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

Hi Haley, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
To be honest, starting my own art business was not planned. I have always been creative, but the only formal art training I’ve had was a few classes in high school and a drawing class in college. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, my company (like many others) had everyone start working from home. I quickly became stir-crazy and full of cabin fever, so I looked for ways to stay busy.

As I was scrolling the internet one day, I saw someone creating art with resin. I thought to myself, “That looks cool! I think I can do that!” I went to the craft store and bought all the supplies and started making resin wall art and coaster sets. I posted my creations on my instagram and astonishingly enough, my friends and family started asking if they could buy them! I was in shock. I never thought anyone would ever want to buy something that I’ve made.

In a few short months, what started as a hobby to stay busy snowballed into a full on side-gig. My friends and family started spreading the word about my art, and soon I started receiving custom orders from people I didn’t even know. WHAT?! Never thought that would happen in a million years. I decided to make my own website, and filed for my own LLC to make my business official.

Since I’m still rather new to the art world, I like to experiment with other mediums. I have recently fallen in love with watercolors and have been painting custom pet portraits. I love that there is a flow to the paint, which relates to the flow of resin. I have also started to paint large-scale murals on indoor and outdoor surfaces. I try to push my art boundaries and refine my art skills through trying new things.

I never imagined that I would be a full-time artist, but now I realize that it’s a real possibility and a new goal of mine.

This new business venture has been very exciting and I can’t wait to see where it leads!

Follow my art journey on instagram @PenelopeOliverDesigns

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art has been a creative outlet for me to pour my emotions into. Most of my art is inspired by nature and landscapes, because I find the most inner peace when I am traveling or hiking in the mountains. I love connecting with nature and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s really nothing like standing at the top of a mountain by yourself, looking out into the open and enjoying every second of it. I strive to help people feel connected with nature through my art.

I also like to explore different styles and mediums to expand my skillset. My most used mediums are resin, watercolor and indoor/outdoor mural paint. My resin artwork is the most abstract. I have incorporated wood-working into my resin work as well, to help tie it into the nature theme. I use watercolors to paint custom pet portraits, but have also painted a few human and cat portraits as well. When people trust me to paint their beloved pets, I try to do them justice and capture their spirit and energy they bring into the world. Large-scale murals are my most recent adventure. I love making big brush strokes on a wall. It feels empowering, which is what I hope viewers feel when they look at them.

I got to where I am today by facing my fears, overcoming imposter syndrome, and believing that my art is worth it. It has definitely not been easy, and there have been times where I thought about giving up. One of the fears I had when starting my art journey was that I was going to do something wrong, and everyone was going to laugh at me. But I realized that there is no right or wrong way of doing art… there’s just art. This ties into another fear I had of having imposter syndrome. when I first started attending art shows, I never felt like I fit in with the other artists. I was intimidated and scared of making a fool of myself.

But the more art I created, and more art shows I attended, I slowly got over those fears. I realized that all art is beautiful, and other artists I met were super nice. I ended up becoming friends with a lot of them and we have shared advice and tips throughout the years.

I think everyone has a creative side, but we all express it in different ways. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. You are you for a reason, so own it.

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?
I love being in nature as much as I can. I always take people to Cedar Ridge Preserve, because it’s the most “real” hiking one can get in Dallas. There are a few different trails that intersect with each other, and also a beautiful lookout spot where you can see for miles. It’s a great place to go if you want to get out of the city noise.

White Rock Lake is also a fun outdoor spot to visit. The paths are easier to walk on since they are flat and paved, and at almost every point you can see White Rock Lake. There is a place where you can rent kayaks and explore the lake that way, or take your dog to the dog park and let them cool off in the water.

Sometimes there are sailboat races, or teams practicing rowing. After a walk around the lake, you can set up a hammock to wind down and relax.

There are always great comedy shows at Hyena’s Comedy Club at Mockingbird Station. I go to one show every month and have always enjoyed it. Sometimes they even have famous comedians there. A few weeks ago I saw Steven Michael Quezada there, who was the DEA agent in “Breaking Bad”.

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?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my friends and family. Without their support, I would not have the courage to dive into this new art journey. They are always there to encourage me, push me, and give me advice. Even though this is a solo adventure, I am truly never alone. Love ya’ll <3

Website: www.penelopeoliverdesigns.com

Instagram: penelopeoliverdesigns

Facebook: www.facebook.com/penelopeoliverdesigns

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.