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My art now featured in Anthropologie!!

Starla Halfmann

I am so excited to announce that Anthropologie has now launched products with my art! The whole experience has been serendipitous and I wanted to share a bit more about my journey to this point.

I quit my job as a desktop publisher a little under two years ago to pursue a full-time career as an artist. Ironically, the office building I worked in was actually the same office that was used as a set in the movie "Office Space." I remember the day when our HR manager announced that not only was our company going bankrupt but also that we were moving into a more affordable space to cut costs and guess what! - That space had been used as the set for the movie "Office Space". As an "office warming" gift we were all given used dvds of the movie and miniature red staplers. My gut sank as did the entire office morale. 

They say life imitates art and I would have to agree. I spent the next two years playing out the movie in my life sans embezzling money of course :). At the end of the movie the entire office catches on fire - four months before I quit a transformer blew on the side of the building and everyone had to evacuate while numerous fire trucks blarred their sirens and smoke billowed from the roof. My coworker pulled the end of the movie up on his phone and we felt like we were in the twilight zone as the movie played and the scenery was identical. After that, I felt more and more like the main character and started thinking maybe I should find a hypnotist  like he did - Maybe that would give me a push - lol. Instead, through a serious of synergistic beautiful events I met a pastor and his wife who counseled me for two days about what seemed to be holding me back from life and from pursuing my dreams. After talking with them, I came back feeling alive - as simple as it sounds. The first day I was back, my boss called me in her office and told me she knew I was unhappy, that I was very talented and she wanted to see me spread my wings and fly and the comment that really stuck with me "I needed to be proud of the work of my hands".  I walked back to my desk sat down and felt nauseas at the thought of staying there any longer. I bowed my head and prayed for courage and a wave of energy washed over me. After that, I grabbed a box and did what I never thought I could do...I took a risk and I quit.  In a matter of seconds I made a faith based decision that washed away 8 years of a fear based decision. Three months after I quit the company I worked for closed it's doors permanently. 

Two months later I was painting every day and doing fine but the doubt and fear was creeping again.  Praying is a large part of my life and my career. I pray about what I'm going to paint and I pray over the paintings I paint. I'm not religious but I am spiritual. That being said, I had prayed about what direction I should go in with my art and the thought "Woodland Creatures" popped in my head.  My heart has always been drawn to painting large abstracts with oil but I thought "Why not, I'll give animal portraits a try". 

I'll admit, I was having some doubts and at one point was thinking, "I'm painting these furry animals - what is the point of this?!" I called my pastor friend and he chuckled and said, "If you only knew the negative thoughts that went through my head about my career." He told me having those negative thoughts/opposition are a good indicator you're probably going in the right direction. He was right. The next morning I woke up to an email from a buyer at Anthro who had found me on pinterest and she said that they loved all my work but especially loved the Woodland Creatures I had been painting. She wanted to arrange a meeting and four buyers from Anthro flew to Austin to meet me and the rest is history.