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(Image: Candice Gartzke)

Artist of the Week: Candice Gartzke

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What mediums do you work with?
Candice Gartzke: I have been making art since my mom put a crayon in my hand when I was a baby. When I went to Skyline High School, there was a creative writing class that had children's storybooks as an assignment, and I got over 100 percent on it. From there, I knew children's storybook writing was for me and something I wanted to pursue in life. For my children's fairytale book illustrations, I make them in watercolor, ink, and gouache.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
For creating my fairy tales, I get some ideas from dreams, real-life experiences, or other inspirations. I typically create the story where I imagine my reader to be reading it, whether that is on an airplane, bus, or on my bed. I try to write the basic bone structure of the story first and then edit it into a 20-page spread. From there, I do research and sketches of the characters and environment. Then, I create a storyboard with pencil. From the storyboard, I do drawing on tracing paper and transfer it to my paintings. Then, I ink, paint, and take photos of the paintings. Finally, I make sure the paintings look good on Photoshop and lay them out on InDesign with the manuscript.