We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlin Bennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caitlin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is very important in life and in business. It leads to growth, tests your boundaries, opens your mind, and opens new doors. The greatest moments in my life were all due to taking risks. If something seems scary to me but doable, I force myself to do it because I have learned over time that those experiences were the most life-changing or inviting to serious growth. It’s good to be uncomfortable. Growth can’t happen when doing the same old thing every day, it’s trying something new or putting yourself in a new environment and saying here I am universe, I’m ready. For me, the foundation of growth is taking risks so I see risk as a very good and positive thing. There are a lot of risks in painting, you have a vision and image in mind as you create but you never have a guarantee of how it will turn out. You invest in this vision, work on it for months, and trust in your abilities and yourself. In the end, no matter how the finished product turns out you are always gifted from the experience with knowledge.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art reflects my experiences, each piece is influenced by my life’s past and what I have learned over the years. I wouldn’t say that what I do is any more unique than other artists, but what I will say is that each perspective and mindset behind every artist is different and that’s what makes each of them special. I have had the amazing opportunity to travel around the world. I pull from my experiences and try to only use photos I have taken as reference photos. In addition, I practice meditation daily and my practice translates into my art subjects and perspective. My paintings have become a visual representation of my search for moments of calm.
My bachelor’s degree in dance and choreography has also inspired my art. My practice in dance has greatly influenced the movement in my work and the way I approach the process of painting. At times the painting can become a choreographed piece.
I am self-taught and have truly enjoyed the evolution and growth of my work. I am very proud to say that I have sold my work all over the world thanks largely to today’s many online tools. I’ve invested in myself to allow my art to grow through artist workshops and art-related business training. I’ve embraced learning new ideas and skills as an adult.
As a professional, I take risks, I invest in myself, and I take every opportunity to educate myself and learn new things. I believe growth, both personally and professionally, is the most important thing in business. My path as an artist has not been easy, but it has been so rewarding. I am always learning something new when it comes to business and the only way to be successful is to have an open mind and be willing to learn. Initially, social media was my primary marketing tool and it definitely helped me get started. Unfortunately, with algorithms changing and not being able to post certain video content such as reels (Instagram) it has made it a challenge to be seen online which has encouraged me to participate in more in-person events. Art festivals, Bazaars, and local markets have been a great alternative to meet people and be seen by a bigger audience.
This experience has taught me that when it comes to marketing, get creative. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, Instagram isn’t everything. Pinterest is great if you invest time in it. In-person events are a blast because you get to meet the people buying your art and the art has a different more powerful effect in person. In general, I have learned to stay open to learning new things to keep your business fresh and expanding.
I guess what I want the world to know about me and my brand is you can always find a moment of calm in my work. I like to create pieces and a brand that will reflect the meditation practices I do daily. Find micro-moments of peaceful times.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have recently moved to the area, so I am having a great time exploring my new hometown. I have a good friend coming to visit in February so we will be spending our week starting with a trip to Sedona, hiking, horse riding, and eating. I loved eating at the Hudson the last time I visited; their whipped feta toast was to die for. We will also spend some time in Scottsdale exploring the galleries, I would love to go to the Thursday art walks in the old town. I loved the Tom’s Thumb hike In Scottsdale. A beautiful drive from Peoria and stunning views at the top. We plan to visit the Grand Canyon; it will be my first time seeing it. I would love to be able to share the best places to eat, drink, and hang out but unfortunately, I have only lived here for a month and have the pleasure of discovering them all for the first time.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to do a shoutout to my family. I have the most supportive parents and have pushed me to become who I am today. When I was unsure of what I would do as a career they encouraged me to pursue painting further than a hobby. When I was in college and thought I needed to major in something practical even though I didn’t love it, they encouraged me to major in dance because it was my passion. They have always been my number 1 fans and believed in me, more than I believed in myself at times. I am very blessed to also have very supportive sisters and close friends. My family’s houses are full of my art and they display it proudly. I am incredibly grateful for their love and support and wouldn’t be where I am without them.