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Deanna Hamsley



Tell us about you!

I mean - what do you want to know !? I am sure i could talk your ear off. I am a mixed media artist employing an experimental approach. Being self taught with little awareness or concern for the "rules," I find myself with a natural tendency to break them. I spend most of my time in the studio creating things that feel like the familiar world around us but are ambiguous, general, and abstracted. I love working with acrylic, ink, charcoal and pastels. Using different mediums allows for me to have more flexibility with concepts and design.

When I am not creating in the studio or building in the workshop along side my husband, I enjoy date nights, spending time with my children, traveling, and enjoying a yummy mimosa any time of day.


Can you tell us a little bit about your artwork?

I think my artwork is a great reflection of the movement of my life , love for nature, moods of the season and what music i am listening to. My emotions truly direct the outcome of a piece of art. This is why i choose to not paint on days that i dont feel it.


Can you tell us a little bit about the moment you realized you were an artist?

This is actually an interesting question - I am pretty sure this is something i am still trying to wrap my head around. Ive been painting for 9 years and working full time in an art capacity for 8 years. Im still trying to find myself.


How did you learn your necessary skills?

Painting seemed to just happen. It has taken time to develop certain habits that I have in my art , but i am ever evolving. It just takes hours of creating in the studio and working with many different elements in art.


Are there specific opportunities or challenges that focused your career?

Theres always challenges and i am sure they will continue to be a part of my journey. I take most all opportunities that speak to me and my style of art. I just move in the directions that i am being pushed in.


Who do you consider as your most influential mentor?

Wow - this is an incredibly hard question to answer. The memphis area has so many incredibly talented creatives and i have had the privilege of being influenced by many of them. I am also lucky enough to call several my friend and mentor.


Artists are extremely resourceful and often create multiple streams of income. How do you generate income to support yourself and artistic practice?

I love to always find ways to make art. My art is not just a “fine” art of sorts. I make sure to always provide artwork that is holiday specific. My background in merchandising has taught me well about how and when people shop. working in surface design is so also so rewarding . I make sure to attend as many markets to showcase my art and provide art to several local retail shops.


How do you measure success in your work?

I would say success in art is measured in the joy you receive from it. My joy and the clients joy.


What artist inspires you the most?

Any artist that loves what they do and does not hesitate to share it with the world.


Do you have a creative hour, or a time/ place/ or activity that inspires your creativity?

Oooohhh the witching hour of course. LoL — im a night owl and my creativity ramps up when everyone else is getting some zzzz’s

Do you have a ritual or do you set specific assignments for yourself?

Fly by the seat of my pants girl! I never want to be scheduled. Creativity just doesnt work that way


As a kid what did you see yourself doing as a career?

I was going to be a singer. It was my dream. You see where that got me….


What told you ‘this is the life for me’? When?

hmmm this is a season. Who knows what and where next.


What compromises have you had to make in order to succeed? Has it been worth all of your effort?

I cant say im successful - but quitting a full time salary job so i could paint from home is definitely a huge leap of faith! Becoming a studio artist at arrow is my new thing and im so excited to drive the distance to be a part of it.

What do you love about being at Arrow Creative?

I am so excited about Arrow and what it has to offer the Memphis community. The opportunity being given to creatives is amazing. I love that we can all work in the same space . Community over competition is important and i feel that arrow is helping make that happen. We often get so caught up in out own little platforms that we fail to connect to the entirety of creatives around us. This has me pumped! I can feel the energy and it helps motivate me to get into my studio and create.



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