Article on VoyageMIA published on March 20, 2020
Today we’d like to introduce you to Haley Patricia.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Haley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been creating art since I could walk. My parents knew it was more than just a hobby pretty early on, so they both supported me in attending the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 2012. I obtained a BS in Illustration and worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic artist for several years. Even though it’s what I went to school for, I still felt like I wasn’t following my passion. I still had some sort of “artist’s block” that I couldn’t shake. I was working for an online pet merchandising company in early 2019 when I came across addicting resin pouring videos on Instagram. Those who have seen them know the rabbit hole you fall into when watching the process! I was on vacation, and I ordered all the supplies online to start experimenting with this new medium when I got home.
Right as my plane landed, I read an email that I had been laid off. I was devastated at the time, but in retrospect, it couldn’t have been more perfect timing, because it allowed me to throw all of my energy into creating resin art, falling in love with the medium, and creating a business out of it. That was a year ago; I now have one of those addicting resin process Instagram pages with a decent following, an online shop, and a busy schedule of art and craft shows that I attend regularly.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As I stated before, my new business venture was born out of a difficult and life-changing event – being laid off. Having a 9 to 5 job made someone like me feel really secure, so losing that without warning or a backup plan was scary. I was applying for other jobs in the art industry, but nothing stuck. I knew I had to make this resin thing work. I spent entire days experimenting in the studio (studio being my kitchen table), learning about resin and the many factors that go into making a piece. Several failures and hundreds of dollars of wasted supplies later, I finally started making some pieces worth selling.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I specialize in a very complex material called resin. To avoid getting too much into chemistry terms, I usually describe it as liquid plastic. It can be used as an adhesive, a sealant, or in my case, an art medium! I mix in colored pigments, move the liquid around with a heat gun, and in 24 hours, it’s hardened into a beautiful abstract design with a glass-like finish. I mostly specialize in the ocean technique, where I mix in all types of blue pigments, topped with a foam white to give my pieces the illusion of ocean waves. I started out making simple wall art, but after realizing that resin can be poured on pretty much anything with a flat surface, I evolved into “functional art”.
I’m mostly known for my decorative cheese boards that have resin waves on them. I also decorate ring dishes, serving trays, coasters, and more. The possibilities are endless, and I believe what sets me apart is that I’m always experimenting with something new. I’m most proud of the local support I’ve gotten as a company. Neighbors, friends, family, and fellow artists in the area have all believed in me and given me a huge boost to get where I am today.
What were you like growing up?
I was mostly shy and sensitive growing up, but if I had a friend around me, I’d come out of my shell. I would be quiet and observant of my surroundings, but then loud and silly if I had someone to laugh with. I always loved making people laugh. I moved around a lot, especially in middle school. That is a time in a kids life where others aren’t particularly nice to the new kid, so I had a rough time in the beginning. I found refuge with the crazy art and band kids throughout the rest of middle and high school, and my shyness pretty much evaporated.