We had the good fortune of connecting with Terra Goolsby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Terra, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
If necessity is the mother of invention, then 2020 has been exceedingly maternal! We have all had to adapt. One of the most important decisions that I have ever made that has contributed to my success is to be adaptable, to apply my creative problem solving skill set to business as well as the studio. Below is how I adapted and got creative with my business and in the studio in 2020. I am a multimedia artist with a focus on sculpture and works on paper. Historically, I have exhibited my work at brick and mortar galleries that host hundreds of visitors on opening night and throughout gallery hours. This is how I shared my work, expanded my audience, and sold artwork. Since the lock downs and restrictions on non-essential businesses and events were put in place in March of 2020, I have shifted my perspective, approach towards sales, growing my audience, and the creative direction of my artwork. First, I shifted my perspective on the restrictions. I decided to view them as an opportunity to sharpen the professional aspects of my business and maximize my on-line presence. I re-designed my website, posted to Instagram more regularly and in a more strategized fashion, launched a newsletter, and started to host exclusive viewing rooms on-line. In addition to this, I transformed my garage into a home studio where I could host studio visits with collectors one at a time. This saved me money in an unstable economy and kept myself and collectors safe while continuing to look at work in person. My studio practice shifted as well. The conceptual approach to my artwork has always lied within the deconstruction of myth. In 2020, as I began to think about adaptability, I started to investigate how that is embodied in Meso American mythology. I arrived at Nahual, the shapeshifter. Nahual transforms itself into different kinds of creatures or animals, depending on what it needs to accomplish. Nahual adapts accordingly. This idea sparked a series of drawings based on this concept. The work abstractly depicts bodily forms that fluidly morph into other forms. As these works on paper take shape, I embody Nahual, allowing the lines to transfigure as I go. I don’t know exactly what the final product will be, only that I will constantly change direction and gesture as needed. Surprisingly, 2020 has yielded valuable new relationships, professional developments, and interesting explorations in the studio. Hopefully, in the coming year we can all return to some of the more physical aspects of our professional practice while continuing to expand the discoveries made in 2020. I’m looking forward to exhibiting in galleries, where people can gather to get a closer look at my work, sip wine, and chat. For a link to the Nahual Series, viewing room email me at email@example.com Browse my website and find links to my Instagram page and newsletter at http://www.terragoolsby.com/
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Texas based artist and curator living and working in Austin, Texas. I attended the Rhode Island School of Design where I acquired an MFA in Sculpture. I also conducted independent research at Brown University where I identified my obsession with de-construction of Meso American and contemporary mythologies. I also went to the University of Texas at Austin where I earned a BFA in painting and sculpture. I’ve exhibited in Texas, England, New York, Rhode Island, Boston, and Connecticut. After traveling and moving several times, I finally settled down in Austin, Texas and continue to work out of my studio.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of the best places to check out are Canopy Austin, a community of artists, gallerists and other creative types, located on almost four acres on the east side. http://www.canopyaustin.com/ and Justine’s Brasserie for very late night, French dining and drinks. https://www.justines1937.com/
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 dedicate my shoutout to my husband, Jaime Cano for constantly offering love, support, and encouragement!
Artwork by Terra Goolsby Artwork by Terra Goolsby Artist Terra Goolsby