Canberra artist to watch: Brauton Heathwilliams
With a distinctly unique style, and a passion for drawing and acrylic paints, Brauton Heathwilliams is an artist to watch. Since cutting down on full-time hours to focus on her art, she’s began to build a name for herself in Canberra through networks and social media.
She spoke with NowUC about the struggles of evolving as an artist in Canberra, and shares her advice to any young talent who are thinking of pursuing art as a career.
How long have you been focussing on art for the purpose of a business?
Only 6 months, but I’ve always produced art and love doing it.
Is it hard to prioritise art?
Not anymore because I specifically decided to cut down on full time work to give this a shot. I’m not going to find the time (to do art) working like that, so I kind of just took the risk and saved up enough, so I could only work two or three days a week, and spend the rest of my time doing this. But it can be hard… you can get super discouraged with artworks – sometimes they take months because I keep coming back and forth, and getting stuck with them.
Is it your aim to make a living off your artwork?
Yeah I guess so, to be able to get a decent-enough income. Even just selling artworks for $100 each week on the side for a bit of extra cash and then hopefully building it into something more.
How do you go about building your business, especially being in a smaller city like Canberra?
I’ve made a few connections through my modelling and hospitality work. I know a lot of café owners, and obviously a lot of designers. I want to get in contact with HerCanberra and the Canberra Weekly to share my artwork, and hopefully get my art hanging in cafes around Canberra. Even when I upload stuff to my Instagram story, I have people messaging me and asking if it’s for sale, so I have a decent enough network and when I’m ready I can make that work for me.
What are some of the hardest things to overcome as an artist?
Probably trying to look at your art in a different perspective as you’re always your worst critic. It’s hard because you don’t realise a lot people want to buy your stuff, but I don’t want to paint things that I specifically think people would buy as that’s not where my passion lies anyways.
Do you have any advice for people who want to start creating art and making a business out of it?
I would say to try several different mediums. I always thought I was super good at acrylic paint, but I only just started drawing and I think this is what I’m way better at. But also be patient with yourself. It takes a lot of training to realise what I’m actually seeing rather than what I think I’m seeing so just be patient.