Since 2013, Suzanne Cannon has been a designer for the Silhouette Design Store. She has over 1,100 designs in the Design Store, and Suzanne says, “It grows every week!” Her designs include flat calligraphic designs, Print & Cut designs, fonts, and 3D projects for gifts and decorations. She currently lives and creates on Vancouver Island, Canada, where she lives with her husband and a naughty kitty.
We asked Suzanne how she got her start in graphic design. After admitting to us that she started “on the dark side with a career in chemistry,” she said the left side of her brain drew her to calligraphy. “I began my artistic life as a calligrapher, and it influences almost all my work. Formal lettering requires adhering to strict rules before you can be ‘set free,’ and I loved having that disciplined base. I still have trouble being set free sometimes!”
Suzanne listed quite a few creators as inspirational to her. “As a calligrapher, I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to my tutor, Fred Salmon. As a designer in the craft industry, the talent of Judi Kauffman is a constant inspiration. As a Silhouette designer, I love the work of Daniela Moscone, Nic Squirrell, Sandi Idleman, Carina Gardner and Lori Whitlock—just to name a few!”
When we asked Suzanne why she became a Silhouette Design Store artist, she said she loved what her CAMEO did for her. “I adore, really adore, cut shapes, but I am not patient enough for fussy cutting. I began using the CAMEO in 2013, and it was instant love. I was so excited to see my designs cut in such detail. It was stunning!”
Suzanne says that her favorite Silhouette machine (so far) is the CAMEO. “It’s so amazing that this technology is available to the home crafter. The CAMEO is incredibly versatile and still surprises me with its capabilities. Also, I really didn’t understand Illustrator until I used the Silhouette Studio® software, so that was a great benefit to me.”
We asked Suzanne what her favorite thing is about what she does, and she says she loves a challenge. “When I made my first box, I loved figuring out how to design it. What I really love is that I’ve become much better at designing them. It’s very satisfying! I also love the fact that I can work at any time of day—that is especially helpful when inspiration strikes.”
All of us experience creative blocks from time to time, and Suzanne has a few ideas to combat them. “To overcome creative blocks, I get away from the computer and drafting table! Sometimes I’ll be watching TV and realize I haven’t heard a thing that’s happening because I saw a color palette or pattern on a chair and I’m off designing things in my head. And I often have my best ideas in the shower. Yup, the shower! Go figure.”
Suzanne has quite a few tips for people who are just starting out on their creative journeys with the CAMEO. “Cut a few simple designs from the Design Store using good quality smooth cardstock to start. That will give you a feel for how the machine works and what it can do. Then think about an event or person you’d like to create something for. Watch the instructional video tutorials specific to your needs to help accomplish your goals. They are linked from the Silhouette site. You’ll be so surprised and pleased with yourself when you make something special for someone!”