Where did you grow up?
Who is your role model?
Where do you live now?
What is your theme song?
This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads.
Abbey never saw herself doing anything other than creating art. She turned her passion into her career and never looked back. Right after college, she worked as a print designer for Lilly Pulitzer. She spent her days painting prints and was thrilled to be surrounded by creative women.
Now, Abbey has her own studio and works independently, though she recently began doing more collaborative projects with female-run businesses. While she had concerns about venturing out on her own, Abbey talked with other female artists to get advice and gain confidence. “Quieting these fears and hesitations is the best thing you can do. Going in fully confident that you’re pursuing the right career is the best advice I have!”
Check out more of Abbey’s work at AbbeyHoldenStudio.com.
Why do you love what you do?
It’s definitely what I was made to do! I love being able to turn what I enjoy most into a career. It’s still hard work, but there’s something so fulfilling about doing what you love and sharing it with others.
How did you discover your passion for your job?
I grew up painting as a child, intentionally sought out art classes as I grew older and eventually studied it in college. I knew I wanted to work in the artistic field - doing something different was never an option for me!
How do you define success?
I believe success is liking who you are, how you live your life and the impact you have on others. If I can say my business positively impacts people and comes from a heartfelt place, I will be successful.
What motivates you?
I believe we all have a unique gift and skillset that we’re supposed to harness and share. With this perspective, creating becomes my life’s work. That responsibility is what motivates me.
I saw on your website that you studied in Florence, Italy. How long were you there and what was the best thing you learned from being immersed in a different culture?
I studied at a small art school in Florence during the first half of my junior year. Florence has deep roots in the artistic world and walking around the city felt extra special because of it. I learned the importance of creating every day – big or small – in order to progress and refine your own artistic style.
What steered you in the direction of using non-toxic and natural paints and mediums?
If used regularly, paint can be really hard on the body. I started to feel these effects and began gravitating towards cleaner materials as result. The pigments made from stones, minerals and different parts of the earth are so beautiful and better for both myself and the environment.
This or That
Early Bird or Night Owl
Hours a Week
iPhone or Android
Left Brain or Right Brain
Heels or Flats
Are you currently doing all independent work?
Yes! I established my studio as a business a few years back and have been on my own since. I have been doing more collaborative projects with female-run businesses as of late which is a great way to still be independent but work with others.
How long did you work at Lilly Pulitzer and what attracted you to that job?
I started working with Lilly Pulitzer right after college and was there for three years working as a print designer. It was a dream job! I spent my days painting prints surrounded by incredibly creative women. I knew I wanted an office job that combined creativity and structure, and Lilly was just that!
What has been one of your favorite pieces that you’ve created?
The very first painting I sent to a client will always hold significance. I also have a blush landscape I painted on a whim which now hangs in my room. It’s the one piece I’ve kept for myself over the years.
What advice do you have for sisters who are aspiring artists?
Before I started my business, I reached out to a dozen successful female artists to pick their brains. Their input gave me the confidence to start my own business without fear. Quieting these fears and hesitations is the best thing you can do. Going in fully confident that you’re pursuing the right career is the best advice I have!
Is there anything you’d like our readers to know about you and your work?
I rarely love what I create! That being said, I always love creating. Sometimes just doing the thing is the best part.