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

Hi Marianne, why did you pursue a creative career?
For me it’s largely due to the the personal fulfillment the whole creative process brings me. It’s challenging- when you create art you embed a part of yourself in each piece, no matter how straightforward the commission seems to be. Then, the end result isn’t always something you’re proud of. But when something I paint speaks to another person and I am able to bring a little joy to their lives, my heart feels so full! I am a very curious person and choosing an artistic career allows me to learn more about painting techniques, plants, people, destinations, etc., indulging my curiosity.

Also, being a freelance artist and designer has given me the flexibility to pursue volunteer work, travel, and personal goals (like running a half marathon for the first time!) on my own time frame. So any challenges and uncertainty that come from pursuing a creative career are totally worth it for me!

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.
I’m a freelance artist and designer focused on watercolor. I often paint landscapes, architecture, animals and botanicals and use many of my paintings for prints, greeting card and wedding invitation designs, and the like.

I am often driven to paint that which I am curious about, and my enthusiasm for color, nature, and travel heavily influences my work. I aim to spark the same curiosity in others for subjects that are often overlooked, because I believe education and understanding influences us to appreciate the natural world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ooh, this one is hard! I feel that I”m only beginning to explore my new home state of West Virginia, but it’s got so many outdoor activities!

I think first we’d grab some coffee and pastries at Nomada bakery here in Huntington before heading east on i-64 for some outdoor adventures.

Charleston, the capital city is on the way though, so we’d have to stop at Taylor books for coffee #2 and to peruse the shelves for some reading material to keep us entertained during downtime at our campsite. We’ll probably stop by The Loopy Leaf for some yummy vegan lunch to go, then onto Fayetteville to visit the New River Gorge National Park & Nature Preserve. We’d definitely have to hike the Endless Wall trail, Long point trail and visit Red Ash Island, and take a white water rafting tour. After a few days there we’d have to head to see the iconic Seneca Rocks in Monongahela National Forest. We couldn’t end our trip without visiting Cranberry Glades in Hillsboro, WV. We’d probably be pretty exhausted by that point and head back, making a stop for dinner in Charleston at either Chow Thai or Elephant Thai… I’m getting hungry now just thinking about that!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Firstly, my mom has always supported me in my artistic career even though I’m sure she had her doubts at times! I had a lot of friends in art school whose parents discouraged them for wanting to take a creative path, but I never had to worry about that.

During the beginning of my career, my late husband was always my cheerleader as well, and even though its been over 6 years since he passed, I still try to have his voice in my head pumping me up when I start to feel down. His family also still supports me in my artistic career and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for their encouragement as well.

As far as inspiration from fellow creatives go, I really love listening to Andy J Pizza’s podcast called Creative Pep Talk. Just like the title says, it is great for a pep talk and I highly recommend checking that one out!

Website: ivylinedesign.com

Instagram: @ivylinedesign

Facebook: @ivylinedesign

Image Credits
Karhlee Zambos (photo of Marianne)

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