Silverthorn Press

Susan Schroder ~ Artist

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Susan also works with traditional artist mediums.  This is one of  her illustrative paintings.

Purple Dragon Illustration
Copyright Susan Schroder

Usiva Luminae
Copyright Susan Schroder

Copyright Susan Schroder

The Emerging Glow of Spring
Copyright Susan Schroder

Faeries Dance
Copyright Susan Schroder

Once upon a time, a desire for all things magical, was bestowed, by the Queen of Fairy, upon a young girl who was a talented artist.  She was given the task of helping others believe the unbelievable.  For when we believe, in our hearts, in the creatures of the Nether, they too believe in us.

Susan Schroder is that talented artist who we must believe was gifted by the Queen herself... read on and learn more about Susan and her magickal art...

What inspired you to work in this genre?

I cannot remember a time when Fantasy, Magic and Faeries were not a part of my life.

I have always been drawn to artwork, books, movies….anything in this genre.  But inspiration comes from many sources, Nature and all the creatures we share this planet with…seen and unseen.  But mostly, my muses are the people who touch my life.

Are you formally educated in art, or are you self taught?

I have some college level education in art and photography.  But, art was not my major, so the classes I took were minimal and, at the time, mostly for fun.  I really consider myself self taught.   I found that my skills really blossomed when I explored techniques on my own rather than learning from someone. When I teach art, I never instruct anyone on how to be an artist. Rather, I guide them in how to think and see like an artist.  It is good to learn the proper use of the tools and mediums in art but good technique and style comes with practice, time and exploration.

Many people are surprised when they find out I have never taken any classes in Photoshop. 

Golden Wood Dryad
Copyright Susan Schroder

When you photograph your models, do you have an idea of what you're looking for?  Or does that come when you're designing the images on the computer?

Most of the time, I have an idea for a picture in my mind and I will photograph a model in specific poses.   But I never let any picture idea become set like concrete in my imagination.  I keep all my ideas fluid so that the possibilities are open while I am working on it.  Although I photograph specific poses that I have in mind, I always take many more photos of all my models.  I let them have fun and do what ever they want or I just throw out my own ideas as they come to me.  Those pictures often inspire me with new ideas.

How long do you work on an image?  When do you know it's finished?

How long I work on an image varies quite a bit. In the type of artwork I create, I do

all the background and model photography   I don’t use any stock photos in my work because I want everything I use to be original to me.  I also design and make many of the costumes used in my pictures.  All of that takes a lot of time as well as the time I spend on the computer melding together all these elements to create a picture.

I come across many people that think Photoshop allows for artwork to be created quickly….push a few buttons and you can put together a picture quickly and easily.  That is not the type of work that I do.  My pictures are typically quite complex.  For your readers familiar with Photoshop, a typical picture I work on may have between 150 to 200 or more layers.  Once all the photography is finished it can take me a couple of weeks to complete them on the computer.

When do I know when it’s finished??  I’ll bet most artists have a hard time knowing when to call a piece finished and I am no exception.  Eventually, a feeling washes over me that says this picture is ready to move on and become part of other peoples imagination. 

Rose Wyldes
Copyright Susan Schroder

Who are your favorite artists and authors? (Living or Dead).

Art history and Literature were a couple of my favorite subjects in college so I have a wide range of artists and authors that I have enjoyed throughout my life. 

Artists……I am fascinated by prehistoric cave art.  I often think about the first people that decided to express themselves creatively and what that must have been like for them.  Historically, I am mesmerized by Michelangelo’s sculptures, DaVinci’s incredible mind, the beauty of Van Gogh’s vision, the curves of Matisse, the convolutions of Picasso and the sheer beauty and drama of J.W. Waterhouse.

I have a passion for illustrators such as Parrish, Wyeth, Rackham, Dulac, Pyle and Beatrix Potter.  Of course there are many contemporary artists as well, like David Weisner, Tony DiTerlizzi, and many more.  But I also must mention Brian Froud and Alan Lee….I will never forget the first time I read and enjoyed their book, “Faeries”.

….There are just too many wonderful writers to pick from but I guess my most favorite and beloved will always be J.R.R. Tolkien.

Do you attend FaerieCon and other trade shows like it to market your work?

Yes, this year I am attending both FaerieCon and FaerieWorlds.  It is fantastic to get out in the world and meet people that also enjoy this genre.

Copyright Susan Schroder

How would you say your artwork has evolved through the years?

I have been doing Fantasy Art photography for about six years.  Prior to that, for over 20 years I worked as a traditional fine artist.  I love to paint, draw and airbrush.  I used to do portraits, illustrations and design work.  Photography was always a passion for me, too, and I learned traditional film techniques in college.  Eventually, I made the cross over to digital cameras and a whole new world of possibilities opened up.  Photoshop became a part of my life and I started putting together all my skills.  Suddenly, at mid-life, a whole new path lay in front of me as my Fantasy Art photography really began to take off.  I feel my strong background in traditional arts influences my digital work.  I approach my creations in Photoshop like a painter which I think gives my artwork a unique appeal.

Is this the only genre you work in?

Currently, I am focusing on the Fantasy genre, but in the past I have done other things and I am always open to new possibilities.

Ghost and Fairy
Copyright Susan Schroder

Do you do most of your own marketing?  How do you break up the time with creating and marketing?

Yes, I do most of it myself and I find marketing to be the most difficult aspect of trying to make a living as an artist.  I would love to just create artwork all the time and not have to worry about anything else but, of course, that is not reality.  I would say I break up my time pretty evenly between these two components.  It’s a lot of work and devotion.  Thankfully, I also have immeasurable support from my Family and friends.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

I actually teach art to elementary and high school students.  I also often speak with aspiring adult artists and there are some common things I always see in many people regardless of age.  So, my advice to everyone is generally the same:

Lack of Patience……give yourself time.  Art should be an exploration.  Enjoy the journey without worrying about the final outcome.  Creative flow is so much more productive with this sort of mental approach.

Mistakes or Mishaps..... these should be celebrated……When I teach art to new classes, I always bring in a painting I did a long time ago.  Outwardly this painting looks okay, but it is filled with errors.  I mention that out of all the artwork I have ever created, this painting is my favorite.  It is filled with the most glorious blunders and mishaps!  Mistakes are learning opportunities and I gained so much valuable information from that painting.

Avoid comparing yourself to other artists…..I am always so surprised at how many aspiring artists say things like...”Oh, I will never be that good” or “ I’ll never be able to create something like that”, in comparing themselves to other artists.  I think it’s great to be inspired by the beauty that other artists create but I really think some people get caught up in the feelings that they may never be able to reach that achievement.  That can be paralyzing to creativity.  When you pursue art get on the road that leads to your own unique style.  Appreciate the work of others but find joy in your own expression.

Fairy Blossoms
Copyright Susan Schroder

What's next for you?  What projects are you working on?

Well, always new artwork!  But also new products in which to feature my art.   Right now, I am working on the design for my 2010 Calendar.  I am also developing a new product line called “Wood Mystics” in collaboration with my husband who is a wood worker.

He is making beautiful and unique handcrafted wood boxes, frames and other things that will feature tiles with my artwork.

I am also a contributing artist and columnist for an online quarterly magazine called Faezine. 

And our last question to you; do you believe in faeries?

I love this question and it is something I am asked quite often.

Everyday I surround myself with the magic of the Faerie Realms so, Yes, I believe in faeries.

To contact Susan or to see more of her fantastic work go to:



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