We had the good fortune of connecting with Avery Orendorf and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Avery, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my mural business a bit backwards. I decided that I wanted to learn how to paint, but I am admittedly bad at having hobbies. I don’t have the dedication it takes to learn a new skill without an endgame or purposeful goal in sight. If I was going to dedicate hours to learning a new skill after quitting a full time job and with two babies at home, I needed a practical reason. I had to make money, so I needed to make my new interest a financial benefit instead of a financial burden. I started a business painting murals, and in the process I learned how to paint murals. Initially my rates were extremely low since I didn’t have the skill set to charge more. Over three or four years I developed as an artists, raised my rates and have since been consistently making good money while doing something that I love. There is a false narrative that exists in the world of the starving artist. Entering into the art world for the purpose of making money allowed me to ignore that concept and approach everything I do from a business mindset. We have to value our own contribution and know our worth before expecting the world to do the same. Once we clear that hurdle, the possibilities are endless.
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.
The goal of public art is to cultivate curiosity, spark imagination, and engage the community in a meaningful way. Art can be a tribute, a challenge, an inspiration or a celebration. 2020 has been challenging enough for a lifetime, so art that uplifts is more important now than ever. Joy and imagination are the fundamentals on which my artistic practice is built and I strive to share that spirit as often as I can. I jumped feet first into the art world on a whim. I am mostly self-taught through plenty of practice and hustle. I have managed in a few short years to develop a style of art that is whimsical, distinct and recognizable. Many of my murals start as simple illustrations that morph into full scale mural concepts as the process and positive energy take over the narrative as the driving force. I hope to express a playful energy with all of my work. I spend my days designing, painting, playing and doing more laundry than I’d like to talk about. I hate cooking dinner and believe that a 100% taco diet is completely acceptable.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Austin is such an easy city to show off. I firmly believe that visitors need three taco meals a day – El Chilito, Torchy’s, El Tacorrido, Curra’s, El Alma, and Taco Deli are some of my favorites. Biking around town, running on the Town Lake Trail, rock climbing on the Greenbelt, paddle boarding on Ladybird Lake, strolling along South Congress are must dos. We have a number of great breweries and honky tanks that I love to share – Live Oak Brewing, ABGB, The Little Darlin’, Donn’s Depot. A sing-along or Master Pancake at The Alamo Drafthouse always go over well. A quick visit to the Cathedral of Junk is a perfect Keep Austin Weird activity.
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’d like to thank my parents for always pushing me to be practical. They actually convinced me NOT to pursue a Fine Arts degree. They believed that art was not a viable career path. I switched majors, learned all of the practical stuff to follow a normal career path, then set out to prove them wrong. Thanks for the challenge, Mom and Dad! I showed you!