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Sweet Issues & Favola Bella Shoes

Presenting artist Holla Watson Perkins, her art Sweet Issues and her painted custom shoes Favola Bella Shoes. I love her for taking her passion and being an entrepreneur with her talent. Also, as a shameless plug, here is the logo set I did for her recently. The “Sweet Issues” logo for her as an artist and a supporting logo for her painted shoe biz. Check out her interview and some of her art below!

Here is one of hopefully many artist profiles I am doing here at Aesthetic Crit. I believe in the merging of art and design, and how they influence each other. I also like the idea of profiling a full spectrum of artists and designers. It makes us well rounded, you know? Many designers I know started out as artistically-inclined folks and moved into the craft of graphic design as a way to stay somewhat creative in their careers. At the heart of most of us graphic designers lies an artist. Anyhoo, back to Holla.

1. Holla, when did you start making art?

I love how a lot of artists always say, “Since I was a child.” I think that I also always made art and craft stuff, but the moment I started creating my own ideas and true art work from within my self was when I turned 17. A huge change in my life had happened and I had no way to express myself. Art was something that just poured out of me. I used to copy others’ art like Disney and such. Then, an important woman in my life, Donna Post, said to me, “Holla, stop copying others’ art! You are a great artist and you can make your own art. Just trust yourself.” Ever since then I decided to try and let go of that feeling like I had to color in the lines. I chose to think outside the canvas. Now I am turning 27 and I never would have believed you if you told me that I would have come up with some of the art ideas and things I have.

2. What are your goals as an artist?

To keep myself sane. Sounds like joke, I know, but the truth is the world is a crazy place and it’s not always easy to deal with my emotions. Art lets me step back and see what is really going on inside myself. It also has allowed me to feel good about myself. I think it’s impossible for a great artist to say they only have one goal. I want to prove to others that having “issues” or disabilities still means you are important to the world. I want to help them realize being a little off is not always a bad thing.

3. Certain things or people that inspire you?

This is the hardest question for me, because there are two sides to me and to my life. I feel that problems inspire me for the dark sides of my art. “Issues” such as addiction, mental illness, abuse, depression, and even death. On the other hand, I feel that “sweet” parts of life are just as inspirational. Children, nature, pride in who we are, independence, love, family, and finding who we really are inside. This is why I call my art, Sweet Issues.

4. What are some of the challenges for you as an artist?

A huge one that I never thought I would ever have to worry about just started. I was faced with the sad moment of money. I told myself I would never be the type to worry about money or make art solely so I could get paid. It happened to me recently though. Things in the now of our economy and having a family with a young child, I started to worry. It is hard to price stuff. It is hard to not worry about if you will sell anything, if you will be able to pay the bills, and if your art is starting to become affected by these things. I know I will always keep growing and that I am someone who loves to learn new things. So, I try to just trust who I am and what my art stands for.

5. How did you start painting shoes?

Shoes was something I just decided to try one day. I tend to get a little bored with doing the same art. I like trying new styles and new mediums. So as a very pregnant lady I wanted something I could sit and do. So I learned by watching some videos and just experimenting with it. Some of my friends and family saw them and were impressed. I really don’t know how it grew and became Favola Bella Shoes. It was slow at times and busy at others but all together it became something I had fun with. I got the chance to get to know each person and together we created some amazing shoes just for them.

6. Best advice to other creative people?

Oh my! Well, I would have to say that if you are like I was, you sit around and say, “I just don’t have a studio to make my art. I don’t have enough materials. I will wait ’til I have more time. I am not sure my art is true art.”

The reality about this is that you will ALWAYS have all kinds of excuses or fears about why you shouldn’t just do it!

Get out there, talk to friends, start making art, enjoy yourself while you do it whether you sell or don’t sell.

The point of being creative and making art is this: You are feeding your soul with true love and giving yourself time to grow.

Love Art, Enjoy Art, and most of all Make Art!

Like Holla’s creations? Share them!


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  1. Holla says: July 17, 2012

    Thanks so much for this! I really enjoyed the questions and I LOVE my logos! I feel honored to be featured in your strong and wise blog:)

    • Peter Ridge says: July 17, 2012

      It’s a pleasure having you, Holla! Favola Bella Shoes are so cool.

  2. Angela Vangelisto says: July 17, 2012

    Well done Holla! Love your interview! Head for the future!

  3. Nicki Henne says: July 17, 2012

    FANTASTIC Interview and I am so proud of you for following your passion! I adore how you got your business name ‘sweet issues’. Keep going Holla you are the BEST! Much love and success!

  4. Bryan says: July 17, 2012

    Holla’s work is inspiring! I wish I could create in the playful way she does.

  5. Lori C Murphy says: July 17, 2012

    Love the blog and your new logos! Your heart is so pure and a joy to watch. Creativity feeds us and we are blessed to have it in us. Thanks for being you,sweet Holla! xxoo

  6. Paula Vaughn says: July 18, 2012

    Holla, I am sooo proud of you and what you are doing with your life. You have always had a way of expressing yourself, whether it be on canvas or writings on paper. Keep on living and learning! You always have a special place in my heart.

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