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One of Many: Becca Barnet

From taxidermy art, illustrations, or tattoos, Becca Barnet’s work revolves around the ideas of creation, preservation and re-appropriating.

After graduating as an illustrator from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009, Becca took one of the paths least traveled by continuing her studies at the Missouri Taxidermy Institute. After that she returned to her home state of South Carolina she set up shop in Charleston, and started her company Sisal & Tow. The unique combination of skills and experiences leads to work that is vividly alive and original, and can be found in places as diverse as James Beard award-winning restaurants, the College of Charleston, the South Carolina Aquarium, co-working space 1600 Meeting, and in the homes of clients all over the country.

I spoke with Becca about being an independent artist and small business owner:

Have you always wanted to work for yourself, or was this something that came later?

I developed a pretty strong work ethic in college, and after graduation I moved to New York City, where I put my job before everything else. After two+ years, I missed nature and felt like I never had the time or resources to enjoy some of the finer things in life. So I figured I would try and do the work I was doing for my bosses in NYC, but on a smaller scale and in a smaller town. I never expected to own my own business, or for it to work, but I think if you love doing something enough there’s always a way to get people to pay you to do it. 

What’s your favorite part about working for yourself?

The best part of working for myself is how creative I get to be on a daily basis. I am lucky to work with clients who trust that I will make them the best decor or art installation or mural they can get. I love taking their parameters, suggestions and budgets and making them the most original artwork possible. There are days when I feel like it’s a lot to handle, but for the most part, I feel lucky I get to feed my creative energy daily.

What is your least favorite part about working for yourself.

The hardest thing I deal with is time management. Balancing my actual life, which is usually completely interwoven with work, with customer service,the actual fabrication, as well as scheduling. There never seem to be enough hours in the day and sometimes I have to push projects back. I wish I could clone myself and one Becca would answer emails and run errands and the other would just sculpt and create all day. 

For more Charleston creatives visit Wesley’s One of Many - Charleston photo essay. One of Many is a monthly series of photo essays about twelve American cities and their creative communities.

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