Name: Deann Hebert of Deann Designs / Age: 36 / Profession: Artist / Rent or Own Studio: Rent / Studio Square Footage: 700 sq ft / Rent or Own Home: Own / Bedrooms (Home): 4 / Baths (Home): 4 / City, State: Franklin, TN
What did you do before you traded your heels for boots and paint brushes? I worked as a graphic designer for a book publishing company.
Why did you decide to make the transition from a consistent corporate job to a full time artist? I have always loved art from the time I was little. I majored in art and graphic design, and upon graduation, took the "safe" route and got a paying job, with the steady paycheck, but along with that came feelings of being trapped and not having control over my own destiny. I have always had an entrepreneur and competitive spirit about me, and I started doing art festivals on the weekends selling my paintings. Soon enough, my paintings started gathering momentum and I was able to make more selling my artwork than sitting in a cublicle all day. So I made the leap. It was a leap of faith. But I knew this was the right decision for me. I have followed my passion and created a life that I love!
Your studio is located in an abandoned stove and mattress factory. How did you discover this space and what made you decide it would be perfect for a studio? For the past ten years, I have had an open studio located inside what was once an abandoned stove and mattress factory just outside of Nashville, TN. The owner wanted to fill some spaces with working artists, and it was just a perfect fit for me. My studio is where I create and sell my work and it’s afforded me the opportunity to meet and form relationships with many of my collectors, as well as giving folks the opportunity to see me working and to get a better look at the process behind the work. In addition to my original paintings, my work is available as prints, which I just started offering this year. Over the past several years and looking into the future, I’m excited to be sharing my work more and more beyond my local Tennessee audience. I’ve been lucky to have collaborated on some fantastically exciting projects like the HGTV Smart Home in Nashville and the “All American Cottage” showcase home presented by This Old House and Southern Living Magazine and most recently featured in Country Living Magazine. I’m looking forward to more and more collaborations with brands, bloggers, designers, and publications! It truly excites me that my work is being shared and appreciated through so many different platforms!
What about your studio inspires the way you create? An art studio located inside an old factory is pretty much a dream studio for me. The old barnwood walls, the cement floors, it all echos the unique aesthetic that is found in my work, I use layers and layers of paint that is reminiscent of tree bark or peeling barn paint. One of my favorite quotes that I have written on my chalkboard in my studio is a quote by Diane Mariechild, “Trust that still, small voice that says, ‘This might work and I’ll try it”...Learning to follow my intuitions is something that I think as a painter and an artist is so important.
Your house is so beautifully designed, it almost feels like walking into a time capsule! How have managed to maintain the 19th Century feel of your home? I love antiques, and I love to collect pieces with a story. It is not a rejection of modernity but a way to embrace the past while living now. Our home is a comfortable mix of pieces with a storied history, like the “O’Possum Couch” thats located in the formal living room. Found at a barn sale and refurbished over three years, the meaning behind the name-- because it dates back to the Prohibition Era, and has a hidden compartment- or pouch- underneath the seat where alcohol was hidden!
Your furniture and decor is a collection of pieces from various times and places. What do you look for when adding additional furniture/decor to your home? I look for pieces to just speak to me. I try to not be in a hurry and just slowly collect over time, the way you should do.
What is your favorite room in your house and why? The family room. Because it's where my girls like to climb on me on the couch.
Describe your style in one sentence: Rustic Refined.