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Meet Bootsy Holler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bootsy Holler.

Bootsy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?

As a kid in school, I knew I didn’t learn like others, so I always took art classes to build and make things with my hands. When I reached college, I started to understand I am a kinesthetic-tactile learner. This understanding of myself brought newfound confidence in my abilities, and as an outsider, it made me forge my own path. After graduating college, I started my own business while working with other creatives. My first art and company were in textiles, designing clothes, and selling in vintage boutiques. I lived in Seattle, which didn’t have an excellent place for this type of entrepreneurialism, and I didn’t have the support to move to NY. I dropped my first business and started another small business creating copper and aluminum picture frames, boxes, and magnets. This company gave me the freedom to start freelancing in photography, and after five years, I was strictly freelance. While shooting commercial and editorial work, I always created my own art on the side and had viewings. Now 27 years later, I’m creating and making art every day, selling work online and through shows. Of course, I can’t have just one business. I train dogs with behavioral issues specific to anxiety and fear. This is a whole other side to me and fulfills the need to help people and animals communicate better together.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?

Can’t say it has ever felt smooth during the early years. I was out on my own with no family support. Things move slowly when you are financing everything you want to do for the future. I also never worked much of a job to save up money. The money went to making art. I actually passed on a position to work in a law office. A friend set me up with the interview so I would have health insurance and make some cash. They offered me the job, but it gave me a panic attack, so I called them back and said I had a better offer. I went down and applied for food stamps to help me as I started my first real business. I was 23 years old.

I’m pretty much a self-taught photographer. I’ve been taking pictures since I was a kid, but having the confidence to approach larger advertising firms, magazines and believing others would see what I had to offer took time. I also didn’t have a mentor, so I was often navigating on my own. A few times, I did assist other photographers I would leave the job thinking I could do that. So I did.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?

I’m a freelance artist, designer, and photographer. My art revolves around emotions, identity, women, and the environment. I would say I specialize in creating a connection with others, a feeling of not being alone, and the beauty in all things. I’m known for doing quiet or sensitive work, but I’ve created this new series Without Words which is bold and emotional. I’m most proud of the fact I’ve been a working artist for over 27 years. The biggest thing that sets me apart from others is who I am as a personality and how I see and create through my mind and body.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?

Growing up in Eastern Washington State near the Hanford Nuclear site, I was surrounded by science, biology, and engineering but saw myself as an artist. I loved playing softball, soccer, and snow/water skiing, but I wouldn’t say I’m super competitive. I like my comforts and often left the room when I was little to put myself to bed. I have always been very independent. I loved to take things apart and put them back together and loved documenting my animals and friends on film, sending in my film rolls with a check to get processed and printed with my own allowance. I was told I talked too much and had high energy. When I was ten, I trained my first dog. I was physically small but always ensured that I was strong and even lifted weights with my dad at age 13.


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Bootsy Holler

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