We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Warfield and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anna, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was about 3 weeks into my first 9 to 5 right out of college when I realized the structure, its time demands, and rigidity wouldn’t allow me to be the artist I had always intended to be. Shocked and saddened at my reality, I began asking how other artists had made their careers work. I listened to podcasts, read articles, and posed the question to my network. I found that most artists had to identify and choose when it was right to, “take the leap” and fully commit to their artistic careers by leaving stability behind.

A frightening prospect that, at that moment in time, I was not ready for.

So, I settled into my 9 to 5 for a little over a year and a half, worked on my savings, used my few vacation days to travel to exhibition installs and opening receptions, and built up footing (and courage) to make my own leap. I knew I wanted to be an artist who took her work seriously and what’s more serious than formalizing the artwork into a business practice.

I remember the week I gave notice to my 9 to 5 vividly. I sat at home writing my exit letter ahead of officially filing for my LLC. I had just secured a major gig that would allow me to make my version of an artistic career work and I knew the time to jump was right then.

My business is broken into two main parts; 1. gigs where I take on various roles in projects for artists and arts institutions. 2. my studio practice where I create, install, and sell my own artworks. The majority of the business income comes from gigs, but the studio side is growing steadily. The current structure affords me the ability to choose how my time is managed and it gives me the very real chance to build a career as an artist.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In essence, I create soft sculptures from my original poems. The sculptures are essentially stuffed objects made from fabric and Poly-fil The stitched, stuffed didactic poems and commands are confrontational, mesmerizing, frightening, and purposefully pose more questions than provide answers. The commanding language directly addresses the viewer, drawing them into challenging conversations about body, sex, and language.

To get where I am today took a lot of introspection and reflection. It took confronting demons, continually questioning what I think I know, and exposing what’s inside me to a slew of onlookers. My artwork has taught me to speak in powerful ways I never thought possible for myself.

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.
I live in a small Upstate New York city that’s working to find itself again – – – which means creatives are absolutely everywhere!

Visit Binghamton early in September when our homegrown LUMA Festival takes over all of downtown and brings the architecture to life with projection mapped stories. It’s a time bustling with life and art that will inspire visitors to see possibility everywhere they go.

It’s a night time festival, so there’s plenty to see during the daytime.

My favorite place to get coffee in Binghamton? The Shop, but they’re only open in the afternoons. Pre-pandemic, I would order a dry cappuccino and a side salad while I sat reading short fiction at the back of The Shop.

After our coffee let’s take a walk. Binghamton exists at the confluence of two rivers and I love to look at the water.

Time for dinner? Halal Bites is a delightful gem that I visit probably too often.

Where to get a drink before the festival? The Lost Dog Cafe – specifically their lounge. It’s a great mix of cool and comfortable and their staff feels like extended family.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When self doubt trickles in my number one advocate is my mom. I’m so lucky to have her. She encourages me to take risks and reminds me that if I hit hardship I can always come home.

Website: annawarfield.com

Instagram: @annawarfieldart

Linkedin: @annawarfieldart

Facebook: @annawarfieldart

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