DREAM CATCHER: LIZ WALWORTH
By the age of three, Liz Walworth was serious about making art. She would draw for hours at a time, often making it a mission to fill every page of a sketchbook in one day. Art remained a big part of her upbringing and was her main focus at Washington University in St. Louis, where she received her BFA in Studio Art. Several studio assistant jobs and commissioned portraits later, she made a decision to put her passion into making her own work, bringing a fresh voice and perspective to the traditional medium of oil painting. Driven by an interest in distortion, perception, and the pervasiveness of visual media today, she spent long days in her Los Angeles studio working to translate these ideas into paint. Her first exhibition a year and a half later caught the attention of several publications, galleries, and art directors. That show’s buzz led to opportunities with national and international reach and she is excited about the various projects that will be made public in the months to come.
How did your former career/job prepare you for running your own business? I’ve worked as a studio assistant to various painters. Seeing how each artist approached his or her art and business helped inform how I wanted to approach my own.
What was the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome before launching your business? Dedicating time to paint paintings for myself, in between commissioned paintings and part-time jobs. To do this, I had to focus on long-term goals instead of short-term rewards. I had to start running the race with no idea where the finish line was.
How long were you in business before you started to see real growth? What do you attribute that to? I had been painting professionally for a few years before I started painting the work I had been trying to paint. I really believe in the work and because of that, I started to focus more on digital strategy and PR. Then everything started to fall into place.
How did you fund your dream? Part-time jobs and commissioned portrait work.
How do you organize your day to best optimize your time? Describe a day in your life. I wake up at 7:30 and enjoy coffee and eggs with my boyfriend while reading the news. Depending on the day, I’ll go for a run or a hike. Then I’ll paint for 6 to 10 hours, taking a break for lunch, green tea and emails. Dinner happens whenever I find a good stopping point.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be… A writer.
Five years from now I see myself and my company… Ingrained in the gallery scene, with growing national and international exposure. I’d also like to explore collaborations with retail companies, similar to how fashion designers work with Target for limited edition collections. I’m interested in finding ways to integrate the art world into the rest of the world.
The key to balancing it all is… To keep doing. Thinking is necessary, but overthinking wastes time.
If I had to do it all over again I would… Have taken a few business and web design courses in college.
The most important thing I have learned so far… You can’t plan for tomorrow, but you can prepare for it.
LET’S GET PERSONAL:
I am most proud of… My latest body of work.
My favorite getaway is… Anywhere with my boyfriend.
My favorite nail polish, lipstick, or scent is… Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé.
I try to achieve mindfulness by… Running outside or hiking.
My favorite author is… Dorothy Parker and John Steinbeck.
One talent I wish I had is… Mastery of a musical instrument.
A woman who inspires me is… The painter Tamara de Lempicka. Her work is bold and dramatic, so effortlessly cool. And the women depicted in her paintings have a powerful, almost autonomous vibe to them.
One thing I hope to pass along to my children is… To understand the importance of failure and the positivity in it. School teaches us to be afraid of failure. But in life, if you’re not failing, you’re not trying anything. You’re not pushing yourself far enough.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
- Maya Angelou