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

Hi Salad, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Soon after the murder of George Floyd, I felt a shift in priorities when it came to how I wanted to participate in this world as an artist. Yes, I wanted to make a living, but with that, I also wanted to make sure that I was standing up for what I believed in and what I think is right. From then on every piece sold has had a portion of sales donated to various non-profit organizations, focusing on organizations involved in raising up Black communities, assisting LGBTQ+ youth, and other marginalized groups that so commonly get overlooked and neglected.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
From a young age, I wanted to be an artist… and from a young age, I never really thought it’d be possible. I had this ingrained idea that in order for people to know your work, you either had to go to college or be dead. Seeing as the latter of the two wasn’t an option, I applied and was accepted to art school, only to find out that my family and I weren’t able to afford it. For about 12 years I kept painting as an occasional hobby, but everything changed when COVID-19 hit. I picked painting back up after a 3 year dry spell to give me a sense of peace, and posting it on Instagram, hopefully offering that peace to others in the midst of constantly seeing bad news. And then I had this revelation that I lived in the age of self promotion via social media, and it clicked. I could actually put myself out there for people to see my work. It was anxiety inducing and thrilling at the same time. My work is based a lot in that original mentality of providing joy to people. It’s bright and playful, usually incorporating the rainbow color scale. It could be mountains one day, nudity and cuss words another, and then end the week with chaos. Kind of like life, I suppose!

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.
Portland is one of those cities that is roughly 45 minutes from anything, the ocean, the mountains, the high desert, the river. In addition, I’ve never been to a better city for food and drinks. Ideal trip would including camping at Laurence Lake on Mt Hood, amazing camp grounds on the water. I’d take them to eat at Reo’s Ribs for BBQ (owned by Snoop Dogg’s uncle) or Aviv for Israeli food (best vegan food I’ve ever had). Drinks would have to end at Deschutes Brewery which has been my favorite for years. Their beer & cocktails are always on point, the staff is absolutely wonderful, and they have the best pretzel you’ll ever taste!

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?
My partner Matthew has been a huge cheerleader in this process of taking my art public. When I was toying around with the idea of just starting an Instagram account for my art, I almost had a panic attack, but he was so supportive and stoked for me and has been ever since. He’s also a creative so I get to soundboard ideas with him, but I think most importantly, I get his understanding. He knows what it’s like to wake up with a new idea, or to want to work for hours without breaking concentration. He knows the sanctity of the creative flow, and man, it’s nice to have that in a partner! I’d also like to give a ton of credit to my family and friends, they’ve really floored me with their help. My family members have always been my first fans, and this didn’t change when I started selling my art. And going beyond the amazing encouragement, my friends have been critical in presenting me with opportunities. Whether it be a friend who published my paintings in his monthly book of art and poetry (High Shelf Press, check it out!), or connecting me with a bar owner who chose to hang my art in their business, these are all actions of them believing in my work, and I’m so grateful.

Website: www.saladarts.etsy.com
Instagram: @salad_arts

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