We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Toma and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Diana, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe that my success comes from choosing to do work that I love. Despite the pervasive myth of the starving artist, I took the leap to become a full-time professional artist and have discovered a whole new world of possibilities. Steve Jobs told a Stanford graduating class ”the only way to do great work is to love what you do” – and I agree. I discovered that choosing to do work that I love fuels productivity. It energizes me, and that energy is picked up and felt by my audience, creating pathways for all sorts of projects to come to life.

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.
The kind of art that I do is centered around finding aesthetic and emotional beauty in the things that surround me, and expressing it visually on a 2D surface through the medium of painting. I hold a master’s degree in fine arts; my graduate and post-graduate studies took eight years to complete, but it took me an even longer time to dare go full-time with my art after graduation. It was definitely not easy in the beginning to figure out how to make a living out of art, however, it has become easier and easier every year. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to trust and follow the path of my highest excitement, and that there is true power in the act of beginning. As a famous quote says “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” My art business is now divided into two main branches: 1) Teaching painting classes – this is where I get to meet many people that “consume” art – and 2) Selling original art – here is where I get to create art, take part in all sorts of projects, competitions and create commissioned art for collectors, and public entities. Both branches feed into each other. For example, teaching makes me a better painter by practicing and testing my skills constantly by teaching them to others. Then many of my students become my collectors or spread the word about my work, bringing new opportunities to my attention. What I am most proud of these days is making a living solely from painting-related activities as a single parent for my family of three; my two daughters want to be artists as well. I’m thrilled that I can show them through my own example that is possible to create a career by following your passion.

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.
– Take a stroll on the Beltline – there are 19 miles in the heart of Atlanta with eateries, trails, art, parks, and more. – Look up Atlanta’s best street art, murals, & graffiti. There are tours scheduled from time to time, and street maps to drive by them.
– Hang out with an Urban Sketchers group, they meet at all sorts of cool locations throughout the city to sketch out and go to eat afterward, and you don’t need to have a special talent to try it out – check out their meetups on Facebook.
– Visit the art centers in the area. Even if one doesn’t have time to take a class or workshop, there’s always something great to see there. There are murals, sculptures, art exhibits, and rooms you can pick through to see friendly people bringing one-of-a-kind projects to life. The Woodruff Arts Center, Spruill Center for the Arts, Atlanta Artist Center, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Abernathy Arts Center, and The Art Place are just a few in the Atlanta

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My fans deserve huge credit and recognition in my story. Everyone who has ever taken the time to talk to me about how my art moved and inspired them or brought them joy, how my painting classes have improved their quality of life through how they now observe the world around them, and all the incredibly heartfelt comments on social media of how sharing my work process encourage them to do it themselves – all of them fueled my reason for being an artist.

Website: https://artbydianatoma.tumblr.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artbydianatoma/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dianatomaartist

Youtube: www.youtube.com/c/ArtByDianaToma/videos

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