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

Hi Therese, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk and making art walk hand in hand. If you are going to be successful in the art world, I believe you have to be willing to take some risks. Maybe a lot of risks. Diving into an art career has a romantic and exciting appeal to many, but the reality is getting started can be difficult. When you move from the hobbyist to selling your art, it’s like any small business. Family and friends who support you are priceless but when you move to push your art into the outside world, through shows, online exhibits, and galleries, reality can set in. Not everyone is going to like your work. You have to learn that early on and still keep going. When I decided to sell my work, I started studying artists and listening to their stories of “bad times” and how they just kept going.

I wouldn’t say I thrive on risk but I have learned to take a deep breath and push myself. I have created art all my life and only in the last 15 years have I found the nerve to put it out in the big world. Showing your work is very personal and I had to learn not to let rejection get to me. The first time I entered a show and did not get in, I have to admit it was depressing. I thought I will never do this again, my work isn’t good, and on and on.

Maturing as an artist, you start to know that not everyone is going to like your style and then say so what! That’s okay. I have found there will be a “target market” for my style and I worship all my followers. I seriously want to hug every one of them. I will never forget the first time a stranger bought a piece of my art, it was a dream come true. I actually cried.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What you put on your wall matters. My goal is to create art that makes people feel something positive when they view it. Like most artists, my work has evolved throughout the years. When I started creating art I enjoyed and felt was inspiring, things changed.

I am a risk taker and often say I have a twisted mind. The serious side creates surreal abstracts and then reverses to light-hearted cartoon art. As an artist, you are supposed to have a specialty, one thing you do and do well. I have a hard time with that. I love to create non-representational work that viewers can get lost in. Then, having somewhat of a wicked sense of humor, I create cartoon art. Several years ago I had a show and Ted and His Bird Friends® was born. Ted is a simple little bird that travels and spreads kindness. Now another character, Balloon Lady has arrived. She floats around with a balloon spreading inspirational thoughts and random funnies.

I have learned to go ahead and put it out there. Do the litmus test. Create and let the work fly off into the crazy world hoping some will survive and be loved.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oregon has some of the most diverse places to visit. Living in the Willamette Valley, you have the big city, the mountains, and an amazing coastline just an hour away.

The Oregon coast highlights rugged beaches, colder than most, swimming with wetsuits is definitely required, but the ocean views are stunning. If you like seafood, Newport Oregon has some amazing restaurants and local breweries.

If you hop over to the East side of the state, the high desert offers many hiking areas, lava flows to explore, and the Mt. Bachelor ski resort is top-notch. If resorts are your idea of camping, Sun River outside of Bend, Oregon will never disappoint.

In the valley, we consider it to be our “little Napa” with hundreds of award-winning wineries. I love farming and visiting the smaller, family-owned wine estates is like being welcomed to the family farm. Oregon supports large renowned wineries and one of my favorites is Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner, Oregon. Their pinots are amazing and they serve up an unforgettable wine experience with an underground cellar, restaurant, and tasting room.

A week isn’t long enough to see all the beauty of Oregon.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I live an extremely artful life. Art every day is my favorite saying. I couldn’t have this art life if it wasn’t for my husband and two beautiful daughters. They have seen me turn my hobby into a full-time, all in passion of a business. They have watched and supported me as I turned half of our home into an art workshop and gallery. They literally have to step over canvases at times to get to the bathroom. My husband, who in his own words is not a “creative”, shops for art supplies weekly to find deals. He tells me where we are going to buy more canvas and “that paint that I like”. My family has allowed me to have art shows in our home with dozens of strangers coming into their space. They have been asked, where do you live? Their response is “with an artist.”

Website: www.theresemisner.com

Instagram: theresemisnerart

Facebook: theresemisnerart

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