The Art Shop is a new series highlighting the community of emerging artists represented in our online shop, Curated by Brittany, as well as independent female artists that we love!
Let’s welcome Holly Stafford to The Art Shop!
I feel like every blog post is now beginning with “… in the magical world of Instagram, I met so-and-so…” but to be completely honest, social media has truly been a magical place to connect with some of the most kind, lovely and inspiring creatives! When I began out on my own with Bleu Bee Designs in 2020, I leaned heavily into the creative entrepreneur community that I found on social media and since then have intentionally developed some really amazing Insta-friends who have become real life day-in-and-out friendships. So without further ado, let’s get to know Holly Stafford, one of the most kind, lovely and inspiring artists I have had the pleasure to meet.
Bee: Hey Holly!! Thanks so much for allowing me to feature you in The Blog! I’m so glad we connected back in September. So tell us a little bit about yourself.
Holly: “I’m a self taught abstract artist married to my high school sweetheart with three kids and a yellow lab. Born and raised in Louisiana but we have called Houston, TX home for the last 18 years. When I’m not painting, you can find me taking a Pure Barre class, sharing Beautycounter, rearranging our house or sipping an Old Fashion with my husband as we plan our next family trip. My family, travel, and painting bring the most joy and contentment to my life and I hope that my art sparks joy and brings inspiration transforming your house into a home. My goal is to create a piece of art that makes you stop and smile every time you walk by it.”
Bee: We share a mutual love for self-inflicting pain with Pure Barre as “old ballerinas”, I see (laughing).
It’s a fabulous workout but so tough! Your love for rearranging your house and planning vacations surely makes us fast friends, is travel your biggest inspiration?
Holly: “I have been creative and liked interior design since a young age. Growing up, I loved drawing pictures of my “dream house” and would even spend time decorating and arranging the furniture in my “Barbie Dream House”. I took art classes in high school and my freshman year of college. Originally, I went to college for nursing but quickly realized it was not what I wanted to do professionally. I graduated college with a science degree, got married and moved to Houston. Once settled in Houston, my husband encouraged me to pursue my love of interior design.
I draw inspiration in my art from years working in furniture, interior design, and fabric showrooms, mixing color, patterns and textures. I am inspired by my collection of interior design, Impressionism art and travel coffee table books. Our family travels also gives me inspiration from the varying landscapes and settings.”
Bee: I can relate on a spiritual level to the Barbie Dream House sketches and finding out (rather quickly) that science courses in college were not made for my creative soul! I love that you’ve been adamant in pursuing a creative field that gave you both personal and professional fulfillment. Your art comes across in such a fluid manner, it doesn’t surprise me to hear that you paint with music playing! I am always so inspired by the way you choose to pair your art with beautifully designed spaces on Instagram, I really think it gives potential collectors a way to envision your art in their homes.
What would you say is your own home’s style? Do you have a favorite space that brings you joy?
Holly: “My favorite room in our home is our upstairs family room. We have an entire wall covered of our family travels. We have had the privilege to visit many national parks, our favorites being Grand Teton, Zion, Zion and although not a national park, we love Sedona. As for my interior design style, I’d say it’s a mix of styles like my art- transitional, coastal, with a bit of Grandmillennial.”
Bee: That sounds like an amazingly fun time! It never surprises me when I find out that the art I connect with is created by artists who also lean a bit coastal – Grandmillennial as well! Tell me, have you always been into painting? Was it initially for yourself or did you start out wanting to sell your work?
Holly: “I have always been creative and dive into home projects. I like changing things, rearranging bookshelves and even adding a pop of color to an existing painting I have done that is hanging on the wall.
I stopped working when I became a mother but still had the desire to be creative. During the pandemic, I needed a project so I painted all of my daughter’s bedroom furniture, rub buffed and gold leafed our entire canopy bed, chalk painted our laundry room cabinets and half bath cabinet, refinished a mirror, and gold leafed picture frames to name a few. I moved from furniture to painting on paper and canvases. I started painting for myself and am now ready to share with others.“
Bee: As a native to Louisiana, your work is featured in your hometown, right? Tell us more!
Holly: “Yes, my husband and I are both Louisianan’s and there’s a wonderful store there “Streamline Interiors & More” in Baton Rouge. The owner, Jill focuses on offering in-person decorative services and has a great selection of eclectic treasures that bring joy to her clients. My art is sold in-person at Streamline.”
Bee: Oh, I wish I were closer to that store! In the spring I’ll be driving across the country to our new Navy duty station and taking I-10 almost the whole way, I’ll have to add a stop in Baton Rouge!
Where else can our readers follow you, purchase your art and engage with you on social media?”
Well Holly, thank you so much for allowing us to feature you here in The Art Shop! I am looking forward to watching you grow as an artist in 2023 and I’m grateful for your creative and inspiring friendship!
Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman