We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline Gibbons and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caroline, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Pursuing something you’re passionate about always entails risk. In my life, each and every turning point in my career and personal life required me to step out in faith and risk the comfort of what I was used to. When I started my watercolor business, risk looked like stepping out in faith from my non-profit job, surrounded by supporting co-workers, into a brand new business on my own. As terrifying as that decision was, I counted it worth the risk because I was pursuing something I loved. There are always parts of life that make everything worth the risk: for me, it’s watercolor painting, for others it’s baking cakes, pursuing justice, running a marathon, etc. Whatever a passionate, full life looks like, it’s never achieved until we step out in risk.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For me, art has always been a beautiful way to express the beauty of the world around us. Especially during times of turmoil, unrest, and worry, I use art to remind myself of the beauty of God’s creation that I can touch, feel, see, and admire. By Caroline Ann’s floral watercolors and custom illustrations stemmed out of that desire to capture beauty in this world. Specifically in my custom watercolor illustrations, I love the opportunity to take something breathtakingly gorgeous in someone’s life and capture it in watercolor. I’ve painted families with new children, precious pets who have now passed, and wedding portraits of a 30 year anniversary. All of these moments are those that make life most beautiful, and By Caroline Ann exists to celebrate that. It can be nerve-racking, stepping into someone’s life in those most precious moments, and I’ve had to overcome a lot of fear of failure or disappointment. But the responses from my clients make everything worth it. One customer, upon receiving her custom portrait, was so overcome with emotion that she started crying, and I’ll never forget that moment of sheer joy and thankfulness. That is why I do what I do.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Dallas has so many hidden gems, and I love showing people around this city! My all time favorite brunch spot is San Martin, an incredible Guatemalan-based restaurant and bakery that opened its first US location right here in Dallas. Their menu has everything from beloved classics to fun new favorites, and the migas plate is to die for! After having enjoying a long brunch at San Martin, I’d take a new visitor over to White Rock Lake to walk and relax outside. There’s nothing more refreshing than spending time outside, and I love taking my dog Charlie on a walk around places like White Rock Lake. After enjoying the day outdoors, we’d grab some dinner and stop by either Bowen House for a drink, or Azucar for some ice cream. Dallas has so much to offer in fun spots to visit, but I love this city most for the people and the experiences that it’s given me over the years.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Growing up, I always loved art. I’d spend hours and hours coloring, painting, and sketching whenever I had a chance to open my sketchbook. I’m forever grateful to two people who lovingly fostered my joy in art: my mom, and my high school art teacher, Mrs. Westervelt. As a child, I’d see paintings of my mom’s and think to myself, ‘Wow, I want to do that someday!’ Painting, drawing, etc was always a valued part of our life in my childhood home, and my mom never wasted a moment in encouraging my love for art. That encouragement, paired with Mrs. Westervelt’s passion for educating students on how to admire and create art, are what pushed me to never stop painting. During college, it was easy for me to neglect taking the time to paint and draw, with everything else going on in my life. But I’d always hear Mrs. Westervelt in the back of my head, encouraging myself and others to keep creating beautiful art. Influences of challenge and encouragement, like both my mom and my teacher, are part of the reason I took the risk of stepping out to create my own watercolor business. Thank you always to you both!

Website: https://www.bycarolineanndesigns.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bycarolineann/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bycarolineann
Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bycarolineann/

Image Credits
Molly Pitkin Photography

Nominate someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.