We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Sullivan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tara, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I studied graphic design in school and have worked at design jobs ever since, but even though I was in a creative field, I felt I couldn’t be as creative as I wanted to be. I enjoy working on branding and website design, but I feel more fulfilled when I make art that feels personal. Now I have the freedom and independence to work on projects I’m excited about. I love the feeling of seeing a finished illustration that started as a blank page, then seeing it in tangible form as a print, card, keychain, or sticker.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is very whimsical, colorful and cartoony, even though I sometimes touch on mature topics. I try to insert my sense of humor into all my art and make things that will make people smile and will look great on a wall, shelf, or anywhere else. I have always loved art, but I only started getting into digital illustration a few years ago and quickly fell in love with it, so I worked on my skills and made illustrations in my free time. Once I had enough pieces in my collection, I started getting prints made and opened an online shop. I also started participating in local art markets, which I really enjoy, where I can sell my merchandise in person. I really wanted to get more involved with the local art scene in Atlanta and get my name out to more people, so I contacted several stores hoping they would be interested in stocking some of my work, but for a while I heard nothing back. Eventually I got responses from both a local store and a coffee shop that wanted to sell my art, which was a huge exciting step for me! The biggest thing I have learned is to be persistent and reach out to as many people as possible. I have emailed so many illustration agencies, stores, and brands that I never heard back from, but it’s all about the few that do. Overall, I am having a great time experiencing the Atlanta art world and making cool stuff!
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 love so many things about Atlanta! I sell some of my art at Homegrown Decatur, a cool shop full of stuff made by local artists, so I would definitely take a friend there as well as Junkman’s Daughter, another awesome artsy store. I would take them to get coffee at Hodgepodge or Aurora, and for food I would suggest Folk Art, Planet Bombay, Gu’s Dumplings, or Corner Tavern.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out my boyfriend, Nate, for supporting and encouraging me, and my friends and family for coming to my markets or sharing my work online. Some of my biggest inspirations are the amazing artists here in Atlanta, like R.Land, Greg Mike, Angie Jerez, Kathryn Bozone, and many others.
Other: Portfolio: https://tarasullivan.design/