She Has Exhibited Her Award Winning Woodcut Prints in National & International Galleries & Exhibitions. An Exclusive Interview With Artist/Printmaker Theresa Haberkorn
Q: For those in our audience not familiar with your work, tell us about it and you got started.
TH: I am a woodcut printmaker in Boulder, Colorado where I’ve lived since 2002. Woodcut printmaking involves carving a block of wood by hand into what is essentially a stamp, inking it up, and printing it through a press onto paper. It takes several carvings, colors, and runs through the press to compose the final image. My work is inspired by my love of nature and Colorado landscapes. I first learned printmaking in high school, and again in college where it really began to resonate with me. After graduating, I was fortunate enough to receive a grant to buy a printmaking press and continue my work. Without this equipment I may not have continued on as a printmaker!
Q: When did you know making art was what you would pursue as your career?
TH: My Aunt was an art teacher, and my mom is a self-taught artist, so it runs in the family! I grew up helping my mom at art shows and met other artists that made a living selling their artwork. They were all great role models for me, so there was never a question that I would do anything else besides being an artist.
Q: Where can we find some of your work displayed in Denver?
TH: By appointment in my studio in Boulder and on my website www.theresahaberkorn.com
Q: So, where do you see yourself five years from now?
TH: I’ve been selling my work on my own for several years now, but I would like to work with some galleries again, especially outside of Colorado and even the US. Once we can travel again, I really want to study woodblock printmaking in Japan, which is a different printmaking technique than the western method that I use.
Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you?
TH: I went to Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida to study art at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts. We had three classes of art every day and it gave me such a great foundation to build on. I felt like I could do so many things after school, and I did have some creative jobs! I painted ceramics at a production studio, sculpted the façade of a ride at Bush Gardens, refinished furniture, and did freelance illustration and design before I could do my art full time.
Q: What has surprised you about business ownership?
TH: The idea that as an artist, you are a brand, and everything you do should reflect that. People aren’t just buying your artwork, but also a little bit of you, and your story. There are also so many different roles to fill in running a busines. Being creative and making artwork is very different from the business side. It’s hard to switch gears from one to the other and get it all done.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
TH: Like any business, being an artist is about building relationships with your audience before they become clients or collectors. This process is a marathon, not a sprint. Buying art can be intimidating to the uninitiated, so it’s my job to educate people about my work and printmaking process. Once someone is finally ready to make a purchase, they often tell me they’ve been following me for years. The first sale is the hardest one to get, but many people go on to become collectors and have several of my pieces in their homes and give my work as gifts. I can truly call many of my collector’s dear friends too!
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
TH: I like to listen to the podcast The Jealous Curator by Danielle Krysa which introduced me to the artist Ashley Longshore, a pop artist in New Orleans. I love not only her work, but also her business savvy, and no holds barred attitude, because as she says- “life is short”. She sells her own work, has a support staff (how many artists have a staff?!) has collaborated with several high-end brands, and just had a book of her work published.
Four Things About Theresa Haberkorn
1. Where is your ideal vacation spot?
I miss traveling so much! This year I was going to go to Puerto Rico for a printmaking conference, but it was cancelled due to COVID. My ideal spot would have a beach, great restaurants, cute boutiques with local handicrafts for souvenirs, an art museum, and some galleries.
2. Is there one thing you wish you were better at?
Keeping myself organized and focused. I have so many interests, that I can get distracted. I don’t understand people who are bored or don’t have any hobbies.
3. What app can’t you live without?
Instagram is great for following and getting to know other artists from all over the world and messaging them directly. I’m a very analog artist, but I do like Procreate on my iPad for sketching out illustrations. It makes it so easy to make changes and move things around.
4. What was the best birthday you ever had?
For Halloween, the art department at my university had a party with a bounce house. We had so much fun that for my twenty-first birthday the next month in November, my parents rented a huge bounce house for my birthday party. We bounced around all night long in it and let the neighborhood kids play in it the next day