Today we’d like to introduce you to Robyn Feeley.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Bungalow Art Studio was founded in 2003 located in my Venice beach bungalow. (hence the name) I had been a stay at home mom to my then 7-year-old son, when at 43, I found myself in the midst of a divorce. During the evenings that my son was with his dad, I started to dabble with Max’s crayons and whatever paper I could find. Our 2 dogs were often “models”.
This was my little secret project/therapy until a friend came over and found my sketches. I was found out & slightly embarrassed by her discovery.
However, the following day she showed up with a package of pastel pencils and proper pastel paper…the second I felt the pastels touch the paper, I was hooked! I experimented with various subject matter, but found that I most enjoyed the pet portraits and animal paintings.
My next move was to hire a web designer to build my website. I had a specific vision and he executed it beautifully. No sooner did he publish the site, I received a request for 2 custom pet portraits. My first client! Then a request for 36 custom illustrations, an invitation to exhibit my art at a local restaurant, and 3 sales. Bungalow Art Studio was born.
In 2004, I moved my studio up to Topanga canyon where I began my new life as Artist. My artwork flourished in the canyon, surrounded by the amazing wildlife and natural beauty. In 2010, I was honored by the Topanga Chamber of Commerce with their small Business of the Year award. And invited my first client as a thank you.
My deep connection with him is how I ended up in Long Beach in 2014.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t call it smooth! Life as a working artist has many ups and downs. Kinda like feast or famine. The business had a nice jump start but it took a lot of marketing, networking, and exposure through many many festivals to make ends meet. With my reputation building as a pet portrait artist, my busiest season was the 4th quarter as many of my portraits are given as unique holiday gifts. However, the crash in 2008 brought my business to a screeching halt! I immediately down sized my home and studio space, tightened my belt, took a deep breath and came up with new strategies to make ends meet. One of my biggest lessons was to always have a plan…plan A, plan B, plan C… I also developed a knack for thinking outside the box in order to come up with new plans.
Please tell us about Bungalow Art Studio.
I am a visual artist. I make stuff with my hands. Pastel paintings and recycled ceramic mosaic frames are my specialties but I dabble with many things. I began my career specializing in whimsical pet portraits, but after the loss of my parents in 2005, I began creating day of the dead inspired art which has exploded! I think my unique signature style is what sets me apart from other visual artists along with the use of recycled ceramics in my framing.
The thing I am most proud of as a company are the awards I received in 2010 from the Topanga Chamber of Commerce for small Business of the Year, along with awards from the State Assembly, LA County, the Senate and the LA County Sheriff’s Department. The most gratifying thing, the thing that says it all, the thing that makes ME the proudest…selling my art!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My first dog.
- Pricing on artwork varies starting at $75 for an unframed 5×7″ painting
- Website: www.bungalowartstudio.com
- Phone: 310-455-7744
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/robynfeeley
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/robynfeeley
- Other: www.facebook.com/bungalow-art-studio