We had the good fortune of connecting with Cortney Herron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cortney, how do you think about risk?
Risk-taking is one of those concepts I never fully understood until later in life. When you hear the word risk, it can be scary, and as a (now) proud introvert, that was always my association with it. But I’ve grown to realize and experience that taking risks actually isn’t that scary. The key here is that you have to break down risks into small, digestible chunks, to not feel overwhelmed. Because at the end of the day, risks are just small decisions, and we make small decisions every day. When I began to see risks as decisions, it was that much easier to make smarter moves in my life and career. Sharing my art on social media was a risk and I was completely terrified at first. But that risk (or decision) landed me collaborations, partnerships, and even my very first gallery opening. Who knew that one small decision could lead to so much? I’ve gotten to the point now that I enjoy taking risks and saying yes to opportunities that used to scare me. Risk-taking is what it means to really live a full life.
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 an artist and an Aquarius in every sense of those words. I live for creativity and I’m always evolving. Naturally, my art does the same. The only problem for quite a while was that I felt stuck in a 9-5 job that prevented me from living the kind of life I really wanted. And I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about happiness. I worked for a company for nearly seven years and I thought I was happy, but I knew something was missing. It was art. Art and creativity is where I shine and dealing with the stress of a job where I felt stuck was no good for my soul. So when I realized enough was enough, I bet on myself. I spent all of my nights and weekends working on my craft. And later I ended up leaving that job and getting into a different line of work in the personal development industry. I realized that my art and personal development really went hand in hand. The art that I was creating skewed towards being true to yourself and authentic – something I couldn’t see at my previous job. But working in the personal development industry with art still as my side hustle has become a beautiful marriage. So it was taking the risk and betting on myself and my happiness that has guided me to a fulfilling life. For so long I thought there was no way out, but I had to take a risk, and I bet on myself. My recent art deals with portraits of black women showing strong emotion, something I had to work through for so long. But it’s interesting because as I started to get happier, so did my art. My art is getting better every day and I love the person I’ve become because I actually feel like myself. I want people to know that even the shyest, most introverted person can stand up to fear and overcome it.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I live in Marina Del Rey, very close to Venice, California, walking distance actually. I’m so grateful to be able to walk to the beach every day so, that’s the first place we’d go! We’d take a walk up to Venice along Washington Blvd. and grab a coffee of course and sit on the beach and listen to the waves. This is my zen. And for a late lunch, we’d stop by The Pier House and chow down on some yummy appetizers and a margarita! Most of the bars and restaurants along Washington Blvd. either have outdoor seating or giant windows so you can actually people watch – that’s what I love about it. And for a late bite, we’d hit up Charcoal, another awesome restaurant in Venice with the most delicious menu. It’s dark, moody, and the perfect place to end the night.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Riveter. The Riveter is a co-working space built by women but for everyone. This is where I was given the opportunity to display my art for the first time in recent years. Someone from their team found my art on Instagram and reached out to see if I would want to be featured as their first resident artist for their brand new co-working space in Los Angeles. Saying yes to this opportunity was a risk and I’m so happy I said yes. I was so nervous and terrified to have my art on display and pretty much be the center of attention – again, proud introvert – but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Having my artwork on display helped me to peel back a layer I was trying to protect. I feel like I am living a life that feels so much more true to who I really am and I have The Riveter to thank for that.