Kat Mariaca Studio was born out of the idea that stuff happens and it is not always pretty but if you look hard enough you can usually find a story in it once you stop trying to pretty it up for the neighbors and the kids.

I'm Katherine, the Kat behind Kat Mariaca Studio. A number of years ago, I was going through a pretty nasty divorce (aren't they all?) when I started making digital collages that spoke to my anger and disappointment. Called "Wife As: 101 Uses for a Used Wife", the collages eventually numbered more than 101 and while I never did anything with them other than stuff them in a drawer, the idea of telling a story in both words and images made me happy (and creating them was great therapy).

Here are "Wife as: Decoy" for the duck hunter who wants a good use for his used wife, "Wife as: Coat Rack" and "Wife as: Exterminator."

Wife as Decoy Wife as Coat Rack Wife as Exterminator
Later, when I was writing my second novel, The Stages of Grace, I made my protagonist a cartoonist. Grace's gig was creating a cartoon about a divorced single mom called "Alli's Fair", as in "all is fair in love and war." To get a better feel for Grace's life, I taught myself how to write and draw cartoons and even included a couple of them in the final novel.

Here's an early Alli's Fair cartoon that pokes fun at Toastmasters.

The Power of the Pause by Katherine Mariaca Sullivan

While working on The Stages of Grace, I went back to school to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that oftentimes less is more. So I set a goal to write a book of short stories, boiling story and sentiments down to the barest of minimums. The Complication of Sisters, a book about the relationship between sisters, was the result.

It turns out that a lot of people loved The Complication of Sisters and in addition to buying the book, they began to ask for cards and prints of some of the stories. So I re-worked the stories into card and print format.

And kind of fell into the greeting card industry.

Today, I create a number of distinct lines, each with its own theme, voice and style. These include:

Postal Notes Greetings, the backbone of Kat Mariaca Studio, has cards for every occasion,

Let's Pretend (it didn't happen) offers laugh-out-loud (and often cringe-worthy) Story Cards about all the things we've done that we wish everyone would forget,

Sage Street Greetings is a line of real cards for real life. It addresses important life events such as addiction and divorce,

Complications, a line of cards and gifts that address the complicated relationships we have.

And, coming in 2017, Kat Mariaca Studio will expand to include Taken Literally Story Cards, cards about a world where words can be taken literally, and Frank & Folly Greetings, cards and gifts that question things we take for granted.

I am very happily married to my college boyfriend (after a 20 year break up - 2nd chances, yay!), am Mom and Step-Mom to three amazing young adults, and am chief feeder, walker, hugger and driver to 3 Golden Retrievers - and how I let that happen is a whole different story. 

And, because everything is better with a puppy in it, here is Murphy,  at almost 10 weeks old. She is already my little sunshine: