About Carla


Carla Sonheim is a painter, illustrator, and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. She is the author of Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun.

One of her students writes, “Carla just shines and is so gentle and generous that you will work hard all day and come out energised and inspired. Most importantly though, [her] class was a touchstone in my artistic journey, giving me the courage to stop resisting, and open myself to my creative voice.”

Carla lives in Seattle, Washington.

email: carla@carlasonheim.com

(Remember… “Blowed kisses are like little ghosties. They can go through cracks in doors.” –Wes Sonheim, age 4)


26 thoughts on “About Carla”

  1. Cathy Blackstone said:

    Just found your work – NEED one of those horses:) I’m a scrapbooker but have recently “found” softies and plushies in the course of lots of research for page ideas and have become obsessed – almost feeling a career change coming on – almost, lol. Love your fabric covered journals too. You’r very talented – will be checking your etsy shop often:)

    Cathy Blackstone

  2. I received the cards I purchased from your etsy store. Thanks! I posted about them in my blog at knittingodyssey.com. I am going to order the commissioned portrait for me and my friends’ kids just as soon as I can get a good photo of them. Do I send the pictures by email?

  3. Hi Carla
    The Fancy TIger craft night meets every tuesday night and is free and open to the public. It is from 6 -9pm and located at 1 S. Broadway. You should come craft with us!

  4. Hi Carla,

    i just joined mile high etsians and I love your work, you are very talented. i hope your trip to india was inspiring, what drew you there? my parents have done some medical work there in the past but in southern india. i love to travel and a lot of my art work ends up being inspired by my travel. I went to Cuba 5 times in 2003 and came home with a husband so that’s my newest hobby!

    Anyway, just wanted you to say hello!


  5. Hi Carla,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I was so surprised to see your comment because I am a huge fan of your work! In fact, I link to your blog from my sidebar! You have a fun and inspiring blog.

  6. Hi Carla,
    Just looked through your blog and your art on etsy and saw the two rabbits print you mentioned. LOVE IT and all your work. Should I just purchase it through etsy? Hope you made it back to CO safely. Pam and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and seeing Cindy again. What a fun group.

  7. Dear Carla– here I sit typing to you and on my right a young girl on a very curious turtle, a young girl lying on the ground trying to tantalize a young turtle, and finally (but wistfully …not last) a young girl at sunset on a wavy beach with bubbles all 15’X15” with 21/2’borders of a gray,green,gray mat enconsed in a frame of blues muted grays and green—I love them thank you so very much —your girls look so beautiful (and playful) on my study wall!!!! My SO will get used to them and I love them thank you Carol Parks for letting me find your art!!! I do want more but after framing costs which he knows since he paid half (bless him) I shall have to wait, but that does not stop me from enjoying all your work!!

  8. Lise Pederson said:

    Love your work Carla. Do you have any classes on line or videos ? Do mostly fabric work and bead work but would like to do collages etc. Thank you Lise

  9. Hi Carla!
    I’ve made a link to your blog on my site….
    Best wishes,
    Sharon Zimmer.com

  10. Pat Samuels said:

    your book looks fantastic !

  11. Laura Marshall said:

    Hi Carla,
    I bought your book before going on vacation last week (actually had it overnighted from Amazon.com so I could take it with me). I really love it! The overall tone of it is fun, friendly and easy going, creating a safe environment for “newbies” to drawing, people getting back in the saddle, or people who may just need a little inspiration. I’m a graphic designer and while I appreciate still having a job these days, I have missed my pens and my paper and longed for something “more”. Your exercises in the book made it easy for me to have fun while getting re-associated with the kind of art I truly love. I was in heaven! It may sound crazy, but it felt like a RELIEF. The void was being FILLED! I did not feel intimidated by the empty paper as I sometimes do because I had something to start with. I have 2 young kiddos too, so time is definitely an issue and some of the exercises I can do while I am sitting with them while they play, or while I am waiting in line to pick my daughter up from school. I showed my 8 yr. old how to do the blind drawings and she loved it which was really exciting! I was in the best mood after spending some time with your book and drawing, so of course I feel inspired to continue. I look forward to showing you some of the fun stuff we are doing and I plan on doing the online workshop coming up. Also, I kept thinking your work looked familiar and realized you have an etsy shop – I’ve been a fan of etsy for a long time and must have seen your work there a while back! You are very talented & thank you sharing this wonderful book with everyone. I wish you all the best! Warmly, Laura

  12. Just came across your blog through the art and sould retreat blog…one good thing leads to another! I am hoping to take one of your Seattle classes this fall.
    I see you moved from Salida. I was once snowed in there for 2 days on my way to durango. Lovely town!

  13. It’s great to find someone else who believes there a place for playfulness and a bit of nonsense in art and craft. I will be following your new posts. Keep up the great work. Scott

  14. Cathy Scott said:

    Hi, I just signed up to be silly! Looking forward to it!
    Please make sure to use this email address as the Pay Pal account shows it as my husbands email and he’s not so inclined to be silly…

  15. just discovered this site and it’s a treasure trove for creative ideas.

  16. Subject

  17. just received your book from amazon. what a treat! I haven’t done any drawing to just draw since high school back in the very dark ages and wanted to reclaim that pleasure. your book is delightful. I love that you’ve included your kids work and that you seem to have fun doing all this! 3 cheers for silliness the world needs more of it!

    • Hello, I bought your book in March. I am French and do not speak English. But thanks to the translator’s search engine, I translate and insert the explanations in the book in French. Each page of your book is a joy for me. Thank you for your creations.

  18. you are awesome! keep creating! 🙂

  19. 1) I like making lists.
    2) I worked for a law office for 6 months and not only hated it so much but was asked to resign because my work was so poor.
    3) I did my first drawing class when I was 50 and a month; that was after knowing the teacher for 10 years and having been given hints how to overcome the fear of drawing for free. I figured it was time I paid for them. Besides, I’m a weaver, so I don’t have to be good, or average, with my drawing.
    4) I’ve been diagnosed with a mild-to-modrate depression coming up 9 years.
    5) I never, ever, EVER, in my life imagined drawing will be my savior. But there you go – live and learn.

    2012 is going to be a great year thanks to you and your courses, Carla.

  20. I was so excited to discover your drawing lab. Its just the type of book I’ve been waiting for someone to write! I know how to draw (in fact I’m completing a botanical illustration certificate this month). What I didn’t know how to do is draw loose, imaginative, fanciful, FUN drawings. I’ve already completed a couple of labs, including the one on imaginary creatures and am addicted. I’m doing a 365day project which is also all about fun and silliness (and doing) and would love to add a link to your blog. I’ve used some of my drawings completed from your labs on my site. Thanks again for writing this book! Wishing you were still in Colorado.

  21. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work with all of us.
    Here is an award for you! http://arihoma.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/sunshine-award/

  22. Just letting you know I’ve passed the One Lovely Blog award on to you as well! Since you blog is so great! Here’s the post:

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