We had the good fortune of connecting with Miss Birdy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miss Birdy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I choose to become a full time muralist 8 years ago, I was looking for freedom in my life. Opportunity to create my own schedule and follow my own rules. Thankfully at that time I had the tenacity to pull the rip cord and jump in, I had no preconceived notion of how things would go, I just wanted things to be different; and I wanted to focus on the work I was best at. I felt at that stage in my life, everything I was doing was a waste of time, the only thing that felt right was painting graffiti. When I realized that this illegal act fueled me, I was determined to find a reason to make it a full time business. I was 21 years old, and an art school drop out I had nothing to lose. So I kept running until I made a name for myself in the contemporary mural scene.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My work has a tendency to morph and shift to what it needs to be per client, location, story, or gallery. I have no pre made style that I go to, and I find that my openness to explore new techniques or ways of conveying a story sets my work apart from a lot of contemporary muralists. I get excited about the opportunities that allow me to work with raw environments, such organic structures, abandoned architecture, or found objects. Most of my projects are very clean and presented in tidy conditions, but my original love for murals came from rediscovering beauty in lost environments. When I look back on my journey I see a lot of frustration, tears and the stubborn angst of a young artist that just didn’t give up. I always set my goals super high, so even if I failed, I still succeeded to a degree. I had to realize that most things that are planned are never set in stone, with art and murals people can easily decide that its a disposable investment. Let down after let down has made my skin so thick that I never plan to do a job until I’m at the wall painting. I’ve learned that most people have no idea what an artist does. The allure of being a full time artist sounds romantic and perfect, but the reality is not as sexy since I simply don’t stop working. The beauty of being able to go into work 9 to 5 then come home and relax is not one that is fully obtainable to a working artist. My time is spent, researching, practicing, deep thought work, planning social media strategies, networking, meetings, designing, working on multiple jobsites and projects while still finding time for your own work and ideas in the studio. It’s a one man oiled machine that sometimes gets clogged up, and fails. Having no boss is lovely, but at the same time learning discipline to be your own boss and listen to your inner voice is the hardest thing to accomplish. I find that most of my success truly comes from being able to manage myself and the work that I do, its taken years to get to this point, and I still have frustrations and tears for most jobs. One thing I always found true, is most things worth having are not easy. So I keep pushing ahead, and the work keeps growing for it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend was visiting Columbus for the first time and staying with me, I’d love to host a dinner party for them. I enjoy having people over to my house for dinner, cocktails and games. The week would be full of biking the Alum creek trail, exploring the iconic Book Loft in German village, tons of thrifting and local shops around High street like Tiger Tree, we would have a few drinks and some snacks at my favorite bar Lawbird. Go hiking and kayaking maybe even some adventuring to Amish country for some amazing food, and farmers markets at Hershberger’s Farm. There’s always live music at Natalie’s and some dank pizza to share, but also our amazing art museum would be a lovely place to have lunch and look at some art.
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’d like to dedicate my shout out to my family, though they didn’t understand me most of the time growing up. They were always supportive of my ability to think outside of the box, and allowed my artistic tendencies to flourish.
#6. The Bridge mural: @Justinpaulvilla