We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Reeder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think authenticity is the most important factor behind my success as an illustrator and artist, staying true to my own voice. I’ve been very privileged to be able to lead a creative lifestyle, and the times when I have followed my heart and instinct and my real interest in something, is when things have continued to build and flow in a positive way. There is a LOT of content out there. But, there is only one you in this whole world. And staying true to that sense of yourself and what excites and inspires you, and then getting to create from that space is a real special thing. It may seem like it won’t work out sometimes…but having patience in the process is so vital. Success will flow when we are following our true voice and speaking from that place.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a watercolor and pencil artist and I specialize in large scale botanical and food paintings. My work is very detailed and focuses on highlighting the complex yet also beautifully simple aspects of what we eat and grow. I love exploring the space of plants, food and community, and how cooking and growing and eating are all tied to our personal narrative and identity as individuals, and especially as we live and interact with each other.
When I first started out as a professional artist, I started with pencil portraits of people and pets and houses. This was a good way to bring in some money in the beginning and develop my technique and skill. At the time when I started, I knew I wanted to be an artist but I just didn’t know in what way. Starting with these kind of commission projects helped me figure out what was fulfilling, what I enjoyed, and what I was good at.
Before becoming an artist, I had been a pastry chef. I realized that I could combine my love of food and art into one practice by painting foods. I started writing to food magazines to illustrate and pitch my work. Then I started becoming inspired by different vegetables and fruits and started painting originals. I often have been able to collaborate with farmers or other makers, which has been incredibly fulfilling. Now I mainly paint originals and sell a lot of prints through my website.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Richmond, Virginia, and some favorite spots here would be- Breakfast pastries from Sub Rosa bakery, taken to chimborazo park for a picnic.
A walk around Hollywood cemetery, then down into byrd park and maymont gardens.
Lunch at Pomona back in Churchill.
Afternoon at the VMFA (virginia museum of fine arts)
Happy hour at Bamboo cafe.
Dinner at Edo Squid or Dinamo.
Night cap at Jasper Bar.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my family and friends and especially my husband. All of whom have been there to encourage my art career and support me along the way. I didn’t think I could do this whole art thing until I started dating my husband. He gave me the real confidence I needed to jump in, and still offers that love and positivity every single day. I am forever grateful to him and the wonderful community in my life.
Ash Hobson Carr