Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Doell.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Rebecca. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a kid. I have older brothers and sisters who would all draw for fun, and I tried to get them to pay attention to me by doing it, too. I drew everything, copying photos from magazines or cartoon characters I loved. That was my identity in school- the one who could draw. I studied illustration in college, but the idea of cultivating a specific style always bored me so I thought it must not be the right fit.
Since school, I’ve worked several different “real jobs” over the years and painted on the side. I was a jack of all trades and master of none career-wise and art-wise, and I just finally arrived at that “you-only-live-once-no-regrets-just-go-for-it” moment. I thought if I don’t pick one thing and put everything I have into it, I will keep doing this same half-assing game for the rest of my life!
So last year I decided to focus on portraits. I built a website, started posting more of my work on Instagram, and quit my day job! It was definitely scary to say goodbye to a regular paycheck, but by the holidays 6 months later, I was already turning people down that I didn’t have time for. I felt so bad that I didn’t have 8 arms or 50 hours in a day to work, but I felt so great knowing I might actually be able to make a living doing something I love.
Right now, I’m gearing up for Mother’s and Father’s Day. I’m looking ahead to getting a jumpstart on the holiday season, but I’m looking even more forward to how my work will inevitably grow and change.
Has it been a smooth road?
Of course, it has NOT been a smooth road, but I think my biggest obstacle has been myself. I am my own worst enemy, second-guessing and overthinking, too scared or too full of doubt to make making art my full-time job. It’s sort of a cliche experience for artists- to doubt yourself and try to be more practical, but I think it’s also a universal fear of failure that we all experience no matter what we do for a living.
I would say that the leaps in bounds we’ve made technologically have also made it much easier for me do this all on my own versus even 10 years ago. Squarespace, Moo, social media, etc are all tools I’ve used that are so simple and design-forward. I finished school in 2003 without any digital design skills, and I used to think, well, I don’t know how to build a website and I don’t have money to pay someone or time to learn.
I don’t know InDesign or Photoshop, so I can’t design business cards the way I want or afford to pay someone to do it. How will I market myself and find a customer base? But 15 years later I can do all that now and affordable. I just wish I had done it sooner!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Rebecca Doell Art – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a watercolor artist specializing in children portraits. I use photographs for reference, so my clients are all over the country (no one has to sit for me). My style is very pared down and simple but also very realistic and detailed.
I think what sets me apart is what I leave out of the images, to keep the focus on the beauty of the subject. There are not a ton of stylistic flourishes to distract you, but I do think I have a style and consistency that is uniquely my own.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
My favorite part of Chicago is its history. The immigrant experience was just as rich and storied here as it was in New York, so there are so many layers to its arts and culture. I don’t think a lot of people outside of the Midwest realize that. I moved here 4 years ago, and I’m still learning so much about it every day.
I know everyone always says the weather sucks, but it really does! I grew up in Arizona, so I was spoiled with sunshine. The cold doesn’t bother me as much as the grey and the clouds. It’s so dreary sometimes that I’m contemplating getting one of those UV lights to change my mood!
- Website: www.rebeccadoell.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccadoellart/
A Little Photo Studio.