Being in the wedding industry, connections and word of mouth can sometimes make the difference between a bride booking with you or not! After meeting so many incredible vendors over the last year, I thought it would be super fun to start a new series - Spotlight Saturday. This series will be posted once a week, and will highlight one local small business, creative, or vendor each time! For the months of September and October, each Spotlight will be wedding themed! My hope is to bring networking opportunities and connections to other small creatives in the industry, aligning them with their ideal clients, and filling up their weekends with lots of authentic memories!

Ruth weatherford - abstract artist

Q: Tell me your story! When did you start doing art and how did you get to where you are now?

A: I’ve always loved to be creative, whether that was DIY-ing things in my home or planning for my whole wedding. I was SO tired of my desk job in 2014, but I really felt like God was pushing me to take a leap of faith! So, I started working from home and finishing up a degree at the time. It was the first time in a long time that I felt very “free” to dream and chase things that had not been as accessible before to me. For instance, I worked some freelance creative jobs for local companies I loved, took classes online, and then decided I would open up an Etsy shop. I was selling these kind of terrible hand lettered prints at the time (whew, I’ve come a long way haha!!), but I truly loved it because I was able to work for myself and focus on things I really loved to do. I practiced a lot, I designed and produced and advanced so much! Eventually I found myself working with brands and small businesses doing designs for them and making good money working for myself!

Q: What's your favorite piece you've created and why?

A: Oh man, it’s a tie for me. The first would be the initial large scale piece that I ever got to paint. A client from Australia emailed & asked me what the largest paper piece I could make was, and it was just all so new to me. Not only was I going to paint a giant piece, I was going to trust it to ship to Australia! I was completely relieved when the painting arrived. Of course, I’d do it all a bit differently now that I know a lot more, but at the time it was such a leap for me. I learned so much.

My other favorite piece would probably be my first wall mural I did to “test” out painting on a much larger scale. It’s about 4ft by 7ft, & it’s actually in my hallway so I get to see it all the time!

Q: What’s your “why?”

A: I believe that God has created all of us and that He is beautifully & infinitely creative. When I paint, I get to be a part of that. I do it for the whole process—listening to His voice, getting to dream and make something that no one else does, feeling totally free as I do it. Every time I just focus on the simple part of painting and making, things feel so good for me. On the other hand, when I jump into the creative rut place where I feel like I HAVE to paint, HAVE to create, I lose a lot of my creative freedom and joy and it becomes stressful for me. At this point in my career I try to take on things that I don’t think will entirely stress me out and squash my creativity.

" Then I found watercolor paint—the medium I truly loved. I started doing these abstract watercolor paintings in a style that I just really loved and was unique to me: watching colors mix and move together, flinging a lot of black ink at it, and adding lines & metallic elements to my pieces. I started selling paintings immediately, which kind of blew my mind! I’ve been able to send them across the world to clients, show them in West Elm, have pieces featured on clothing and all kinds of amazing places. I’ve sure made a lot of messes, but I’ve never looked back since finding watercolor."

Q: Do you have a favorite color combo?

A: Hands down it’s pinks/orangey tones/mustard yellow. They just blend so well and create so many pretty painting “moments” when they combine!

Q: Do you have any advice for other artists wanting to get into the wedding industry?

A: Do not be afraid to reach out to people who you want to work with or people who inspire you. Event planners, photographers, publications...Email them, DM them, whatever you need to do to get in touch! Ask if you can work with & collaborate with them. Pitch your ideas...and don’t be afraid to dream big. I’ve personally seen so much open to me because I was willing to put myself out there and just ASK.

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