I find my greatest inspiration on Instagram. It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with other creative people. When I came across the beautiful photos of artist Mari Orr, I just knew I had to pick her brain about creativity, inspiration and art! I’m so excited to share my interview with her for the Dream Jobs series with you today! // susannah
1. How would you describe Mari Orr Art?
I would describe my art as playful and optimistic. Exuberant, even! I’m generally a happy person and that definitely comes across in the movement of the paint and the colors I use. I love to make people smile and I’m grateful I can use my art to inspire joy.
2. What were you doing before Mari Orr Art? What inspired you to change paths?
Before devoting my life full-time to painting, I was a chemist. I’ve always been able to find beauty in whatever I’m doing, and that’s most true with chemistry. I don’t think anything can match the beauty of how perfectly the world works at its most basic, elemental level. So…I didn’t so much as change paths from chemistry to art, as I did just continue on my journey of finding (and expressing!) beauty.
3. When ideas are scarce, where do you turn for creative inspiration?
I don’t think I’m ever at a loss for inspiration. I find it everywhere: on walks with my children, running around on mundane errands, taking trips, even right in my own backyard. It’s very difficult to explain how your own mind works, but in a nutshell, I find I’m always automatically looking for what something can be beyond what it is. And when you have that mindset, everything becomes inspiration.
Click through to read the full Q&A with Mari Orr!
4. Describe your workspace.
My favorite room in our house! White walls, white cabinets, white desk. An old Oriental rug on wooden floors. Sunlight. Music — I’m partial to 90s alternative, but also paint to folk, classical, and oldies. Colorful works in progress, ten to twenty at any given time, are scattered about. Lots of plants. Happy.
5. What have been your biggest successes and challenges for Mari Orr Art?
Beyond features, interviews, commissions, and partnerships, the fact that I get to do what I love every single day is my biggest success of all. And maybe I’m lucky or maybe it’s because I always look for the positive, but my business hasn’t yet faced many challenges. Definitely nothing serious enough to complain about. Knock on wood!
6. What are your dreams for Mari Orr Art?
Ultimately, I want to be just busy enough. I don’t aspire to be a global brand. Working around the clock on various product lines and days filled with meetings and phone calls is not my idea of happiness. Art makes me happy. My dream is to continue to have time to devote to painting and for others to find happiness in my final products. And… maybe I’d like a bigger studio too.
7. Who do you look up to?
In my personal life, I admire my husband to a fault. Besides being handsome and generous and funny and brilliant, I love that he gets things done. It’s probably my most favorite quality about him. I’m the dreamer, he’s the doer. He makes it possible for me to live my dreams. I’m very lucky.
8. Where and how do you love to spend your time off?
In addition to spending time with my family — a seriously amazing and supportive husband, two young, rambunctious sons, and one gigantic puppy — I love playing tennis! It’s an intense workout — and whipping the ball across the court is a great release for any stress or frustration. It’s also just plain fun.
9. What resources do you recommend to someone whose dream job is your job?
You don’t need much to sell art besides a strong belief in yourself and your talent. Once you have that, everything else becomes manageable.
10. If you weren’t running Mari Orr Art, what would be your dream job?
This is my dream job… Does everyone say that?