Let’s welcome Deborah Grayson.
Tell me about Deborah Grayson Studios and how did it all come about?
Well, not to be cliche or anything but I have been an artist all of my life. My earliest memories are of me curled up in my room with a sketchbook and a pencil or paint brush. Being an artist is a core part of who I am. I would even go so far as to say it is why I am here — to create art and to connect with people through art.
Deborah Grayson Studios evolved out of desire to create meaningful and beautiful work to share with others. I studied painting in college. Shifted focus for a while to earn two graduate degrees in a totally different subject and then rediscovered myself and my art all over again by picking up a paintbrush, a needle and thread. Sculpting figures from clay came after that. My work garnered a lot of positive attention through word of mouth. Through the encouragement (okay, goodhearted badgering) I received from family and close friends I started Deborah Grayson Studios in 2007.
What sparked your interest in creating your works of art?
The short answer is that everything interests me. I am inspired by people, places, things — books, music, art and spirit. If I had to point to one thing I would have to say that stories interest me. We learn about who we are — about our place(s) in the world through story. I love to listen to stories from my elders, I stop to listen to stories from strangers, I often feel that my ancestors whisper stories to me as a reminder of who I am and how much I am loved. And then there are the stories forced upon me by people speaking loudly on cell phones in public places. Some of my best ideas come from the snippets I have heard of ridiculously personal conversations while standing in line at Target. : ).
Did you always know that you want to have your own business?
Yes, I think I did. I am an introvert. I love to sit quietly somewhere in a corner to think and create. I also believed that if I worked hard and put my mind to it I could be a successful business owner. There have definitely been sharp curves in the road but I truly do believe that if you do what you love you — if you do what you are passionate about — that you *will* find a path to prosperity.
Out of all the dolls you have created, do you have a favorite one?
I see my work more as mixed media sculpture now rather than dolls. Having said that — my favorite piece is always the last one I finished. What can I say? I love them all!!
You have been doing this for some time now, what keeps your motivated?
We come to know ourselves and each other through stories. There are lots of story to tell. I get up everyday excited to try to develop and share what I have learned from others through clay and textiles. So I am motivated by a deep love and keen interest in creating story through my art.
What’s one lesson you have learned along the way?
A key lesson I have learned is that relationships are everything — relationships you have with your family, your friends, your co-workers, other artists. Other people are your best resource. I don’t mean that in a “using” way. What I mean is the importance of connection to others — especially in a world where technology often makes it easy for us to isolate ourselves– is incredibly important to individual growth for both you and the people you encounter. I really value the people in my life.
If you can give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Hmm. I guess it would be do something that brings joy to you and to others everyday. Get involved in something you are passionate about and share it with your community. Stop to really connect with people.
How can people find out more about your and your business?
Are you a Business Owner? Have you started your own side hustle business? Want to share your story? Check out the Savvy Professionals Profiles page for more details.