Anna of For Hive & Home.

Hello! My name is Anna Cooke! Thank you so much for taking the time to read about all of the reasons why I am in love with artwork, creating and dreaming about more artwork to create.

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Who are you? What do you make? How did you get started?:

I am a 20-year-old college student at Florida Gulf Coast University who is studying Studio Art with minors in Marketing and Advertising. My education going back to middle school, onward has revolved around the kinds of art classes that I could take. And so I have a deep love and appreciation for creating fine art. I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida (a city that has inspired me like crazy in the past few years); I am a part of a loving family of five and a dedicated Instagrammer - @annancooke. I really, really love experiencing new places.

I have an Etsy shop that opened up this May and I use it to make and sell a combination of illustrated and hand-lettered art prints to hang or display in one’s creative space or home. The style is pretty minimal and most often black and white.

I got my start making art at a very early age and I can attribute most of that to my mom. She allowed me the room to make messes and experiment with art projects growing up. She’s the one that encouraged me at all the right times to do what I love in life.

For Hive and Home started up this summer originally as a way to make the most of my time that I had to spend in between class and work. I needed to start making a bit more money – my retail job wasn’t cutting it – and I wanted to use my skills and effort to do something that I enjoy and could also grow into something bigger in the future. I’ve made a couple Etsy shops in the past and I felt like this time, I would keep what I’m selling simple and true to my style – and I think that that the missing ingredients in those past attempts at selling handmade goods.

What makes you want to create? What keeps you going?:

I want to create because I know that God has given me an artistic talent that is unlike anyone else and I would be so unhappy if I didn’t have the chance to exercise, grow and use those talents in some way.

What keep me going are the small successes that I’ve experience along the way. I love to create things that other people might find joy in. Be it a really clean, pretty illustration or a phrase that resonates with the position that someone is in at the moment. I feel motivated by the idea that I could reach people and inspire others with my work. And any time that I hear feedback that just one person has enjoyed the thing that I’ve put out there, I feel that much more motivated to make something new.

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What has been the most challenging part of your business?:

The busyness of life has been the most challenging part of starting a small business. For Hive and Home opened in the summer – when my days were a lot more flexible. Right now however, I’m a full-time student with three jobs (I consider For Hive and Home to be my third). Finding the time to create new designs or to work on the shop or the brand’s social media accounts is demanding more discipline and readjustment than I expected. Crazy schedules are not impossible to overcome though and I find hope in that.

What advice do you have for other, perhaps newer, makers?:

It feels really odd to offer advice to newer makers because this is my first real attempt to profit from my work. However, the one piece of encouragement that I do have to share comes from an article in Darling Magazine – Issue No. 12. The article is an interview between Meghan Markle and a member of Darling. And in the question where Markle is asked about what her advice would be to a young person with a dream, lacking in a breakthrough success up until now, she makes the statement “don’t give it five minutes unless you’re going to give it five years”. I read that right when I started For Hive and Home and I’m so thankful that I did because my perspective shifted in terms of the way that I view my progress as an artist/designer/illustrator.

Great endeavors demand time and attention. It’s okay if things are slow starting out, because if you are willing to push through the trials over the course of 5 years, than you are bound to see success.

Be sure to catch up with Anna on Instagram & let her know we sent you! Shop her beautiful artwork here.

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