Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Teen Artist Valerie Kramin Blog Interview

on February 21, 2012

Today, I’m happy to have teen artist, Valerie Kramin on the blog! I was introduced to Valerie’s work through her Mom, June Kramin. June’s recent book, Hunter’s Find is a mystery suspense published by Musa Publishing.

When I asked Valerie to tell us a little bit about herself, she said this: “I was born in northern Minnesota in a car the middle of a snow storm. I live out in the middle of nowhere, so in my boredom I joined a site called DeviantArt about a year and a half ago. I made friends from all over the world. I’m not into sports but I do get involved in school plays. Dragons are my thing. Currently I’m getting a Dungeons and Dragon club started up at my school.”

Thanks for joining us today, Valerie!

One of the things which interested me about Valerie is she got to create the book covers for Ann T Bugg’s middle grade series, Before Happily Ever After. I asked her about that process:  

First, I read the story. Then I listen to what the author wants, (Ann T Bugg is the pen name for Valerie’s Mom, June Kramin) write it down, lose the note, and just wing it. The most important stage is finding music. Without music I cannot draw.  I make tons of sketches, like if you took all of them and put them end to end, you could probably make a bridge to the moon. The only thing is that I usually throw them all out, but eventually I sketch one I like. And finally, the painting. I use Photoshop and my drawing pad to paint, and that allows me to paint lots and lots of layers (to make it more realistic). So for about a week or so I do nothing but make careful brushstrokes and smudge it to try to make it look more like a picture than a drawing.

What type of art classes have you taken?

 Actually, not that much. At my school we only have basic arts, so that’s drawing in a cartoon style, paper Mache, pottery, and photography. I’m mostly self-taught (with some help of YouTube and some friends on DeviantArt)

Do you have an art mentor?  (I loved what Valerie had to say about her Muse)

Mrs. Isfield is my school art teacher, so I guess she could be counted. She doesn’t teach me anything with digital drawing though, just paper and clay art.

Also there is Muse (no, not the band). Muse is what I call my imaginary fox-like creature that follows me all around. She tells me to do some new things, try forgetting to do a random step, and gives me inspiration. Preferably I would want a dragon muse, but noooooo….

Have you entered art contests? How did you place?

Not any official ones, but there are quite a few contests on the DeviantArt site.  I’ve entered dozens but haven’t won any of them.

Oh wait, there were a few art contests at school that I’ve entered. I’ve got first place for a painting of Muse, and second place for a clay squirrel (which got stolen sadly…).

What do you find the most challenging about creating art?

Mainly, coming up with something original. Of course you don’t always need to be original, but if you want to make a rainbow dog with three scarves and a chain on it, someone is going to pop up and say “Hey that looks just like so-and-so’s character!” and it’s not a good feeling.

What do you find the easiest about creating art?

Expressing myself. If something is bugging me, I can just draw about it and it takes almost all of the stress away.

Imagine yourself ten years from now? What will you be doing artistically?

I plan on going to Full Sail University in Florida. It specializes in video game programing, fine art, animation and so much more. A lot of Pixar graduates come from there. I would love to get hired by a company that does character design for video games or something along those lines.

But, in my dream future, I will be in outer space drawing a mini comic series for the aliens that are from a planet that has a purple sky and has red grass, and they speak a very confusing language so I usually have lots of computers around helping me translate. I have a pet super albino robot dragon that has the name of Roy, and Gravity-defying fox that sits on my head. And it turns out I’m actually a princess from a different world, and I have super powers.

Yeah… I like that a lot more…

Here is one of Valerie’s art pieces on Deviant Art.

If you’d like to learn more and connect with Valerie, please visit:

Valerie’s Deviant Art

Facebook fan page:



8 responses to “Teen Artist Valerie Kramin Blog Interview

  1. childofyden says:

    I WONDERED who was creating these beautiful covers! What a wonderful start to a career, Valerie. I’m very impressed.

  2. Great interview – very professional. And your art is beautiful.

  3. June Kramin says:

    Thanks for doing this, Mindy! Now I can get back to beating her for cover #3 😉

  4. Amaleen Ison says:

    What wonderful art work. I’m very impressed.

  5. I see the apple doesn’t fall from the tree of creativity! Valerie – I can see huge opportunities for you in the art world! Keep your imagination shiny and bright – never lose your luster! Oh yeah, and follow your heart – I did and now I get to share on-line ebook shelf space with your mom!

  6. Linda Benson says:

    Valerie – so nice to meet you, and props to you for living out in the middle of nowhere and still finding your creative space. Although maybe the middle of nowhere contributes to creativity. What do you think?

  7. Love the picture of the girl! Awesome!

  8. […] blog talking about the title of Stained Glass Summer. I interviewed June’s daughter Valerie Kramin about her art a few weeks ago […]

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