We had the good fortune of connecting with Clare Henderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clare, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Selling my art was a bit unexpected. I minored in Studio Art at UVa, but before quarantine began, it was more a hobby than anything else. After being sent home from college for quarantine, I began using my mother’s art studio to complete my projects for painting class. When a friend of mine asked if she could buy one of my projects, it gave me the confidence to start posting my pieces on Instagram. I quickly sold most of the paintings I had already done, and people began asking to commission paintings. I soon created a website with listings of my pieces, and my sales picked up more and more. It all happened so fast that I can’t say there was much of a thought process at all, and I am still learning every day.
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.
What sets me apart I think is that I enjoy doing wide variety a of different styles of art. While most of my commissioned pieces are in a style that I call wood grain, I also do charcoal drawings, still life oil paintings, and other types of work. Though my success has happened quickly, it is not easy. I am still in school, so when my commissions picked up to about 1 a week, and I had to juggle my schoolwork and art, which I now consider a full-time job. However, even though it’s work, there’s no work I’d rather be doing. I’m my own boss and can I stay true to myself and my creative vision. It’s both calming and exciting—I find a therapeutic effect in painting, and there’s a thrill in finishing a piece and shipping it off to a client. I’m incredibly lucky to have found a way to make money doing what I love. I’m excited to be launching in March with the New Orleans-based gallery The Poppy Society, and to have recently begun work with NYC-based art consultant Juliette Eberle.
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 would take them to Taqueria del Sol, first and foremost, which is my favorite restaurant in Atlanta. I would then take them shopping in Westside, where lots of good shops are. One day we could go to Krog Street Market, which has a lot of amazing restaurants. We could go to the High Museum for a day, and biking on the Beltline on another. If there were a concert at the Fox one night, I would take them there. It’s one of my favorite venues in the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my mom, Stephanie Henderson, who is also an artist. She has helped me every step of the way in becoming an artist. She has always graciously shared her painting studio and materials with me and given me invaluable advice on how navigate the art world. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.
Photo credits: Madison Hughes. Instagram: @missionvisions