Artist Feature: Johanna Rossi

by Nisha Btesh July 21, 2019

Artist Feature: Johanna Rossi

Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?

 OK, that is a huge question! As you know my journey has been very much focused on understanding 'the journey' aka self-discovery! To give you a bit of background I grew up in the South of England and moved to Monaco in 2002, my husband was born here. So much about my life has influenced who I am today, my creativity has always been there through all the twists and turns, but what has influenced me most is my family story which at times, to be honest, has been heart-wrenching. I've had to learn a lot about life, love and being a mother as I go and this can often make life exhausting. Most days feeling like you are not enough, doubting yourself, your ability and your path. I've done A LOT of work and made ALOT of mistakes over the years, that has brought me to a place which I feel so much more comfortable in. A place where I am starting to feel more at ease with myself and with life. I still very much live life with a lot of anxiety, fear, doubt and if I'm honest in quite an introverted way, but my path is ALOT clearer now than it was, say ten years ago. 

Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.

When you are born to create I don't think there is one moment that you realize you were born to create. I just did, pen always in hand, the brain always one hundred miles per hour. I watch my daughter now, she is a true natural-born creative, she just is creative, she doesn't have to make a point of being. 

Finish this sentence. I find myself most inspired to create when I am…

Alone 

Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with said medium or did it choose you?

I think both, I have always drawn and painted and if feels most home to me.

Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. Could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.

My vision board, my children and my Pinterest smart feed! 

 

A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have a formal education or are you self taught?

I studied art and design at school, went to art college and then went onto study interior architecture. My journey then took many turns from then on and I found my way back to my brushes around 18 months ago. I've only been painting full time since last January, and when I say full time, it was very much a period of exploration and experimentation and with no childcare, I have to stop for school holidays, school runs and lunch pickups. I believe you succeed at what is meant for you when you are ready for it, training or no training. 

What do you know for sure?

You won't always get what you want in life, but you will ultimately get what you need. 

 What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general?

Honestly, I'm not sure I can teach anyone about the art industry and I'm learning myself, I do however have ALOT of experience when it comes to self-discovery and finding your way and my one advise, as it is so relevant to me right now, is seek to build your life around doing the things that make you feel the way you want to feel. Spend time working out what makes you feel good and what make you feel bad. For me, real success comes from living a life that you can feel at home in, that fits you and that you are at ease in. Go for slow and steady over quick goal-reaching and burn out. 

How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other.

I'm a full-time artist as well as a full-time mum, my kids are 6 and 10 now so that means my work works around all the school runs, holidays and lunch pickups.

 

What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about said message?

My hope is that my work will support women through their self-doubt, I believe it is a modern-day chronic illness for many women, that has so many knock on effects... I feel strongly about this as I have suffered from self-doubt for as long as I can remember and not found the support I have needed. I would love to think that my work is a lighthouse during another woman's inner storm, guiding them home to ground them.

 What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a female artist?

Finding a style that I have been comfortable with. I feel that I have found that after many weeks of soul searching, chasing feelings and ALOT of sketching.  

Share an experience that started out as a complete disaster but looking back turned out to be a magical opportunity.

Ha, there are too many! I try not to think of them as complete disasters, but as lessons that have taught me more about myself and what I want and brought me to where I am now. I have set up various businesses (non-art-related) and spent so many hours working on them, so much energy poured into something that no longer exists. But when you know it is not right for you and you find the courage to walk away, there is great freedom in that. 

How do you stay motivated? What does your daily routine look like?

I'm good with motivation because I have been to some very dark places in my lifetime that I no longer wish to visit. My work keeps me alive in every sense.

My day starts at 6.55am, the kids are out the house by 8 am and I start with day setting the apartment straight and doing any chores that need to be done. I get dressed and am at my work station for 9 am... I start with warm-up sketches then move onto painting on paper, break for lunch with my children, do any little admin jobs or chores that need doing and then paint on canvas in the afternoon, before the school run at 16H. This year I am avoiding doing any work in the evenings, I'm hoping that will only happen during a launch... I then have certain days scheduled in my calendar for specific admin takes like shipping, accounts and keeping up with social media and Pinterest. 

If you had to give a 30 min. speech without preparing to an audience of 1,000 what would it be on?

Self-discovery

What is your biggest focus and/or goal in your career right now? What plans do you have for yourself 1,3,5 years from now?

I think 3 to 5 years is too much to plan for... So much can change. My word for 2019 is FOCUS and I've planned 8 releases for the first 6 months of 2019, these will be a mix of prints and original paintings. My FOCUS is to keep focused on the essentials and the priorities of each day. Less 24 hours of manic living, more 24 hours of compartmentalization to keep my home and business running whilst trying to keep burn out at bay. 

 How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other.

Full time. 

It’s karaoke night and your up. What song do you sing?

I'm not at the karaoke night! 

Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?

Set yourself money goals. Every month set your target and work out how you are going to make that money. How many pieces of art do you need to make and sell to earn that money?

What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it comes to financials?

I'd love to know! I recently came across the Profit Planner and watched a few of her videos which have been interesting! 

What specifically gives you the most anxiety when it comes to talking about money? Explain.

I'm fine talking about money, I think it is important to talk about it actually. personally, it is just making the money, worried that I won't get to the point where income is steady and secure.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

hard to put into words, but that you don't have to share everything. Just because you know something or you are good at something, it doesn't mean you have to share that with others, some things are just meant for you. 

Finish this sentence. I never leave home without my…

Keys




Nisha Btesh
Nisha Btesh

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