New to Lake Nona and hailing from Miami, Terry Mulrooney is excited to have a refreshing start, especially as she joins the fantastic art scene in the Orlando area. After seeing some of her work, we’re even more thrilled to have another incredible artist in the Nonahood. Take a look in the interview below!
Nonahood News: What drove you to become an artist?
Terry Mulrooney: [Due to] a successful human resources career [and] being a wife and mother, my lifestyle left me little time to practice my passion of art. I began to feel that my life lacked a creative outlet and decided to return to my passion and devote myself to developing my talents as an artist. In a sense, I reinvented myself.
NHN: When did you realize creating art was your passion?
TM: All my life I have been surrounded by music, dance, singing and art. It has been an important part of my childhood. I have memories of dancing to music at a very young age, drawing all the time, being in the chorus at school, and so much more. So it has been a part of me all my life. In a period of my life where my career no longer was fulfilling to me, I turned to art. … I do know that I realized I needed to express this passion through my watercolors. The realization came when I just started painting and I did not want to stop!
NHN: How often do you find yourself creating art?
TM: I find myself creating art everywhere all the time. Sometimes, I look at bubbles in the sink and see beautiful patterns. I look at trees, flowers, animals, and see the light and shadows to make them beautiful. I see the sky and see galaxies, stars, and aurora borealis as beautiful canvases. So many ideas to create.
NHN: How long did it take you to discover yourself as an artist?
TM: When I started painting, I realized I needed to improve and better myself to call myself an artist. [When] I gained recognition, awards, and sales is when I was comfortable in calling myself an artist. This process took several years before I would say “artist” about myself.
NHN: Which of your projects would you consider to be your favorites? (Pick a top three.)
TM: My favorite projects are working with children in some way. I have worked with several groups in the Miami area before moving to Orlando. It is wonderful to see the look of wonderment when the child learns something. Art Box and Create Miami were two organizations that were special to me. My favorite, the journey I will always have close to me, is the wonderful experience of working with a nonprofit organization called MUJER. Over the Christmas holiday, through my granddaughter’s Girl Scout troop, we had Santa, food, and gifts for the children and their families. At MUJER, they provide a trusting environment that promotes emotional wellness and stability by empowering individuals through advocacy, direct response to domestic and sexual abuse, and support services that strengthen families.
During that time, I was granted permission to take photos of some terrific kids. They were part of MUJER. When I got home and looked at the faces of these families in my photos, it was wonderful to see the smiles, laughter and joy. I contacted MUJER and asked if I could do something special for them. I picked out the most “paintable” photos and asked if I could paint these smiles and happiness. I then presented the 27 paintings to the families. What a thrill to see the parents and children excited that they were selected and painted. This was done from my heart to share joy to families affected by violence and/or abuse. It touched my heart.
NHN: Which of your projects were the most time-consuming/challenging and why?
TM: Usually, the biggest challenge for me is putting together a solo show. It involves a long term commitment (about six months or more), finding the right place, convincing them to accept my art (if needed, best to be asked), marketing, publicity, deciding which paintings are best for the show, painting the art if necessary, and proper pricing. There is so much more to consider. The show can be successful and have sales and excellent exposure, or even more shows could come from that show. Or it can be a bust! I have had both. I learned from both.
NHN: What are some of your dream projects?
TM: My dream project is establishing my art in the Orlando area and being known as a master watercolorist. These are not dreams but reality.
NHN: What serves as your inspiration on a day-to-day basis?
TM: My inspiration is all around me. Looking at a beautiful face and wanting to do a portrait. Seeing wildlife in my backyard and thinking of ways to present them on paper. My family serves as a support system for me to do my best. I use my mantra for life to inspire me:
I always do my best
I do not assume anything
I do not take things personally
I am impeccable with my word
To see more of Mulrooney’s work, visit www.TerryMulrooneyStudios.com.
Photos Courtesy of Terry Mulrooney