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Check Out Bonnie Gonzo’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bonnie Gonzo.

Hi Bonnie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I wanted more than what was being offered. As a teenager, I felt like I was constantly trying to beat the statistic of who I was supposed to be, and that if I didn’t follow this path I was doomed to fail. But that didn’t phase me, I love art, this was something I was very passionate about and I wasn’t going to change that for anyone. I practiced, and practiced for years, trying to eventually muster up the courage to start selling, but I would get intimidated, and insecure. I kept telling myself, “wait another year”, and so I did.

A few months prior, to posting my first listing on Etsy, I life was starting to improve greatly! I started a good job, moved into a new home, and then my dad had died at 49 years old. For most people, it was a time to be with family to mourn, but I buried myself in art, and tried to hide my emotions in the colors. It sorta clicked in my head, one day, I felt like it was time to start my small art business because if not now, when? Life was happening, and not waiting for anyone. It hasn’t been easy, but its been fun, learning experience.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Unfortunately, it has not been a smooth road. Trying to find the perfect balance of life, and holding 2 jobs while trying to create a business really feels impossible. Being drained both emotionally and physically, it would impede working on projects, or delaying the completion date.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in acrylics, digital and other mixed media, creating very colorful pieces of pop culture references such as horror movies, sci-fi, with a hint of anime.

My best-selling shirt is a Martian from “Mars Attacks!” its my best selling shirt on Etsy, what sets this shirt different than the others that are on my shop is that the original piece is hand-painted, I used a super black paint that absorbs light, bringing out the large amounts of green and their large red eyes. Another one I’m very proud of is my digital piece of “13 Ghosts” the Jackal, using minimal colors I brought this monster to life with a simple comic book style.

What sets me apart from others is I love a challenge, I love to be different, while still using the basics. For instance, with every piece I create, whether its digital or hand-painted, I start off with one color on the color wheel, primary color, and will use every color opposite to it. Also, challenging myself to only use 3 or 4 colors in a single piece, utilizing different mediums and tools for highlights, and lowlights. What you can do is possible and the colors are endless. I love re-creating or “re-vamping” pop culture characters, and seeing a client’s face light up with happiness as they get hit with nostalgia. I love what I do!

I’m completely grateful and thankful to the companies helping me get my art out there!!

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Like most, I’ve taken risks starting this small art business. A commissioned piece, or any of the ideas I have running around, it takes time, I would request days off from my day-time job to put more time into my craft. Risking time with family and friends, risking paying bills late, etc, to make sure that my client gets the best work they’re paying me for.

In another way, it’s very risky to paint anything. You’re stuck with the questions although, the deposit is paid for. what if they don’t like it? What if you put half a year into a piece and they can’t afford it or even want it anymore? But its a risk I’m willing to take.

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