We survived our move, and I’m ready to jump right into the swing of things with a great lineup of artist interviews on a topic that I’m really interested in right now. The intersection of art + passion, a place that surpasses the need for money or fame – a place where their is simply the passion to create. First up is Caroline from Paloma’s Nest. This husband and wife duo has been passionately creating their artform for about 4 years, and are such an inspiring set of artists. I hope you enjoy!
Photo credit – Carla Ten Eyck
1. Tell us about yourself and your background.
I am an artist/ designer/entrepreneur, born and raised in Mystic, Connecticut, now living in Austin, Texas. I began Paloma’s Nest in late 2007, and over the years it has blossomed into a family business that my husband (Jose, from Buenos Aires, Argentina) and I run together. We started as an online Etsy shop, and now sell our wares there as well as through palomasnest.com and our new brick & mortar locations in Austin and Chattanooga. I focus mainly on our ceramic and textile designs, while my husband is the woodworker. Paloma’s Nest is named after our daughter Paloma, who is almost 5 years old. “Paloma” means “dove” in Spanish.
Photo credit – Craig Paulson Photography
2. As an artist and entrepreneur, what gets you up every morning – what drives you?
The absolute privilege of living my dream everyday is what keeps me going. I see running a business and making a living from my art, with my husband by my side doing the same, as a great joy.
3. What are you most passionate achieving with your art form?
Creating pieces that will be passed on to future generations is what I am most passionate about. Just imagining a piece that we craft today being in the hands of someones great-great grandchild, years from now, is what drives me to create timeless designs that will look as elegant and pure in 100 years as they do today.
4. You create beautiful handmade “modern heirlooms” – how did you find your niche or have you always worked with ceramics?
I discovered ceramics while studying art and design in college, and was immediately drawn to the medium as a way to create tangible pieces that one could interact with in daily life. I have always been fascinated with the concept of heirlooms, and I have always collected antiques and vintage pieces. I am fascinated with pieces that hold their history, things that seem to have a story to tell. By working text into my designs, I am able to add an instant element of story telling- whether it is a clients’ love poem, or a piece commemorating a special day.
5. What are some obstacles you’ve overcome along the way?
Fear. I think anyone who has made the commitment to make a living from their art, or to be an entrepreneur of any kind, has to overcome an amount of emotional concern or self-doubt. Can we really do this? Will it work? Can we raise a family this way? Fear can be paralyzing, and a real hurdle in the creative process. For me, I try to balance this natural fear by keeping busy- always having a new project, developing new ideas. Action breeds action. This lifestyle is a leap of faith, but once you take that leap you never look back. We have no regrets!
6. Lastly, what does art mean to you?
“My art is my life. My life is my art.” – Henri Matisse
Thank you so much Caroline for taking part in this series. I absolutely loved hearing from you. The best to you and all your endeavors…and your new little one on the way!