We had the good fortune of connecting with Sue Klahne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sue, how does your business help the community?
I am a huge advocate for mental health & addiction and aim to break the stigma associated with both. I often donate my time & talent to organizations associated with mental health as well as frequently donating a portion of my art sales to local and national mental health organizations.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Although trained in a variety of mediums, I am currently working primarily with acrylic & resin. I enjoy creating abstracts as well as aerial views of the ocean. I also enjoy painting flora & fauna of the sea. The many shades of blue associated with the ocean can be seen throughout my body of work. I have a Bachelors in Fine Arts degree with a major in graphic design. I worked at a local advertising agency as an Art Director prior to settling down and having children. While continuing to do some freelance work, I took a hiatus from my professional career in order to raise my two children. When the kids moved out, one of their rooms was converted into my art studio. I enjoy working with mediums that are somewhat uncontrollable and fluid in nature which is in contrast to my work in the design field. I believe that being an artist, while being incredibly rewarding, is also a very difficult & competitive field. Creating is just a small portion of running a successful art business. You need to be your own greatest cheerleader, personal agent, advertising manager, bookkeeper etc… At the end of the day, an artist doesn’t always receive a paycheck for the blood, sweat and tears that goes into their creativity! COVID19 has certainly posed challenges to the art community, but I have shown my work in galleries throughout the pandemic.
Perseverance and surrounding my self with like minded artists to push, critique, encourage and lift one another up has been key to my success. A couple of my favorite quotes are “ I am humble enough to know that I’m not better than the rest, but wise enough to know I’m different than the rest” I also love the quote & aim to live by, “ Always Stay Humble and Kind”
I joke that there’s not a lot of fluff or BS to my story or artist bio. I’m pretty much what you see is what you get type of person. For me, my art is mainly about the process of creating and how it enriches my life and is a huge part of my own personal wellness. It is my desire to bring the same serenity that I achieve from creating and relay that to my viewer. I also enjoy encouraging others to find their creative outlet and believe each of us is gifted with some sort of creativity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I wouldn’t go far! I live in paradise after all. I live ten minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches and our downtown Stuart is quaint with lots of great restaurants, a vibrant Arts and Entertainment district with wonderful galleries, monthly art walks and the historic Lyric Theatre. My favorite spot for dining out would be The Drift Restaurant at Hutchinson Shores Resort on the Island or one of the local Thai restaurants. I’m incredibly proud of The Palm Room Gallery and Artisans Boutique in Harbor Bay Plaza in Sewall’s Point which is run by the Martin Artisans Guild. . I exhibit there regularly & am co -curator of the Artisans Boutique which is so rewarding and wildly successful. Working and exhibiting in a gallery is definitely my happy place and I dream of owning my own one day.
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?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love, support and encouragement from my husband, children, friends and fellow creatives in the local art community. I’ve been an active member, now serving as board member, in the Martin Artisans Guild, which is a group of incredibly talented local artists in Martin County, Florida. It is a privilege to be part of such highly curated group of creatives. I’ve learned so much and my career has grown leaps and bounds thanks to this organization!
Youtube: Sue Klahne Custom Artwork