It All Started When...

Art for Art’s Sake

Around the year 2001, Nemo became inspired and began to paint. He used acrylic on canvas and played with subjects like cats and dogs, but favored abstracts, with large swaths of splashed paint, meticulously outlined with tiny marks comprised of his special “blends” of chunky colors stored in baby food jars. He found it to be fun and meditative and he didn’t really care about the final outcome. It was what it was. Many turned out beautifully organic with melodically complementary color schemes evoking abstract ocean-scapes and microscopic amoebas. Others may not have pleased many viewers, but the act of creating them was all that mattered to Nemo.

He painted so much during his spare time that a pile of finished canvases became a nuisance and Hannah suggested showing them and maybe even selling them. Time went by and Nemo sold enough paintings to purchase more supplies and the cycle continued. Create art, have an art show, sell art, get money, buy more art supplies, create art. Nemo was hooked. He loved creating and finding people who appreciated what he made.

A New Medium & A Big Letdown

He even discovered a new media, pencil and paper, which made it even easier to create more often. He found himself drawing his soon to be famous concentric circles, spirals, and dots, depicting fashionable women, cute critters and landscapes, just about everywhere he went. What was once limited to the home studio, was now happening in a waiting room, on a park bench, or at work during lunch break.

Before they knew it, Hannah + Nemo were framing and packing drawings to be sold in up to 11 art galleries in Texas. For a while everything was great, but come 2008 and it all changed. Galleries were dropping like flies. One even packed up and disappeared in the middle of the night! “The check’s in the mail” was no joke. What was once looking like a viable career choice, suddenly didn’t seem like such a great idea.

So, the couple regrouped and decided to take matters into their own hands. Continuing to work their day jobs, Hannah + Nemo plotted their next move. For 18 months, they saved up money, made a large inventory of pencil drawings, and bought an art festival canopy. Then in 2010, they quit their jobs, bought a camper van and hit the road. By the end of the 2010-2011 season, they had participated in 38 art festivals and shows across 21 states.

Adventure awaits. But the road is rough…

Hannah DreissComment