[This issue, we sit down with author, artist, and entrepreneur, Kathleen Roussel. Here, she discusses her creation of the coloring book, Big Beautiful Goddesses; her love of vintage jewelry; and her upcoming projects.]
ev0ke: How do you define your personal spirituality? Does it have a name, or is it more intuitive and eclectic?
Kathleen Roussel: I describe my personal spirituality path as being an eclectic Celtic path with a heavy focus on all things Faery and Avalon. I belong to the Sisterhood of Avalon, and this influences my path deeply.
ev0ke: You recently published the Big Beautiful Goddesses coloring book and the Big Beautiful Goddesses Journal. First, congratulations! Second, how did you come up with the idea for these books? Why big beautiful Goddesses?
KR: Well, the coloring book came first. It had been suggested to me several times over the years that my drawings would make wonderful coloring pages because I incorporate linework in my style. The actual inspiration or rather motivation for Big Beautiful Goddesses comes from a deep desire to focus on positive representation of women who live in larger body sizes rather than lament the lack thereof in the media and on the internet.
ev0ke: How did you go about creating the artwork for the coloring book and journal?
KR: I have been an artist all my life but until 2011 I had avoided drawing faces or bodies. During the last decade, I have built up a large number of sketches some of which I included in the book. I then proceeded to put a call out to my friends and family to submit their favourite pictures of themselves to serve as inspiration for coloring pages for the book.
ev0ke: Was there one particular drawing that was the most difficult, but ultimately most satisfying, to create?
KR: Usually a drawing comes flowing out. The ones (there are 2) I based on myself were challenging for me to do as it made me feel very vulnerable to be seen after a lifetime of being in the background.
ev0ke: Creating and publishing coloring books is quite different from publishing, say, fantasy novels. What advice can you offer to those who are considering their own such projects?
KR: Really its not an overly complicated thing to do. For me the biggest obstacle was fear. Just take a deep breath and do it. Do not overthink or talk yourself out of it. Believe in your work and your value! You never know who you will inspire just by letting your work be seen by the world at large.
ev0ke: Things they absolutely must do?
KR: Make sure your cover scan is in high resolution! I learned the hard way to scan at a higher resolution so your submission goes smoothly.
ev0ke: Mistakes to avoid?
KR: Be careful when clicking on every single option when you are setting up your book. One small miss click and you can waste hours in frustration wondering why you can not get your manuscript to fit into the bleed margins. Careful attention to details will not only save you time but your sanity as well.
ev0ke: You also founded and manage Morgan’s Fancies, which specializes in vintage jewelry and craft supplies. What do you find so appealing about vintage jewelry?
KR: At one time my ex-partner and I were going to open an antiques stand at the local market. So, we had gathered rather easily a lot of stock, vintage jewelry in particular. This stand was never realized. After that relationship had ended, I still had all these lovely jewelry pieces and I needed to support myself. It was then I added vintage jewelry to Morgan’s Fancies. Morgan’s Fancies is the brand for my online presence. Though just recently through unforeseen circumstances I had to restart my Facebook page and took this opportunity to rebrand as Morgan’s Fancies Studios effectively combining my artist brand and my graphic design studio.
ev0ke: What is the most unusual piece you have featured in Morgan’s Fancies? Or your favourite?
KR: I really do not have a favourite at the moment. I really enjoy the nostalgia I get from pieces that originate from the 1980s. I do love the natural wood beaded necklaces though. I really like the boho-chic feel of them.
ev0ke: Do you plan to attend any conferences, book fairs, craft fairs, or other events in the foreseeable future?
KR: I hope to in the future if the opportunity arises. I do so miss getting out into the community as we did before the pandemic hit.
ev0ke: What other projects are you working on?
KR: I have 2 more books currently under review with Amazon. 1 a Mother’s day coloring book and 1 a Mother’s day coloring journal. I am currently learning how to make mandalas and anticipate more coloring books in the future on this topic. The next big project though is another coloring book based on Celtic lore called Celtic Magic.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my work with you!