Vibrant colors, airy designs, a mix of mediums and breathtakingly beautiful canvases are the essence of Renee Bouchon’s artwork. With an eye for the abstract and a knack for balancing hue, this up-and-coming Atlanta artist has captured the attention of some of the most respected regional galleries and nationally acclaimed interior designers. After years of side-hustle success, Renee only recently made the switch to full-time artist. Now she spends her days painting in her Brookhaven studio, filling commissions and watching her work sell out within hours of posting it on her website. Talk about the American artist dream! Today we’re delighted to introduce you to one of Atlanta’s rising artists, Renee Bouchon of Renee Bouchon Art.
You only recently made the leap from a career in advertising to life as a full-time artist. That must have taken a lot of faith! How to do keep fear from holding you back?
Well, fear held me back for many years. However, I woke up one day and just knew it was time. Literally. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. It was like I couldn’t not go for it. Everything in me was screaming, “This is your time and your chance!” So I took it and haven’t looked back.
What are some of the challenges with turning your passion into your career?
One of my biggest challenges has been staying focused on meeting deadlines. I was so used to having a boss making sure work was getting done. Once you are your own boss, it takes so much more focus and discipline. I’m always wanting to explore and experiment, but there are commissions and projects always lined up, so I needed to learn to prioritize. It’s definitely a great problem to have, but a challenging one as well.
Your work has a lot of movement, yet still evokes a sense of stillness. How do you find a balance between the two? Is it consciously something you’re aware of, or is it a happy accident?
I’m definitely conscious of it. For every one painting that I love, there are probably four that I don’t (and you never see those, ha!). I’m rarely happy with a piece, so I keep working until I get this feeling of contentment. I just know when a painting is done, but it takes a while to get there.
We’re curious: Is there one color on your palette that makes you cringe so much you try to avoid it?
I don’t think there are any colors I truly don’t like. It’s all how you use them and what you pair them with.
How, if anything, has the South inspired your artwork?
Oh wow. Where do I start? The music, people, design, architecture, the way of life … inspiration is everywhere. There is something so familiar and nostalgic about the South that brings out many emotions, and the art scene is insane. The amount of talent and emerging artists in the South is both intimidating and inspiring. It’s an honor to be painting among them.
What makes Atlanta a great place to grow as an artist?
It’s growing left and right. So much talent exists in our amazing little city. Not only art, but design talent, is everywhere. There is this amazing dance between artists and interior designers that exists, and it’s so fun to be part of it. Art is such a crucial part of any space, so working with amazing design talent in Atlanta and beyond is the icing on the cake.
Without spilling any secrets, can you tell us what you’re working on now?
Let’s just say it has to do with an amazing hotel in NYC overlooking Central Park. It’s pretty much a dream come true. Stay tuned!
Followers of your Instagram account might see that you make room in your schedule for traveling. Whether you’re escaping to a nearby lake or taking in the city life in Chicago, why is it important for you to travel, both as an artist and as an individual?
INSPIRATION, INSPIRATION, INSPIRATION. Traveling has always been second nature for me. I get stir crazy if I’m not going somewhere every few months (sometimes weeks). There is so much to see out there and so much to learn. I was just recently in NYC, and the art scene up there is amazing. Just immersing yourself in new cultures or new surroundings evokes so many new ideas. My next big trip coming up is to Seattle and Portland. Can. Not. Wait!
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Experiment, explore and paint for yourself versus for a specific market or potential client. Your work will suffer if not.
Excluding faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
Art (duh), coffee + sweets, and design magazines.
Thanks to CatMax Photography for the beautiful photographs of Renee!
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