November 2009 Issue
Amy Gantt, artist
PERSONAL: Gantt, 43, lives in the Dayton suburb of Oakwood with her husband, Greg, and their two children, Michael, 11, and Allison, 10. They are the inspiration for her art: “Your best work will always be where your heart is,” she says. HER CREATIVE OUTLET: Gantt, formerly a child therapist, is the owner and founder of Lula Bell Designs, a Dayton studio that produces whimsical greeting cards, T-shirts, tote bags, note cards and prints that are sold online (lulabellart.com) and at some 80 stores in the Midwest. WHERE HER IDEAS COME FROM: Her surroundings and requests from customers. She also cites Norman Rockwell and Carl Larsson, a Swedish artist, as influences. BRIGHT, SHINY OBJECTS: Gantt and her helpers hand-glitter her colorful creations that feature seasonal themes and images with special appeal for gardeners, girlfriends and children. TANGIBLE GREETINGS: Gantt believes in snail mail: “Why do cards when others are sending so many e-mails these days? E-mails can be deleted but a [card is a] nice, personal note. You hold on to them ... It’s like sending a little special surprise in the mail.” ON THE DRAWING BOARD: New designs include carousel horses and ladies playing tennis. “And I’m always working on new ideas for Christmas,” Gantt adds.