Interview: Catherine and Banjo



I have been drawn to Catherine's blog, Corner of Cat's Mind, for some time. She has style, humor, wit, fabulous creativity and the cutest little Banjo (pictured) ever! I was inspired to interview her after seeing another favorite blogger of mine being interviewed here.

I wanted to know how Catherine kept her creative juices flowing and what her indoor studio was like. (I admit, I had purely selfish motives here.)

Without further ado, I give you my interview with Catherine:

1) What drew/draws you to photography and blogging?

I love taking photos ~ I always have. I found I was taking lots of photos and had no one to share them with. Hubby was always obliging but not completely enthusiastic by photo 4,637...! I've also always liked writing. It all seemed to fall together when I started blogging in June of 2008. I wish I would have started blogging years ago!

2) What inspires you on a day to day basis - to keep your creativity and humor flowing? (Cuz you have awesome creativity and humor and are a huge inspiration to me!)

It's sometimes the little things that inspire me and the simple things that make me smile ~ and that's what I like to share on my blog.

I'm usually always in a pretty good mood and even if I get in a 'downer', I usually don't stay down there too long. I have a bit of a 'whacked' sense of humour and I'm not usually afraid to laugh at myself. Very seldom do I go a day without laughing ~ out loud ~ just ask anyone who has an office beside mine at work. :)

I usually do my blogging in the morning and have lots of ideas but run out of time to do them. I've been known to get up at 4 am and still be sitting at the computer at 7:15 am, teeth still not brushed, hair not done, still not dressed, etc. I told Wayne if he would simply get a second job I could quit mine and blog full-time. He didn't think that was a very good idea. (Stanley!!! Quit being so selfish!!!) Haha!

3) Do you have a favorite quote/Bible verse? If so, what is/are they?
I actually have two favorite quotes.
"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." ~ Robin Williams
To me 'creativeness' comes from coloring outside the lines, thinking outside the box. I think we are all born with creativeness, but as we grow up, we want to appear 'normal', fit in with the crowd, be like everyone else, and therefore we loose a lot of it growing up. You stop drawing blue cats when you are about 3 years old because someone tells you that cats are not blue, so you stop using your blue crayon for cats. I think it's the people that aren't scared to 'beat to their own drum' and are 'different' that are the most creative. After all, it would be pure 'madness' to color a cat blue as an adult wouldn't it?

Wow... that was good... did I make that up or did I read it somewhere...??? I might have heard that at a motivational seminar I was at awhile ago! :(
"It's nice to be nice to the nice." Frank Burns - 4077 M*A*S*H
Ok, you have to be a fan of Frank Burns of M*A*S*H to understand that one. We have the whole TV series on DVD. We watch them quite often. But really, to me, it just means it's easier to be nice to nice people and so if you are nice, others will be nice to you. It's a simple lesson don't you think?

4) What is your all time favorite image you've taken/created?

Gosh ~ that's a hard one. I have many favorites from when my son was little and I was using my first SLR camera. But that was back in the day of film! So my most favorite digital photo, the one I keep getting drawn too and has been on my blog the longest is the one with Banjo's eye. Oh those baby blues with his eyelashes just get me every time. I think my son was the happiest person when we got Banjo ~ I stopped taking photos of him and Banjo became my new 'subject of choice'!
Not to worry, I still sneak the odd photo of my boys in now and then. I'd hate for them to feel left out.

5) What is your favorite photography equipment?

I love my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. It's the one I tend to get the most creative with. But my Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is the one I use the most. It's my most versatile lens and is the one that spends the most time on my camera.

6) What type of indoor studio equipment do you use to create such awesome images?
I don't really have any special equipment for taking photos indoors ~ but I have a very bright kitchen with West and North light. That is where I take most of my indoor shots. I do have assorted 'drop cloths' (squares of material) that I use to give me a different background sometimes. $2 each from Wal-mart!

I recently purchased a Canon 580EX II flash. I haven't really used it yet though.

7) What do you do with the images you create - besides blog with them - do you display them or??

I have a digital photo frame that I have photos loaded onto that I have at work, plus I have 3 (10 x 14) of my favourite photos, with quotes printed on them, in emerald green picture frames hanging on my office wall. I also have a bunch of my favourite photos displayed all over my computer room wall on magnetic strips. This Christmas, I had printed on-line a photo book of some of my photos for my mom and Wayne's mom.

I've also been known to force coworkers to look at photos of my cat....

8) How did you learn photography? Did you take classes, etc?

I purchased my first camera when I was in grade 7 (that was in 1977.... gosh I'm old...) A Kodak Pocket Instamatic 60. It had the little cubed flash bulbs. I think it took me over 200 hours of babysitting to save up enough money to buy it ~ babysitting only paid 25 cents an hour 'back in the day'! Haha!

I had a camera in my hands ever since then. I didn't buy a digital camera until 2006. It took me a long time to leave film behind. I wish I had done it sooner.

I've never taken lessons, but have always wanted to. It was more just learning by trial and error. Taking lots of photos, turning the dials, and hoping for a good one. A few years ago a friend recommended "The Digital Photography Book" by Scott Kelby. I have the whole set of 3. I've learned a lot from these books. I also purchased a couple of books specific to my camera. I actually hate reading manuals but Scott's books are full of humour so I have really enjoyed them, and the other books I just read the particular sections I am interested in learning about.

Don't get me wrong though, I still turn my dials lots and hope for a good one!

9) Who is your favorite photographer/type photography and why?

The very first photo I ever truly was inspired by was Linda McCartney's "Tea Pot" that she photographed in 1987. (http://www.womeninphotography.org/teatime/teatime-imagesL.html) I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and it's still one of my most favorite photos I've ever seen.

10) What goals do you have for your photography/blog?

I would LOVE to have one of my photos published in a magazine and have even sent a few photos into places here and there. But so far ~ no luck. I'm actually kind of shy to send my photos or writing in ~ it's that fear of rejection I guess.

And of course, being 'discovered' and being offered piles of cash to blog professionally would be nice too!! :)

Thank you Catherine! I loved reading every word in each of your responses. LOVE your thoughts behind your favorite quotes. You truly are an inspiration to me and I'm sure to many others.

I hope you all enjoyed this. It was such fun for me! If you haven't visited Banjo or Catherine at her blog yet, please head right on over to http://cornerofcatsmind.blogspot.com/

PS: I've been ordered by my doctor's office to enjoy a bit of "bed rest" due to my stupidity silliness of moving a heavy oak desk. Therefore I will most likely be taking the rest of the week off from the computer until I can sit up again - without pain! I'd appreciate your prayers as I'd truly like to avoid another surgery that has since been hinted at. Thank you.

Best wishes to you all for one fantastically inspired week!