Feature: Artist & Business Woman Shaylene Reynolds

“I love movement within art. Whether that be in how the subjects move around each other, the flow of the hair, or the look in a portrait, I always strive to give my art life through movement.

Art is so personal, each piece feels so different to me. Making art can be very therapeutic as well as extremely maddening! To me, my art expresses what I’m going through or have gone through.

Hey! I’m Shaylene Reynolds and I’m a fine artist from Anchorage Alaska. I’m also part Eskimo!

I’ve always loved making art, and I had binders of drawings and paper and pencils at the end of my bed. I’d sit for hours and draw alone on my bed as I was growing up. I went on to attend UAA (University of Alaska Anchorage) with a focus on Fine Art. Following college, I taught elementary art with the Anchorage School District, but I didn’t really enjoy teaching. It took me a few years following that experience and a move across the country to Richmond Virginia before I decided I wanted to just make art. I’ve been pursuing that path ever since.”

“In the past, I have had a hard time sticking to one theme or direction. However, I’ve always gone back to skulls and flowers. I also love drawing portraits. The message I want my art to convey is that there is beauty in life even when it seems like your world is falling apart. Life is never ‘all bad’, you have to make yourself look for the good things that are happening and enjoy them, as well as dealing with the bad things. We can’t help what others do to us, or what our circumstances will be. But we don’t have to let those things shape us, either. For me, I wanted to maintain the essence of who I am and the goals I have for myself despite some of the difficulties life has thrown my way. And I want my art to remind others to do the same.

I’d love to say Georgia O’Keefe since she’s known for her flower and skull paintings, haha. However, I’m more influenced by the character of the people around me than by other artists. Though, I do love and admire many artists. I think something that has inspired me the most is how much my parents both worked when I was young. They had multiple jobs and kept their eyes on their goal to get out of debt and buy a house. No matter how rough things got, they kept working toward that goal.”

Business 

“Don’t be afraid to experiment along the way. I’ve changed my pricing structure so many times, and went through a phase where my website was changing weekly. But you need to do those things when you’re small and you don’t have a lot of people paying attention. Also, I don’t remember where I read this, but I love to use this structure to keep me focused on my goals:

What do I want to accomplish in this career?

What can I do this year to get me closer to that big-picture goal?

What can I do in 6 months to get me closer to that annual goal?

What can I do this month to get me closer to that 6 month goal?

What can I do this week to get me closer to that monthly goal?

What can I do today to get me closer to that weekly goal?

What has been the biggest struggle getting your Etsy site off the ground?

“Having enough listings! Etsy will rank you higher if you have 25 or more listings, and your shop does better if there’s more for people to peruse. But I didn’t have 25 pieces that were good enough to sell. Another huge struggle has been making good prints; I’ve had to really struggle to find a system that works.”

The Future

“I want to show my art in a Museum and be able to tour the country (by the time I’m 30). And with my blog, I want to record what I’m doing and help other artists out. When I was in art school, there wasn’t any guidance on how to make a living off your art. We only learned how to make art. I want to help out other with what I learn along the way.”

Quick Facts:

Who are your top 3 favorite designers?

Michael Zavros, Linn Wold, Teresa Esgaio

What is your go-to skin product?

Curology

What is your favorite song at the moment?

Wild Horses by Bishop Briggs

What is something you cannot leave your house without?

Coffee

-Told to The Style Incentive

Shaylene’s Etsy Shop:

etsy.com

Shaylene’s new Blog:

http://shaylenereynoldsblog.com

Shaylene’s Instagram: 

@shaylenerynolds

 

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