Today we’d like to introduce you to Britt Ford.
Hi Britt, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I went to The University of Denver to play division I lacrosse and after 8 knee surgeries, I decided to focus more on my creativity instead of sports. After transferring and graduating from Dickinson College with a degree in Economics I worked in corporate fashion and learned the ins and outs of running a business from sales, shipping to customer service. I quit my corporate job in 2015 and nannied while starting my company. I started making thermographic embossed artwork because I was tired of seeing the overpriced and mass-produced 2D maps and illustrations in stores and online. I fell in love with the rare medium and the process of the glue, powder, and heat creating truly one-of-a-kind pieces.
I have always been creative and believe my fascination with bringing beauty into the home likely comes from my mother, an interior designer, and stager. Growing up, I spent my weekends with my mom redecorating rooms in our home. My mother often brought bright colors and metallics into the home, an aesthetic that later found its way into my artwork.
After living in Hoboken for 10 years, my husband and I moved to Tampa in 2020 for his career. I first opened a studio/gallery space in Seminole Heights and then COVID happened. That space ended up just being my studio.
After living in Tampa Bay for about a year, I noticed all the vacant storefronts in Hyde Park Village. I emailed Hyde Park Village to find out if they host pop-ups. I arranged to pop up in the former Candle Pour space next to Color Me Mine for six months, from September 2021-February 2022. The timing is perfect as I do most of my business during the holiday season.
I have grown over the years and now focus on thermographic embossed artwork, large-scale murals, and interior design.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
No. At first, I was really intimidated because I was always asked where I went to art school. I studied economics so that was an answer no one expected. I felt like a fraud sometimes because I was self-taught but realized that you’re either born with it or you’re not. You don’t have to go to art school to be a professional artist.
Opening a retail store was also an interesting time. I opened my first gallery right before COVID and never saw any foot traffic. I feel like what I struggle with most now is the ever-changing landscape of social media. It is so crucial to businesses and is a job of its own.
Another thing I struggled with when making art was the framing. I was so sick of overpaying the framers and it would end up costing more than my art. I watched tons of videos and taught myself how to frame.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in thermographic embossed artwork. I take a glue pen – draw out the design, then put embossing powder on. Then I take a fine brush to make clean lines and heat up the glue and powder with a heat gun. The heat allows the glue and powder to melt together and create a 3D metallic design.
A few years ago, I painted my first mural in Hoboken, NJ and fell in love with that medium. I have painted murals in New Jersey, New York, and Florida.
The past two years I have taken on interior/commercial design projects for clients. I always have been into designing spaces and growing into this arena is really fun and a learning curve.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Good luck – having amazing mentors – Catherine and Paul Norbury (worked for their small business from the age of 14-20) and my art mentor Ricardo Roig. Ricardo helped me be more of an “artist” and taught me that I can create what I like instead of just doing commissions.
Bad luck – COVID. I opened a gallery right before COVID and that was a horrible experience, financially and mentally. I learned a lot but it was a hard time because people didn’t want to spend money on art.
- Maps – $140 to $600
- Paintings – $190-$6000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.brittford.us
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brittford/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BRITTFORD01
Elizabeth Dugan Creative