Written by Marla Hardee Milling | Photos by Anthony Harden
In-demand artist Alicia Armstrong’s career is a shining example of someone who decided one day to take the proverbial leap.
Alicia Armstrong defies the cliché of a “tortured artist” who struggles to make a living. The Asheville artist has forged a successful career through hard work, visualization, and an awareness that she can’t do everything herself. Throughout the journey, she takes time to ponder the right questions, such as, “Are you going to be authentic with your work even though there is no guarantee it will pay the bills?”
“A lot of artists kvetch about selling and marketing and ‘selling out,’ so to speak, but they also complain that they’re not selling work,” observes Alicia. “There’s also this notion or idea people have of a starving artist—that if you are an art maker, you are suffering or it’s going to be hard. I love making art that I think is beautiful, but also contemplative. It feels good to share it with the world and have it in people’s homes.
“I will say, in terms of speaking of business, there’s no way I could do it without a team. I have people that make frames for me, stretch canvases, and I have someone who does administrative work and makes deliveries. You can’t realistically do all of that alone. If you are going to have a business and make a living supporting your kids and your household, you have to have a group or a team or some sort of support system.”
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