Kathy Braceland is an artist, cartoonist, musician and “all around good gal”. She was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta in The Great White North. Now she mainly splits her time between Vancouver Island or Los Angeles, California. Kathy expresses the holidays in a fun, playful and innocent way. Take a look:
BBP: What about the holidays inspires you to make holiday-themed artwork?
Kathy: Kids. I was born and raised in Canada and as a kid, I had a great time playing in the snow, tobogganing, skating, having snowball fights and building snow things. Christmas was a bonus on top of all that fun. I draw holiday cartoons because they make me smile and they bring back floods of pleasurable moments. I hope it does the same for others and maybe even encourage kids to have as much fun as they possibly can.
BBP: Do you find the winter holidays relaxing or stressful?
Kathy: Completely relaxing!
BBP: How do you like to decorate for the holidays?
Kathy: I’m pretty simple and traditional with my decorating. I have a tree and decorate it with lots of lights and fun things. I have candles, more Christmas lights and holly on the mantle and I put little fun things throughout the house so every room has something Christmasy in it. I also wear a lot of green and red. I’m hoping to find some elf shoes….
BBP: Where did you typically spend your winter holidays as a child?
Kathy: Somewhere in the snow. We never travelled anywhere, so I played in the neighbourhood. There was plenty to do during the holidays — we had a skating rink in a park right across the street, so I would skate a lot. Or, I would watch the guys play hockey or, I would play hockey. If I wasn’t on the rink, I was in some ravine tobogganing with my brothers.
BBP: What was your favourite gift you received as a child?
Kathy: A music stand. Not only did I paint, draw, write story’s and poetry when I was a kid, I was also a musician. I wanted a music stand so bad — it’s very hard to crane your neck using a table or bed as your music stand. So, I got a music stand on Christmas…I still have and use it.
BBP: What is your favourite holiday food? Who usually cooks for the holidays?
Kathy: Perogies and kobasa. I grew up with Ukrainian food and I have continued the tradition. I love that food! My mom used to do all the cooking but she has passed the torch to me, so now I do it.
BBP: Which of your holiday designs on BoomBoom Prints is your favorite?
Kathy: Hmmmmmmmmm…that’s a tough one. I like them all! I love what I do and I don’t draw or paint something that I don’t like. Each art piece is special to me in a different way. For example, “A Snowy Day” is something I did 100+ times when I was a kid and I enjoyed each one of those times.
On the other hand “Reindeer Games” makes me laugh out loud because it’s not just visual, it makes one do a double-take. My hope is that the viewer thinks about that, wondering “what reindeer games?” and then tries to remember the song of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, remembers his shiny nose, then realizes he is now loved and can play reindeer games because he led the team through fog on a Christmas Eve. Same with “One of a Kind.” Visually it’s pretty cute but may not be funny until you remember the billion times you were told that “No 2 snowflakes are alike.” The smile or laugh may come on the double-take, not the first time around. Of course, there’s always the possibility that someone won’t laugh at all — but I do.
I used to be the cartoonist for several small newspapers throughout the U.S.A. for about 5 years, so I have plenty of material.
But back to your question, if I had to choose one — I would choose “Christmas Joy” because its jam-packed with wonderful things about Christmas and the holidays. It has snow falling, icicles, a fireplace in the background, the kids are bundled up because it’s cold, Santa, a reindeer, a snowman, a sled, a Christmas present and even a little mouse! Most importantly though, it’s full of happiness — everyone is smiling! Even though the mouse’s back is turned, he’s smiling too.
BBP: What’s your favorite holiday movie or story?
Kathy: A Christmas Carol — the old one with Alistair Simm. Oh, and Scrooged with Bill Murray. They are equal in favoritism.
BBP: Favorite holiday song or album.
Kathy: Bing Crosby, White Christmas and Dean Martin’s Christmas album.
BBP: Eggnog or hot cocoa?
Kathy: Definitely hot cocoa.
BBP: Gloves or mittens?
Kathy: Gloves. You can make a better snowball with gloves.
BBP: Colored lights on the house or white lights?
Kathy: Colored lights. I love color in my life.
BBP: Real tree or fake tree?
Kathy: Always a real tree
BBP: Snowmen or snow angels?
Kathy: Snowmen! With the occasional angel in between rolling those huge snowballs for the snowman so I can rest.
BBP: Pumpkin pie or apple pie?
Kathy: Yes please. But if you’re only baking one kind, pumpkin would be great!
BBP: The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol?
Kathy: Love them both but A Christmas Carol would be my first choice.