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Life and Work with Sarah Bott

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Bott.

Sarah, before we jump into specific questions about your art, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with creating. My interest in art heightened in high school and I decided I wanted to study fine art in college. In 2014, I graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a concentration in painting. I spent a significant amount of time in college adventuring outdoors, which inspired me to move to Breckenridge, Colorado.

I began showing work in downtown Breck, selling to locals, and teaching painting classes for the arts district. A love of painting the mountains and nature flourished as a result of living in such a beautiful place. For the first couple of years, I was working five jobs to make enough to pay bills, have a ski pass, and buy art supplies. This is when I began collecting wood panels from locals and businesses to paint on, which I have since continued to do. Creating up-cycled art is one way I reduce my environmental footprint.

After a few years in Breck, my husband and I bought our first house in Park County, Colorado and I finally had my first in-home studio space. This made it possible for me to dedicate more time to creating. The house itself was a cabin in the heart of an aspen grove surrounded by mountain views. The forests and surrounding peaks kept me constantly inspired. Local businesses continued to work with me and I also started selling art at vendor events.

Two years in the cabin passed and we decided to make a move and lifestyle change by moving back to Fort Collins. I am excited to have milder weather, warmer adventure options, and a newly upgraded studio. The vision for my art is already shifting a bit. New ideas about sharing outdoor adventures through art are coming to me daily. Working with local businesses on murals has been a fun way to get involved in the community and I hope to continue growing my portfolio.

Over the years, I have learned that I am not the type of person who can work simply to earn a living. I’ve tried it, and it is not fulfilling even if the paycheck and benefits are great. Each day matters and I don’t want to waste my life doing something I don’t love. The purpose of my creations is to help others recognize the deep connection to nature that lives within us. My life’s work is dedicated to inspiring others to live sustainable, outdoorsy, conscious lives. Being focused on these aspirations daily through the means of painting is my greatest motivation.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. The one thing about art school that disappointed me was that I didn’t learn how to turn it into a living. I had to figure that out on my own. This seems to be a common theme for creatives and it makes it more challenging to become a professional artist. I had to learn how to network and market my work. Everything from pricing and contracts to building a website and collaborating with businesses was self-taught.

Additionally, there were times when I was working five or more jobs at once while pursuing my career as a painter. I bounced around studio spaces, too before I had my own. For a year or two, I was working as a candle artist and used an empty loft space above the shop to paint. Then a friend let me share a space with her for a bit, and during other times I took over the living room of the 700sq apartment I shared with two other people and several dogs so that I could continue to paint. It hasn’t been easy to get where I am, and frankly, I still have a ton of room for growth. As an artist, my life’s work may never be finished.

Some advice for other female artists, particularly those just starting out, is to have patience but do not quit. A hungry animal in wild doesn’t quit hunting until it catches a meal. Like the wild animal, if you continue to work and put yourself out there, you will succeed in time.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
I specialize in painting nature and abstract works with both acrylic and oil paint. Using vibrant color is a signature aspect of my paintings, as well as painting on reclaimed wood. I enjoy experimenting with different styles and think it’s important to be playful in creating. Consistently I’m aiming to accomplish a vision beyond the imitation of sense perception. As a brand I am most proud of my emphasis on environmental conservation and sustainable business practices. Since I began creating up-cycled art, I have turned over 50 panels into paintings.

A special part of my painting process is spending time outdoors. I love everything to do with outdoor activities and this is primarily what ignites my painting inspirations. My latest painting series, which is still in process, is themed particularly around adventure. It is meant to celebrate and inspire exploring nature and outdoor recreation. Other works of mine focus on mountainscapes, forest scenes, environmental awareness, and other concepts related to Earth. I hope to facilitate a deeper recognition within others of humans’ innate connection to nature through art.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
My experiences growing up have most definitely played a role in my success later in life. I was very serious in competitive athletics. The main sports being figure skating and volleyball. I trained for skating before school every day, so I could play volleyball in the afternoons/evening. During season gaps for volleyball, I was skating twice a day and I spent my summers training at the rink all day while my parents were at work. This taught me hard work above all, as well as perseverance and determination. It showed me how influential the mind is and that before you can achieve anything you must believe that you can. Skating is still a part of my life to this day. Instead of skating professionally, I chose to become a competitive coach because I enjoy passing these lessons on to younger generations. Skating is also the type of sport that is a form of art, so it fits in well with my creative lifestyle.

Pricing:

  • Prints on my website are priced between $50-$150.
  • Original paints cost anywhere between $200-$3000.
  • Commission paintings start at $300.

Contact Info:

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