We had the good fortune of connecting with Ronald Beets and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ronald, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Believing in Art as a viable career was the first, and most important, risk I had to take. I was all too familiar with “the starving artist” trope and encouraged by family to get a “real” job and make Art as a hobby. The word hobby In reference to my passion made me cringe. I now know that the diminishing of Art in those earlier years was what caused it to grow so big inside of me. I turned to retail jobs when the sales were slim and always felt like I was drowning in it. Inspiration fled and I resented the work. I would quit those jobs cold turkey with no plan but to rededicate myself to Art and I’ve never regretted it. Risk taking has been a major part of my career, most of it before the brush ever touched the canvas.
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.
I primarily paint portraits and the human figure. The range of styles I work in are what truly sets me apart. Upon first glance, one might assume an exhibit of my work is that of several artists. No! It’s all me. I have been told, however, that even though the range of styles exist, one can see my unique flavor running through all the work. I exhibited regularly for several years, but have found the majority of my clientele have come from word of mouth and via social media. It took years of dedication to get to the point where I could depend on Art for my living and NO it was not easy! You have to believe in yourself when no one else does (including your bank account). I overcame my fears by KNOWING that Art is my path and trusting that I would be fine as long as I stayed true to her. Freedom is the most important gift we possess and we must follow our hearts if we are to be free.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Any trip to Atlanta would be incomplete without a visit to Piedmont Park. A beautiful way to take in the diverse pulse of our city is a long afternoon soaking up the sun in this wonderfully maintained green space. I also take all visitors on the long elevator ride to the top of the Westin hotel for the most breathtaking views of Atlanta. No one visits me here without a proper museum tour! There are so many to choose from, but my top picks would be the High, the Carlos at Emory, and the Civil Rights Museum in downtown. Little 5 Points is another interesting area especially for the younger crowd. Not my favorite part of Atlanta but definitely worth a stroll through the many unique shops and streets lined with performers and individuals peddling their wares. Atlanta has an abundance of Antique and thrift shops as well, so if that’s your thing I’ve got you covered! Some of my favorites are Antiques & Beyond, Serendippity, and Southern Thrift Market. When it comes to food, the sky is the limit here. The only dining experience in short supply is the old country buffet type restaurant. I grew up in east Tennessee where buffet style dining is on every corner and I must admit I do miss seeing “All You Can Eat” on those restaurant signs! The only thing Atlanta has more of than restaurants is bars and clubs. Again, whatever you are looking for you will find here! From Karaoke bars to drag queens and stripclubs, Atlanta has something for everyone. 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?
The first person to really encourage me was my high school art teacher. She gave me free range to express myself however I chose, the only requirement being that I turned in the same number of projects as the other students at end of term. She went so far as to submit my portfolio to the Art Institute of Atlanta without my knowing! I was surprised to receive an acceptance letter and scholarship offer later in the year! My sister, Robin, and a close group of lifelong friends have also supported me every step of the way. For those, I am ever grateful.
Other: Instagram is the best venue for viewing my work online. The Gallery style offers easy browsing and it is up to date with all my work!