Alena Hennessy is an artist, designer, and author based in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Her extremely popular artwork, designs, apparel, and accessories can be found online and in stores throughout the US, and she is currently working on a new book. Enjoy Alena's sense of humor and lovely artwork in this special interview today!
Alena's blog: http://alenahennessy.tumblr.com
Alena's website: http://www.alenahennessy.com
Alena's shop: http://www.alenahennessy.com
Alena's facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alenalovestopaint
Why did you decide to become an artist and could you imagine doing anything else? If so, what?
Since I was tiny I have been drawing so its hard for me to say why I "decided" to be an artist. It chose me in a way. But in terms of choosing it as a career, I think I saw there was a real possibility to support yourself creatively via the web. I got inspired by what other artists were doing and knew that I liked to do the same things and so I wanted to give it a real go. I am so grateful I did and when I did, too. I am sure I could do other things too. I love to dance and write (OK those are still considered forms of artistic expression), but maybe teach at a college level or do traveling/consulting or humanitarian work. I once had a job doing window displays and that was pretty fun.
Do you still believe "do what you love and the money will come?"
Absolutely! Its been true in my life and a part of the current book I am writing.
How has the Internet influenced your work as an artist?
It's what got me started. I am constantly inspired by what other artists/crafters/designers are doing around the world. It keeps us connected and able to support one another. It's a vital tool for visual artists.
Please name 3 of your favorite blogs and tell us why these blogs are special.
design*sponge - I love how Grace has evolved her blog over the years. She wrote about my work the first day my website was live so I feel very loyal to her.
Delicious Days - If you like to cook, this is the blog for you. Its fabulous. I also love blogs that are photo heavy.
Wit & Delight This is kinda random but I like the layout of this blog. I almost used it for my own in fact. There are so many blogs out there, it is nice to change up the design.
What is your greatest fear and what do you do to overcome it?
Wow, well I have a few for sure! I was married for many years and went through a divorce several years back. I am dating some and had one serious relationship since then. So its something to the tune of ending up alone or not falling in love again. Ah, so sad I know.... but I am hopeful! I keep myself in positive thoughts and perception and try to see reality as it is and practice feeling grateful. Opening yourself up to gratitude is an amazing way to shift your state of mind.
Who would you like to trade places with for one day? Why?
Matt Damon's wife?! Haha just kidding. I think Mother Theresa honestly. I greatly admire her humanitarian work and ability to unconditionally love all people.
What are your secrets for managing your time wisely?
Being able to multi-task with ease. Also, prioritizing and working on things in a steady fashion.
If you could live anywhere in the world – all expenses paid – for one year, where would that be? Why?
Oh wow, fabulous question and yet so difficult to answer! Maybe Bali and can I also say Paris? I need to satisfy both sides of personality: one that loves Eastern culture and natural beauty and the other that loves, well, anything Parisian.
How do you maintain a healthy balance between your professional and private life?
I do not have Internet at home and its the best decision ever! But I do come to my studio quite often. If I do not balance the two, I can get kinda wonky so I make sure to keep balanced with play time. Plus I adore my friends and family.
What are your top 5 goals that you’d like to accomplish within the next 5 years?
One I am accomplishing right now which feels totally amazing and daunting and that is writing a book.
Another is to be a homeowner once again. I love having your own place to call home and to tend a garden and all that domestic bliss stuff.
A third would be to travel more for my work, to teach workshops or to do book signings (especially in Europe!).
A fourth would be to marry Matt Damon. OK kidding.
And my most important goal overall in life is to continue to enjoy it as much as possible.
What is your advice for someone who would like to turn his or her creative dreams into reality?
Stay true, stay focused and know what you want. "Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains" ~William Penn
Thank you Alena! I can't wait to see and read your new book! xo