breast cancer · Fashion · HKelly designs

Artist, Marianne DuQuette Cuozzo Talks Inspiration and More About Charity T-Shirt!

So, by now most of you know that I am closing down HKelly designs. But I wanted to do one last big charity fundraiser and we are going out with a bang!

This year, all the proceeds from the Charity T-shirt are going to METAvivor (as well as a portion of sales from some of my bags, including the special METAvivor print bags and clutches!).

And this year, I was lucky enough to get one amazing artist to create a design for the t-shirt! Not only is Marianne an artist, but she is also a cancer survivor and not just one cancer! Her most recent cancer was breast cancer and that’s how I got to know her. I met Marianne at the Serenity Project Art Show in NYC, but what she doesn’t know is that when I was looking for artists last year my friend, Dana of Ana Ono, showed me Marianne’s Instagram feed! I started following her and had secret hopes of getting her to one day do my t-shirt!

Dreams do come true!

mariannecuozzo 5th chairty tshirt hkellydesigns                   marianne cuozzo unisex tshirt cancer charity

So without further ado here is my interview with Marianne Duquette Cuozzo.


Tell us a little about yourself?
I often say I’m an artist , mother, 3 time cancer survivor and a dreamer …but i will also add Cancer advocate!
I come from a family of artists. Art has been my whole life.
How would you describe your art?
My art is my therapy and therapy is my art
Art has always been my outlet, and has grown as much as I have!, especially during my 24 years battling cancer
…it has been beautiful
…it has been angry
…it has been spontaneous
…it has been ugly and raw
and it has been whimsical …and sometimes very powerful
Tell us a little bit about the connection between your art and cancer. 
My Connection of art and cancer is fairly obvious, when I was first diagnosed in 1994 I was 28 years old, just married and knew no one with cancer.
My art was large and dark and angry..on cheap newspaper and messy charcoals…I yelled and listened to dark was cathartic and all I knew.
As i battled cancer 2 more times my art became more reflective and mature, still a bit angry…moody with a bit of whimsy…as I have grown it has grown!
What is the inspiration for the t-shirt image?
The inspiration for the t-shirt design came from a bunch of super fun mermaids I have been commissioned to paint…I fell in love with the fun, femininity and playfulness, as well as the mystery of the mermaid folklore…and they were comfy in their beautiful bodies…
They started as doodles and I then added vibrant swirls of blues, greens and purples.
The little mermaid I did for HKelly designs was a take on that, sweet, coquettish, confident and wonderfully whimsical!
What is your favorite quote? 
…well my favorite fortune cookie fortune
“turn your scars to stars”
Thanks so much to Marianne for answering my questions and designing this amazing mermaid image for the charity t-shirt!
Order yours today! They are available in both the slim fit v-neck and unisex version! The pre-order goes until July 22nd and there will be no extras ordered. So if you want one be sure to get your order in now!

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