Makers To Know: Meredith Bullock

Meredith Bullock is an abstract painter with a great eye for color and composition. She is by far one of my favorite artists I've discovered this year, and I love following along in her journey in the 100 Day Project. Read on to find out more about her and her shop! 

Being a small business owner myself, I love to hear the origin stories of other makers. When and how did you decide to start your own business? What is your creative background? 

I think I always had the desire to start my own business being surrounded by parents and family who were entrepreneurs. I never dreamed about college or continuing my education formally, I dreamed about what art I wanted to create and how I was going to make money doing it.

Because I was young and didn't know how to make money as an artist, I went to cosmetology school and, for the next 13 years, I did hair. I learned how to communicate, how to build trust, how to make people feel good, how to build a clientele, how to sell, and most importantly, how to develop lasting relationships through those years. After dozens of exhibitions, commissions, a few years of selling on Etsy, and constant encouragement and guidance from my entrepreneurial husband, I started a business traveling to weddings to provide hair styling and also launched a secondary business offering custom lettering, art & wedding paper designs online. Both business were incredibly successful, allowing me to quit my job at the salon and eventually I was able to dissolve my hairstyling business to focus on my custom art, lettering and wedding paper business.   

After some time, I realized I was following the demand of weddings and that I had lost focus of what was most important: my art. Through constant tweaking, failures and a lot of trial and errors, I've found my home, my path to living my dream as an artist. 

How did you decide to focus on your medium & style?

I remember back in high school we had an assignment to emulate a piece of art. We could use oil, acrylic, watercolor, whatever medium we wanted to get the results we needed. I picked acrylic for my project and fell in love with the ease of use, how quickly it dries and that I could mix it with water. 

I've tried everything from detailed drawing & portraits, to calligraphy & hand-lettering to abstract panting. What I've discovered through exploring each style is that each process offers different results. The style and process I feel the most at home with is painting abstractly. Largely because painting for me is more of a therapeutic release, an expression of emotions, and a game of tug and war with my fears and limitations. I really enjoy the process and what I feel like at the end of each piece. The results and the painting itself feels like an award for the work, or self-discovery, I stumbled through.  

Have you set any exciting goals for yourself or your business for 2015? What can we look forward to seeing from you! 

The biggest goal I had for myself and my business for this year was to do less design work in order to focus primarily on painting. That goal was put into place this winter and so far things are going great! Looking forward, I'd like to have my own solo exhibition, offer textiles and goods with my art on it, collaborate with other artist on exhibitions, and to grow my vision and dreams as a painter. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their own self-made business? 

To create a plan that has equal - if not more - time dedicated to planning, goal-setting, organizing, marketing, connecting and finances. As a creative, the business side of things might not sound appealing and you may have to learn a lot of things you don't really like to do, but these things are absolutely vital to a successful business and to make money doing what you love. Who knows, you mind end up enjoying it! And eventually, when your business is doing really well, you can delegate all of the tasks you dislike to people who love to do it, like crunch numbers and manage projects. 

When you're not creating, what do you love to do?

I love spending time with my husband, family & friends, gardening, homemaking, rearranging and decorating our home, swimming, reading, learning and exploring nature and new places. 

Lastly, can you share three of your favorite artists? 

I've found inspiration from legends like Cy Twombly, Friday Kahlo and William de Kooning and from artists I've met through instagram, like Karina Bania, Dani Schafer and Vanessa Oter. 

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