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 (TM), the company that trains people in public speaking:

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. Because I have a lifelong affliction which my family nicely refers to as "prone to hyperbole" but which is really just your basic exaggeration, 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: