Hey there Grotti, Thanks so much for coming on to my blog here at Art for the Heart. I am super excited to have you on! Can you tell my readers a little bit about you? Where are you based and what are you most well-known for?
Hey there Ros! No probs lovely, I'm happy to be here (although "here" for me is sitting in my little office/dispatch centre). My name is Casey Manson, AKA Grotti Lotti, 38 years young and based in Hamilton VIC. Mum of three, happy, loose adventurer and possibly best known for my rowdy bird and botanical works. People may have seen my work on The Block, via Mia Freedman or Constance Hall or in small shop fronts around Australia.
How did you get started as an artist?
I’ve always painted - like ALWAYS had tubs of paint under my bed as a kid and spills on the floor for as long as I can remember and studied Visual Arts at Uni… till I dropped out. But getting started and being referred to as an ‘artist’ probably started about 6 years ago. When the babies started to grow I went back to a local art class then started popping some of my pics on my aptly named Grotti Lotti Instagram page and people wanted copies of my work and started asking me to pay them to paint for them - what a hoot! - I still remember the hours and midnight burn that went into some of those first $50 commission pieces… the first and last of my relationship with commission work.
How did you go about growing your art business and collector network into the successful and AWESOME profile that you have today?
Just keep working - there's an element of obsession that comes with it, which I imagine is the common ground with a lot of successful start ups, and outsource when you can so you can focus on the important stuff, the stuff that no one else but you can do.
Do you have any hot tips for budding artists?
Try all the things, I’m still experimenting. Not everything has to be perfect - paint over stuff - rub stuff out, make marks often and use your hands.
How do you manage the juggle of busy art biz and keeping the passion for art-making alive? I adore that you don't take commissions btw... is that weird?
Oh, look to be honest, it's had it's moments but I'm in a really sweet patch now and super grateful for my amazing left hand woman Samara who manages all customer enquiries, runs the emails, and dispatches hundreds of orders every week. She’s great at the stuff that I suck at, keeps me on my toes and doesn't question my mad ideas. Basically I just did the work, night and day then got to a position where I could outsource so I could keep doing the things that set my heart on fire. I can mum and paint and have a head full of ideas all the time - but I need help with some of the other stuff. I have also had an amazing accountant from the get go that helps me out with the financial side of running a company. I say no to lots of stuff too, including commissions and some possibly really great opportunities cos they just haven't sat right, there's a lot of intuitive decisions made around here. I’m not a machine and as soon as I have to paint with someone else’s objective in mind nothing works properly - I hold my breath and stiffen up and question myself. And no, it’s not weird xxx
How can my readers find out more about you and see your stunning creations?
Well, dear readers I have a pretty engaged Facebook page and Instagram is a fun place to come join me! I’m too old and not cool enough for Tik Tok but you can also check out my website at www.grottilotti.com.au
Thanks again lovely Casey - you're an inspiration to so many. Your passion, grit and generous spirit are truly divine. Chat soon!