Having grown up in Illinois, Paula, of PaulaArt, spent most of her adult life in Arizona, where for 20 years she worked as a massage therapist. You could say that her creative journey began at age 42 when in 2003 she set off in search of a change. Traveling and camping along the way, “I had this intuitive feeling about 'being an artist' when I hit the road, and a year later I found myself in Vermont making art using found objects.”
She describes her path to becoming an artist as “the path of no return”. She continues,
“Sometimes you just can't keep doing the same thing, your body or mind will 'break' and you have no choice but to change. Art has been an ever changing path as it seems to require constant change, constant growth. I cannot stand doing the same thing for too long, I get bored, restless if you will so what I love about being an artist is the freedom and ability to constantly change and grow.”
Currently, at 49, Paula is living in Huntsville, Texas, wondering what her next move
should be. Having moved around every few years, she is now looking for “a more supportive art community” where she can root herself more permanently.
That place will ideally be large enough to house the tools of her trade along with the raw materials she collects. Currently, she works around her lack of workspace, “I guess having a small work/storage area keeps me from collecting too much stuff; it's frustrating to say the least. I have adapted though as now I make smaller works and am more motivated to sell it so I'm not tripping over art in my loft!”
Her favorite tool is her Dremel, a handy and versatile piece of equipment. A bench grinder and metal cutting saws are also part of the collection. Wood cutting tools and various other hand tools complete the picture. “I barely have room for this stuff but when you need the job done you gotta have the right tools!” Spoken like a true craftsman!
When she lived in Vermont, Paula sold her work through galleries and retail shops. Since moving to Texas, she has focused on etsy as a means of selling, and appreciates the fact that she no longer has to drive hundreds of miles, lugging her stuff around from venue to venue. She adds that since etsy added the activity page, “marketing feels even easier”.
Paula uses her blog and a facebook page, but lately has been directing most her activity towards etsy. That includes opening her second shop IndustrialBloom in January of this year.
Paula is dedicated to her life as an artist. To be able to continue with her art, she finds odd cleaning jobs that bring in extra money when her sales are down. “[I] never thought I'd be doing that at my age, it keeps me motivated to give this art life all I've got!!!”
So if any of you gentle readers know of a good living situation with plenty of workspace…
And what does Paula do when she has some free time? “Well, I used to love to hike but its flat here in Texas. I actually live in a pretty boring area so when I'm not making art about all I have to do is read or walk/bike ride or watch netflix movies. I'm looking forward to the day I live in a more interesting area. No distractions here, but then again, since becoming an artist I keep it pretty simple”.
You can visit both of Paula’s shops on etsy.
visit her on facebook at;
and her blog at; http://selftaughtarist.blogspot.com