We had the good fortune of connecting with Carla Bank and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carla, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I often get comments from friends, family, and customers that my job must be so fun because I get to paint all day. It’s true, I have a lot of fun and I absolutely love my career. But, behind the scenes, I work as hard as any small business owner. I am in charge of marketing and social media, web design, inventory control, vendor relations, order fulfillment, customer service, travel logistics, tax preparation, time management, and more. On top of that, I participate in more than a dozen art shows around the country, which requires solo travel with intense physical labor including loading and unloading a large van of booth supplies and paintings, setting up my displays and taking them down, and often delivering paintings to customers after the show is over. Working artists are always on-the-go and extremely busy. We often sacrifice evenings and weekends because that’s when we deliver commissions and participate in shows. The work/life balance is tricky. In that respect I am lucky as well. I have a wonderful supportive husband and three amazing children who are my greatest cheerleaders. We often spend weeks apart, and without their full support, I would not be able to do what I do.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is all about color, and with every new series, I keep color foremost in my mind. I also love to work with geometric shapes and depict botanical subjects in simple and flat formats using the least amount of brush strokes possible. I enjoy dripping paint, and this technique has become one of my signatures. But again, my use of color is what differentiates my art. I use color palettes that uplift my viewers and express joy. My latest series came about accidentally during quarantine. I call it Mermaid Tails. My Mermaid Tails evolved from the creation of other pieces in the studio. Often while I’m working, paint will drip on the floor and along the walls, actually everywhere! Over time I began to notice these remnants of other paintings and realized they told a story of their own. I decided to gather them up and discover what they were trying to tell me. The end result was the piecing together of these colorful “paint chips” that ultimately came to resemble fish scales. The image of a mermaid tail kept coming to my mind, and that is how the series was named. And how did I get here professionally? By being consistent in my work and passionate about my art and my customers. My day starts at 6:00 AM and I’m in the studio from 8:00 AM -7:00 PM every day. My breaks are 30 minutes for lunch or computer work, if you can call that a break. After dinner I also work on my website, constantly trying to improve it to better reach my audience. I listen to my clients and pay attention to every detail. I face challenges every day, but I have learned to adjust and overcome. I focus on my goal, and that is becoming a better artist each day, bringing my clients fresh and exciting work and focusing on their satisfaction.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a huge fan of museums, art festivals, and great meals! Every time I travel, the first thing I do is visit the town’s main museum. This helps me understand more about the culture of the place I’m visiting and even inspires my eating choices. In Miami, one of my favorite areas is Wynwood Walls. I would definitely take my best friend there to walk around for hours and learn all about the artists. It’s an unforgettable experience. My favorite artist on display at Wynwood Walls currently is Eduardo Kobra. He is a Brazilian artist who has painted stunning murals all over the world. He is such an inspiration. I haven’t been able to try new restaurants since the pandemic, but prior I would keep up with local food news and check out all the interesting and diverse eating spots. Hopefully the next time my best friend comes to visit, we’ll be able to add that to the itinerary. I would also definitely take her for a walk in the design district and to the beach. There are so many things happening in Miami, but for me, a good time always involves art, food, and margaritas! How can you go wrong with those?
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely my husband and three children. During art festival season, sometimes I don’t see them for weeks and it’s difficult, but they know I’m working hard and they always tell me how proud they are of me. That means everything.
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