actually been painting door hangers for over 10 years, but couldn’t even “give them away” until the last 2 years! Crazy!  I use lots of different materials...mainly wood, paint, metal and LOTS of glitter.

OSN:  Where does your inspiration come from?
ARTIST TREE:  EVERYWHERE! I’m really into fun and whimsical things that make you feel “all Happy”!

OSN:  How did you get your start?
ARTIST TREE:  I’ve always been crafty and artistic and would refuse to buy ANYTHING that I could figure out how to make. When I painted my first real mural (my oldest daughter’s), I had such a huge response that I realized my painting could be a great way to add to my teacher’s salary! So I would definitely say that mural was my “official” start!

OSN:  I assume that you draw the templates, but do you cut them out yourself? Are you a one-woman show or do you have help?
ARTIST TREE:  I was a “one-woman” show in the beginning...I do love machinery! It has grown to the point of needing help now. I use almost all my time with the artistic part and have help from family, neighbors and friends for the other parts!

OSN:  What are your future plans for you business?
ARTIST TREE:  I’m thrilled with the growth explosion in the last 2 years and plan to eventually offer wholesale. I’ve always been interested in developing a line of decorative art/ the sky is the limit.

OSN:  Do you take custom orders?
ARTIST TREE:  ABSOLUTELY! I love everything I do, but the creative process when you are able to work on unique pieces is sooooo fulfilling! That’s where I really shine:)

OSN:  How long does each decoration take from start to finish?
ARTIST TREE:  Hmmmm...each piece is created in a large group now. I have pumpkin day, party hat day, cupcake day, etc. When I’m creating a new design, though, it takes about 2-3 hours per piece, depending on the extras like metal, wire, glitter, ribbon.

OSN:  I know at times my house seems like a paint factory with all the projects I have going on. Do you have a studio or do you work out of your home?
ARTIST TREE:  I do have a studio...a.k.a my garage! It has been converted to accommodate my home studio! We BOTH probably have several “irons in the fire” at ALL times! Wouldn’t have it any other way!

OSN:  Where can people go to view more samples of your work? How can they place an order?
ARTIST TREE:  You can check out lots of my work on Facebook under Artist my friend!
And you can place any order on MY FABULOUS new web

So there you have it!  You can become a friend of Artist Tree on Facebook and see all the amazing things Dondee has created.  So drop on by and be sure to mention that you found her through Our Southern Nest.

You can also visit her website,, to purchase your very own door hanger.  She is so talented and I know great things are coming her way.  

Don't forget to check back here at OSN because we will be giving away TWO of Artist Tree's Halloween door hangers later this month.  I will let you know which ones will be given away in the post.

I want to say a big Thank You to Dondee for sharing with us today!!

Our Southern Nest


Anonymous said...

So cute!!!! Thanks for sharing her site! I am ready to order some wonderful things for Fall!

Our Southern Nest said...

Lisa, she has some very cute things for fall. I am having a hard time deciding which on to order!

Anonymous said...

I have known Dondee since high school days, or maybe before. She and my sister Laura were best friends and cheerleaders together in high school. She is being quiet modest on the start of her art. She always made the signs for the football feild as a cheerleader. Also, when my sister was pregnant with my neice she painted a mural on her antique baby bed based on the comforter my sister had picked out. I was utterly amazed it was beautiful. I was always amazed to watch how she would draw and it not look like anything and then like magic the picture appeared.

The best part is she is a wonderful person to go along with all that talent God has blessed her with.

Becky K.

The Avery House said...

I just recently came across Dondee Hicks in the "Southern Lady" magazine September/October issue. I love her things as well. Thank you for contacting her and doing the interview. It's nice to know the artists behind the art. BTW, I came across your blog after reading someone referred you to Darby in a "Fly Through Our Window" comment. I love your new "Peacock Blue" chest. You did an amazing job!