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Meet Alexa Ballenger of Go Paint the Wild in Arvada

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexa Ballenger.

Alexa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was in college, I earned a degree in Environmental Science but I kept painting on the side, using what I’d learned to fuel my passion for art and preservation of the wild places around us. I became more observant of my surroundings and impact, and with this painting has become a perfect outlet for environmental outreach. While I was unsure of my career after graduating, I hoped that my work would touch others and encourage people to protect the natural beauty around them.

My traditional paintings are the result of mixed media experimenting, although I tend to prefer acrylic paint, copic markers, and watercolors. My body of work has grown and changed with varying conservation themes over the years, but lately, I’ve been focused on capturing the many diverse landscapes of Colorado that I’ve been to throughout my travels. I always keep a tiny canvas and my sketchbook at hand, and this has made it incredibly easy to combine my love of backcountry adventuring and art. There is no better way to immerse yourself into a beautiful place than to sit down and paint it – that feeling stays with you and makes the things you create that much more meaningful in the long run.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road! I’ve struggled financially, felt lost and defeated, and wanted to quit numerous times. I’ve also had my work criticized and questioned, and been rejected from galleries with nothing but impersonal emails. These are all part of the process, and this career as an artist wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding if I’d simply stepped into success.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Go Paint the Wild story. Tell us more about your art.
I believe I mentioned this before in excitement, but I strive to include themes of conservation and sustainability in all of my work. This includes making products that are reusable, sustainable and easily incorporated into your life.

I also only work with other companies who share these values. It’s important to me that others are inspired to live their best lives in this way!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As an artist, the only thing I predict is that I’m going to have to work my ass off to stay relevant. It’s a competitive market, but this only pushes us to be better!

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