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Lauren Gilvar

Artist Evelyn Henson Explains How You Can Have a #BrightlyDecoratedLife

Artist Evelyn Henson believes brighter is better and shares her philosophy through her brightly colored paintings, illustrations, motivational journals, trendy iPhone cases, and clever mugs.  Evelyn first discovered her love of painting in college after creating a floral still life as a Mother’s Day Gift in 2012. Since then, Evelyn has taken the design world by storm having been featured in print and online publications including Glamour Magazine’s Lipstick.com, Lucky Magazine, Adore Home, Modern Luxury, as well as creating an illustration series with Carly Heitlinger of The College Prepster.  Find out Evelyn’s lessons for all women artists and how you can have a brightly decorated life too.

Click here to enter the raffle for Evelyn Henson's 'Take the Bull by the Horns' Large Print

Developing a unique style that reflects who I am has been crucial to my success.

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Brighter is Better

In what ways did your Mother's Day gift of a floral still life in 2012 inspire your passion for painting?

That first flower still life showed me the joy of art and motivated me to keep painting.  I was so excited to explore a new hobby!  After that, I kept dabbling my brush into different mediums and subjects, testing out what worked and what didn’t. 

That first flower still life showed me the joy of art and motivated me to keep painting.

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Who (or what) inspires you the most in your life and as an artist?

This is cliché…but family, friends, and everyday life inspires me.  I love the Picasso quote, ‘inspiration exists but it has to find you working,’ because the more I work, the more inspired I become.  I’m constantly taking note of what sayings my friends and family are quoting and photographing flowers, color schemes, and patterns.

      

Celebration Flowers No. 4 / Elephant No. 1 / Celebration Flowers No. 6

In what ways does your art reflect your personality and story?

The optimistic and cheerful parts of my personality shine through my work.  In both my life and my art, I gravitate towards the little things that brighten my day - a cute coffee mug in the morning, freshly painted nails, or a colorful journal to write down my to-dos.  I like to think of it as living a #brightlydecoratedlife.  Just as our homes are more fun when filled with what we love, so are our lives.  I’m about filling my life and art with those little things that make me smile.

   

Bull by the Horns Mug / Note Taking Queen Journal

Can you share a few Evelyn Henson designs that are particularly meaningful to you?

The Columbus GA, Greenville SC, and Charlotte NC map prints all hit close to home!  I grew up in Columbus, spent four years in Greenville for college, and now live in Charlotte.  I also love the ‘bull by the horns’ print, mug, and journal because I picked up the idiom from my Dad.  He said the phrase to me one morning, and I had the bull painted by noon.

Columbus, GA Map / Greenville, SC Map / Charlotte, NC Map

Inspiration exists but it has to find you working. - Picasso

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Meet Evelyn Henson

Occupation: Artist

Dream Mentor: Tory Burch

Ultimate Accessory: Anything by Loren Hope

Favorite Nail Polish: Mod Square by Essie

Travel Destination: Sea Island, GA

Favorite Quote: 'Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.' –James M. Barrie

On My Playlist: Taylor Swift

Favorite App: Instagram and Evernote

University: Furman University

Sorority: ADPI

A Designed Life

What are you most proud of accomplishing since launching Evelyn Henson Art?

Working with Glamour Magazine’s Lipstick team was definitely awesome.  On a day-to-day basis, I’m honestly so excited and proud to have a website that I love.  I started selling on Etsy in 2013, and then launched my own shop around this time last year on EvelynHenson.com.  It felt like such a huge leap at the time!  My graphics, blog posts, and HTML knowledge have come such a long way since then, and I feel like it finally reflects a distinct, colorful, and fun style!

What have been some of your biggest lessons learned in turning your passion into business?

Other than figuring out a few serious legal and financial do’s and don’ts, learning to have confidence in my work has been crucial.  As I watched all of my friends settle into their ‘real jobs,’ I felt an immense sense of doubt in my unusual path, which at times felt unrealistic and futile.  The lack of confidence totally boxed me in and had me overanalyzing every little thing I was putting out there.  I’m so much more productive (and happy!) when I’m excited about and believe in what I’m doing.

It took a lot of time, hard work, and hundreds of failed sketches, but you have to start somewhere.

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In what ways have you learned to overcome those challenges as a female entrepreneur?

By keeping supportive friends and family by my side and working hard no matter what is how I’ve overcome challenges as an entrepreneur.

What is your advice to other artists or entrepreneurs who want to expand their online audiences through social media?

First and foremost, be yourself.  No one wants to follow a knock off of another brand.  They want to hear you, and that’s way more fun anyway!  Sometimes finding and developing your own voice is challenging, but you can figure it out by staying consistent and paying attention to what is and isn’t working. 

What is your best advice for how other women can be smart as artists and entrepreneurs?

Developing a unique style that reflects who I am has been crucial to my success.  It took a lot of time, hard work, and hundreds of failed sketches, but you have to start somewhere.  If you want to start a blog - start a blog.  If you want to be an artist - pick up the paintbrush.  Just remember between your missteps that the more creative you are, the more creativity you’ll have. 

I think of it as living a #brightlydecoratedlife.

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Photography of Evelyn Henson by Betsy Mann. / Product shots courtesy of Evelyn Henson.

 

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