In the Studio with Carla's funky Art

“I feel like I have always been artist.”

As a little girl Carla Seaton loved to draw and paint. It wasn’t just because she was a child; it was more of “this is who I am.”

“I have been an artist my whole life, but I didn’t start accepting that I was an artist until about seven years ago,” Carla said.

How did it restart as an adult, when did she know she wanted to let that inner artist out again? It started out as a challenge when she entered a painting into the San Juan County Fair several years ago. The painting was a spotted dog with a flowerpot on his head and it was a hit. That encouragement was just what she needed to go for it.

What drives Carla?

“I paint because I need to. If I don’t’ it will build up,” Carla answered.

Carla also enjoys how people interact with her work. Watching them laugh or ooh and aah—their responses gives her joy and reinforces her inner artist.

Carla’s style has evolved over the years. It started with acrylic and then one day she experimented with mixed media. “As soon as I put paint on paper, I loved it and it took off from there,” Carla said.

One day she added tissue paper to her work, that creative touch turned into the girls with the feathers in their hair, which then turned into the Girls with the Striped Tights. The Girls with the Striped Tights series is a mixed media art incorporating inspirational sayings.

“All these pieces of the girls are tiny self portraits of me,” Carla said.

The girls with the inspirational sayings are a reflection of what Carla is working on in her life, or might be based on her beliefs; sometimes it is what she wants others to think about. If a quote inspires her, it becomes a part of the series. For Carla, her art is an alter ego, an extension of how she views the world.

Carla loves the whole process of painting. If she has paint in her hair, on her clothes, all over the hands, if it is everywhere, she is totally immersed in the moment and the art transforms. She just goes with it.

“I feel we all have a story to tell, and I am telling my story through my art,” Carla said.

Fifteen years ago Carla started journaling. At first it started off with color pencil and drawings, then it turned into Carla’s version of a diary. Today it comes out in the way of inspirational sayings and paintings that not only inspire her, they also inspire her fans.

Artists need to grow, to do that sometimes they challenge themselves to learn a new technique, try something different, or burst into another form of creativity. Carla decided she needed a new challenge so she illustrated a children’s book, Animals in the Alphabet. It did so well, she took a leap of faith again and did a coloring book full of inspiration with the Girls in the Striped Tights and uplifting quotes.

When Carla accepted she was an “artist” she also accepted she needed to treat her art like a business. The business side of the art gets in the way of the creative side of the business, but it necessary for it to grow. Carla’s art is online on various sites like her website, Etsy, Fine Art American and more. For the personal touch in the business she enters art festivals and has a booth occasionally at the Anacortes Farmers Market. In the last two years the business has finally started to breakeven and make a little money.

Like all young entrepreneurs, the struggle is to find balance between work, family, and just enjoying what you do. Carla works for a local dentist, has two children in school, runs the business side of her art, and somewhere amongst all that finds time to create. The gypsy in her hopes to retire someday and hit the Florida circuit showing off (and selling) her Funky Art.

For her fans, we enjoy her funky art, the inspirational sayings and drawings she creates. We feel a kinship to how she explores art and life. And, her bright colors make us happy too.

QUOTE: “She stood brave and tall in her truth. She announced she was an artist. She always had been, but finally had the courage to believe in herself.”

Bonus:

Meet the spouse behind the artist – Dan Seaton.

“If it wasn’t for Dan, I honestly might not be doing this,” Carla said.

Dan is the supportive spouse of Carla’s Funky Art. He works a full-time job for the sheriff’s department on San Juan Island, but on the weekend, he is art supporter extraordinaire. He attends every art festival with Carla, setting up and tearing down the tent, packing up the art, ringing up sells, interacting with her fans, getting lunch for the starving artist, and more.

“We treat our art festivals like mini-vacations,” Carla said. They both enjoy it... a bonus for the business, for the art, and for the fans.

In 2017, the art festival circuit they will be attending is Edmonds Art Festival, Anacortes Art Festival, and Coupeville.

Dan and Carla have been working on building their little art business one painting at a time since 2010. It all began on a little tiny island in Washington State. They lived in a small town called Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. It all began with one small canvas and some paint from the local drug store. Dan thought the little dog painting turned out so good that she should sell it. A few more canvas paintings were made and they took them to the little Saturday swap meet and the fairgrounds, and sure enough....the paintings started selling. Carla loved to see how people reacted to her paintings and enjoyed seeing them smile. Slowly over time, more and more artwork was painted and sold....and the business grew. As things started progressing Dan has jumped in to help with production work. From filling orders to mounting prints, he is the behind the scenes guy that keeps everything running smoothly. He builds her art booth from scratch at traveling art festivals and local farmers markets.

Together they love sharing Carla's inspirational art and both have one thing in common...they love to laugh and goof-off. From singing old Neil Diamond songs to pretending that they are famous movie stars you are bound to think they are funny...they hope!

Created By
Karla Locke
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