Interviews & Podcasts

Bari J. Ackerman

Bari J. is an artist and surface designer. Her art appears on numerous products including fabric and wallpaper, rugs, dishes, wall art and home decor.

Bari has called her artistic style Curated Maximalism. She firmly believes more is more but believes that the "more" should be intentional and meaningful.

Bari J. Ackerman

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the product. If you buy a book using that link, I will receive a small commission. This does not affect the price that you pay. Your support is very much appreciated x

Let’s get to know Bari J.

Do you have any formal art training or are you self taught?

I am a self taught artist. I didn’t start formally creating art until my 30s. I’m now 47.

What are your favorite things/topics to draw/illustrate?

The answer to that will always be flowers. But I love drawing animals too.

Where do you create your drawings? Can you describe what your work space looks like?

I have a studio in my home it’s across from our bedroom. Because I design fabric,there’s a large cutting table with fabric storage underneath, and I have a large easel in the room. Drawing is done at the cutting table usually. There’s also a section for computer work.

Isn’t this work space divine!

What is your drawing process like? Do you prefer to finish a drawing in one sitting, work on it over a number of sittings or do you switch between drawings that you are working on? Or do you do something else?

I tend to draw for coloring books pages in one sitting a page at a time. A lot of Make Something Beautiful was created in pen on bond paper with no pencil drawing. Other pages were created on the computer.

Do you listen to music while you illustrate, if so, what are your musical tastes?

I don’t. I usually draw in silence. My daughters think this is insane.

Does your work space/environment influence your art work at all?

I live in Arizona. The desert definitely influences my art. The environment here is so beautiful and so different from much of the country. You can’t help but be inspired.

You have published a coloring book please tell us what drew you to the coloring book market and a bit about your book and your inspiration for it

I was actually asked to make the coloring book. I’m a fabric designer as well as a product designer. My art can be found on many products from textiles, wallpaper and home decor to stationery and cards. I was asked to do the coloring book as an extension of what I’m already doing with my brand.

What do you look forward to doing in the next 6 months in the coloring world?

I look forward to the coloring world changing a bit. There’s a lot of coloring books out there. So we really tried to make Make Something Beautiful special. We incorporated four watercolor weight pages and you’ll be seeing me create actual paper crafts with the pages of the book.

What was the feeling like when you first seen your art work published in a coloring book?

I was SO impressed with the quality of the book when it finally arrived at the studio. The pages are so luxe and the cover with the gold foil details blew me away. I love the weight of it. It was more surreal to open it and see all the work I put into it.

It can be very difficult managing day to day life as well as publishing a coloring book. Can you tell us about your daily routine and how you manage your time?

My life is pretty crazy these days… I have deadlines for all sorts of products plus marketing all of them. I have a planner that I use for day to day. I like having hard deadlines for projects. So even if there isn’t a real one, I’ll set my own deadline so the thing gets done.

Publishing can be a creative and a chaotic experience with a lot of learning curves along the way. Tell us the best and worst experiences that you have had creating your coloring book

I’m used to working with publishers and manufacturers, and to tell the truth I generally expect there to be bumps in the road, but with Get Creative 6 and Soho Publishing this was an absolute breeze. They are such a pleasure to work with.

What is your favorite treat/reward for a job well done?

My favorite reward has to be getting to do a personal project like something that is not for a product or a coloring book. Something that I do just because I want to. I love painting and if I could do that all day every day, that would be just fine by me.

[foogallery id=”5176″]


Connect with Bari

Website Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram

Where to buy

Bari J has created a coloring book for adults called Make Something Beautiful.  It is available at the locations below:

In the US Buy here In Canada Buy here In the UK Buy here Worldwide buy here




About the author


I'm Lea and I love everything to do with coloring! If it is a coloring book, a poster or even a bookmark that you can color in, I'm all over it. Of course, a girl has to have some pencils, markers, gelly rolls, pastels and what not to make those pictures pretty and I love those as well.

Whilst my coloring style lacks skill, I am enthusiastic and focused on enjoying the moment and having fun.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Great questions Lea. Beautigul looking book…Flowers are also my favorite to color.

    Thank you

    • Her art work is just stunning! I love it! So pretty and vibrant! I love coloring flowers as well, so many different varieties and colors to choose from! Happy coloring x

Send this to a friend