Interview of Top-Rated Artists - Joelle Cathleen | MadeMay

May 31, 2021

Read our fun interview & get-to-know session with artist Joelle Cathleen from Fredericksburg, Virginia.

You can see Joelle's profile or commission art from her at

How would your best friend (or someone close to you) describe you using only 3 adjectives?

Determined, Loyal, Sarcastic.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I wake up, enjoy a super large coffee before taking my dog for a walk, then drive to my studio to work on commissions or teach a private workshop.

Who inspires you?

My Mother. She's strong, independent, and one of the smartest people I know. And she laughs at my jokes.

What is your favorite quote?

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.

What is something you wish you could change about the world?

I wish healthcare was free to anyone who needs it to survive. I wish education was free to anyone who wants it to thrive.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I play piano and am a pretty darn good dog whisperer.

As an artist, what made you get into art?

I started drawing early in life by emulating my brother who was a cartoonist, and I wanted to be like him. Not only was he the coolest big brother, but his drawings were even cooler and just made me happy to look at. His work made me forget about whatever was dragging me down as an 8-year-old, ( chores, not being able to stay up late, etc ). I thought Art was a kind of magic that just made people happy all the time and I wanted to do the same with my work. Make people forget about their troubles, and explore my painted world, even for a moment and maybe find a safe space in it.

What is your favorite thing about art commissions?

Well, being sought out personally to paint a piece is definitely a warm fuzzy for any artist. To put it simply, I like to make people feel confident and excited about their experience hiring me. I enjoy creating something that they will love to look at for years to come. Plus, creating something that I know will be around long after I'm gone from this earth has a sense of romanticism and peace for me I can't explain in words.

What is your favorite piece of artwork? (from someone living)

An abstract watercolor painting my stepfather did of my Mother in 1983. The only painting he's ever created as he's more inclined to computers and numbers. He has to explain every stroke while you're looking at it which accompanies a story for each body part. It's quite funny to "get in his head" for a minute while he guides you through his techniques, color choices, and inspirations.

What is your favorite piece of artwork? (from someone dead)

"Evening at Kuerner's" Andrew Wyeth

What do you want people to know about you?

I think treehouses for adults should be a thing.

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