We had the good fortune of connecting with Holly Beals and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Holly, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
As a wife, mother to two young boys and an artist, I’m constantly trying to figure out that illusive work life “balance”. I guess I’ve come to see it more as prioritizing my time according to each new season. Thankfully, our family doesn’t currently dependent on my income as an artist. Taking the time to experiment as a creative has been such a gift. While slowly growing my art business, I’ve let my creative practice settle into the spaces around the priorities of parenting and caring for my family. As my children grow and schedules shift, I look forward to continually expanding as an artist and growing the business side of my creativity.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A lover of texture, I create mixed media paintings on wood panel using acrylic paints, handmade paper and collage techniques. Whether I’m painting landscapes or figures, I’m intrigued by deep shadows and high contrast situations that tend to happen early in the morning or late in the day. I love capturing the way light plays off of the subject matter, as well as exploring depths of emotions through my paintings.

Looking back over the past eight years, about the length of time I’ve been intentionally exploring my own artistic voice and style, I’m amazed to see the growth. I’ve heard other professional artists talk about how necessary it is to create a lot of art (bad art!), before you can start getting to the really good stuff. It’s so true. Everyone has to begin somewhere and I’m grateful I’ve continued to push myself through all the insecurities and “mess” of creating, even when the outcomes weren’t quite what I had hoped for. It’s exciting to finally be honing in on my own unique style and to be creating work I feel really proud of.
In the past two years, I started working on paintings in series and look forward to the next launch of some figure paintings, based on a socially-distanced photoshoot a fellow creative friend and I collaborated on last year. In all the years of pushing through the discomforts of the creative process and in all the “failing” but then trying again, I think I’ve become less of a perfectionist. Just getting things done is more important than doing them perfectly. Putting my art out there, even when it feels scary, is so much better than never sharing it with the world. These are some of the lessons I continue to learn. And being authentic is of utmost importance, as I hold firmly to my beliefs, allowing them to permeate my work. Some of the truths I will never stop believing are that life has meaning, each person is significant, and the One who created all things is beautiful beyond comprehension.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I feel really lucky to call San Luis Obispo home. The Central Coast has so much beauty to offer! If my BFF were here visiting, we would spend some time near the ocean in Pismo and Avila and Morro Bay. Then we’d enjoy some hiking around Montaña de Oro or see the views from the top of Islay Hill. Then we’d grab some delicious eats in downtown SLO, like coffee at Linnaea’s, sandwiches at Firestone and dinner on the patio of Luna Red. We’d probably also need to do a bit of wine tasting in Paso Robles and head out to San Simeon to take a tour of Hearst Castle. So much to do!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A shoutout goes to my husband, first of all. Because, behind this artist/wife/mother combination, the ability to forge out time to create art anyway depends on his loving support. Thank you, David, for all the times you’ve encouraged me to go have fun in the studio or cheered me on as I signed up for that next art show. And then I think about how many incredibly talented female visual artists there are these days. These strong women are cutting a path, building successful creative businesses and I get to learn about them on social media. It’s such an inspiration! I’m thankful to the friends and family who have asked me about my art or encouraged me to keep going along this creative path. And then there’s The Ultimate Creator. I’m truly grateful to God for filling my lungs with breath and for the creative fire He placed deep down inside me.

Website: https://www.hollybeals.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hollybeals/

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