We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca Gunderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bianca, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
In the past when I have found myself pondering this very question I have tried to remove emotion from the equation and think objectively. In most cases, the thought of giving up is a direct reaction to something that has happened; it’s circumstantial. These days I have less of those thoughts, as I am finally seeing the fruits of my efforts and rewards for my perseverance. It has taken long conversations with myself to get here. Ultimately I have chosen to stay the course because I found happiness in what I am doing. The alternative to keeping on would be to regress into the very lifestyle I worked hard to free myself from; working my way up the corporate ladder and spending my time making the dreams of others materialize. In short, so long my craft brings me joy and fulfillment, the option to give up is nonexistent.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a furniture artist. To best define the term “furniture artist” from my perspective, it is someone who creates art using furniture as the canvas, thus bringing new life to the old! In my case, my medium of choice is paint. What sets me apart from others is my style. Though I employ techniques commonly practiced within the industry, I always put my own spin on them and paint from the heart. One of the challenges I have had to overcome while rising in this craft was to make the decision to paint based on what I wanted to paint, not necessarily what others wanted to see or buy. Now that I am advanced in my career and have built a substantial following, I find myself mentoring to people. So many have come to me seeking advice on whether they should paint what sells quick or what they want. The two options are often mutually exclusive, thus making it hard for people to choose one. My advice is based on personal experience and ultimately, is to do what our heart desires. The biggest thing I have wanted people to see about myself and my brand is integrity. I am not one to cut corners or sacrifice quality. The pieces I offer to the world not only beautiful but properly designed. In addition, that same integrity can be seen in my character. I am known for being honest in my business dealings and fair minded. My colleagues often come to me when needing honest feedback or objective assessment. It’s a wonderful feeling the image I project to the world is my true self!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a tough question because where I would take a friend that’s visiting is going to be determined by the current climate. One of my favorite things to do in the summer heat is to get away and head north, often landing in Prescott, Flagstaff, or Sedona. The cooler temperatures and jaw dropping beauty of nature is always a refreshing change to the scorching inferno that is Phoenix. Alternatively, I love to eat. During the cooler months I enjoy restaurants that offer outside seating. I often like to hang out in central Phoenix, enjoying the diversity and brick and mortar establishments. I also like to frequent antique shops and vintage markets. Camping near bodies of water and fishing are also at the top of my fun list! Removing myself from the hustle and bustle of the day to day brings life and recharges my batteries! So long my visitors are willing, that’s what we’d be doing!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
God. This craft literally found me. When I first started I was a wedding photographer. I was at the tail end of that journey and getting more and more burnt out with every wedding I shot. My love for photography was fading because instead of being creatively free, I was bond to servitude of what the happy couples wanted. Recognizing this attitude wasn’t fair to my couples (I tried my best to put on my widest smile while in their presence), I knew I needed a change. God knew I am an artist at heart. I have so many logic defying stories that are unexplainable yet pivotal to my journey, all of which point back to my Father. He paved the way for me and pushed me along. For that, I praise Him. Other people I would give shoutouts to are my husband, my family, and my tribe of women who have always supported me and pushed me along. They have been an endless resource of encouragement and gentle nudging when needed. They never grow tired of me and are there to celebrate every win, big or small. And full circle we come, as I feel God has placed those people in my life to aid in my success!
Martha Felix Photography (my portraits only)