Artist Dana Feagin is an oil painter based in Ashland, Oregon, who uses her art to raise money for animal charities. Poet Kat von Cupcake spent her pre-retirement years working as a San Francisco police officer and now bakes compassionate treats for humans and donates her profits to animal charities. Dana and Kat collaborated with the boutique publisher Ashland Creek press to create Love Rhymes with Everything, a collection of poetry and paintings that will benefit animal rescue organizations.
Q: How did the idea for this book come together?
Kat: If I remember correctly, Dana was at my house, and we were admiring her painting “Sugar Rush” that I had just purchased, and I nonchalantly told her that I had a fantasy about pairing my quirky animal poems with her paintings for a book. I had just started writing again and was terrified about how rejection was about to feel, but Dana gave an enthusiastic “heck, yeah” to the idea. Dana sent me a slew of digital images of her paintings, and it took off from there. We thought originally we would self-publish, but then ACP liked our idea of donating all the profits to animal-related causes and offered to publish it. Talk about a dream team. And, a bucket or two of sweat later, this labor of love is ready to share.
Dana: When Kat suggested the idea, I was instantly all in. Although Kat’s initial suggestion was just about the book, I thought we had to exhibit the poetry with my paintings as well.
Q: Kat, what inspired your first ekphrastic animal poem?
Kat: It was almost immediately after I purchased my first Dana Feagin original oil. “Sugar Rush” is a painting of an adorable, wide-eyed black-and-white calf, and in the background Dana painted cupcakes dancing around her head. “Sugar Rush” is hanging so that I can see her from my kitchen when I am baking. Dana painted her with her sweet pink tongue sticking out, and she seemed to want to taste a cupcake really badly … so my anthropomorphic imagination wrote a poem about it.
Q: Dana, how did your art become all about animals?…