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Mentor Monday – #AlabamaMakers – Elizabeth Hawke

Mentor Monday - Elizabeth Hawke - OneBirdsNest - Tales of a Peanut

Today I want to introduce you to one of my friends from college, Elizabeth Hawke. We worked together on the Panhellenic Board for the last two years of my college career and spent a lot of time together. She is very talented and extremely kind and lives with her husband and beautiful daughter in Montgomery. She has started a business, One Birds Nest, creating and selling her original artwork. We have a piece hanging in our bedroom and I love it dearly.

I was interested in finding out more about how Elizabeth got started painting and her business. She graciously shared some of her insights and images with me. I hope you enjoy the interview. I think there’s a lot that we can learn from Elizabeth and apply to our own businesses, whether or not we’re in a creative field.

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One Birds Nest - #AlabamaMakers - Tales of a Peanut

1. Have you painted all of your life? When did you decide to turn it into a business?

Encouraged by my parents, art was an early love of mine. Painting, crafting, and designing fostered a sincere passion for the impact that art and design can have on a space. But, it wasn’t until I was out of college and married that I considered the idea of painting as a part of decorating a home. The concept of creating artwork on a larger scale was born from a desire to decorate my home in a specific way. I found it hard to locate the correct colors, size and feel for my home. I finally thought, well I should just try to do it myself! So, I did. One piece in my house, turned into a few pieces for family and friends.
I finally became brave enough to entertain the idea of selling my artwork, over wine with some good girl friends. By this time, I had been painting for friends for years, but never in a professional manner. Promoting my art to the public was a big step for me — scary and exciting. I am lucky to have good friends and empowering family members who encouraged me all the way though.
One Birds Nest - Color Grid A - Tales of a Peanut

2. Do you prefer creating pieces yourself or working on commissioned pieces?

I truly enjoy a mix. Unique pieces of my own are great fun because I have no parameters, no boundaries. When I create a piece of art myself, I can use any color, style and texture I dream up. But, the commissioned pieces are a wonderful part of my development as an artist. Working within a client’s needs often times stretches me to work outside of the box in a way I wouldn’t have considered without the context of their specific home. Fresh concepts tend to erupt from working within someone else’s design needs.

One Birds Nest - Cross E - Tales of a Peanut

3. What inspires the majority of your work?

My artwork is primarily driven by color inspirations and secondly the design composition. I am stimulated by colors that speak to me personally, or the color schemes of my clients’ homes. Creatively, I am fueled by the endless ways to combine those colors in meaningful ways that intrigue the eye time and again.

One Birds Nest - Elizabeth Hawke - Tales of a Peanut

4. How are you balancing your business with your family? You’ve got a small daughter, it must be hard. What’s your secret?

It’s cheesy, but my secret is my husband. I work full time as the Director of Advancement at Saint James School in Montgomery, and of course I am also the mother of a 2 1/2 year old little girl. But, art is my passion. The ability to create it for others at their request is just icing on the cake for me.
But, it is very time consuming. My husband has commented that he has never seen me happier or more fulfilled. So, he often times creates the alone time I need to spend in the studio. He routinely takes our daughter on dinner dates and golf cart rides to bide the time. She loves it, and so does he.
At other times, our little girls runs in the yard while I paint in the studio (which is located behind our house). Sometimes she even creates a little art of her own.
One Birds Nest - In Bloom A - Tales of a Peanut
5. What two things must you have in order to have a productive day?
Coffee and exercise – in that exact order.
 One Birds Nest - Flight Lines - Tales of a Peanut
6. What is the biggest business lesson that you have learned so far?

Communication is key. Art inquirers often find it challenging to relay their desires for the art they want. It is my job to create an engaging conversation with terms, desires, and visuals that we can both relate to and comprehend. How that is achieved is different with each client, so it is ever evolving.

One Birds Nest - Nest Egg - Tales of a Peanut

7. Do you have any professional inspirations that you keep up with online?

Ironically, I do not tend to follow any artist blogs religiously. While I will check a few out from time to time, I try not to hook into them to much. Art is so very personal, and I very much desire to create art that is uniquely mine. I try not to be swayed too often by what other’s are doing. But, I do enjoy keeping up with designers. Their creativity in home styling breeds creativity in me. I also enjoy keeping up with mommy blogs with inspirational messages. Let’s face it, will all need a little pep in our step from time to time! 🙂

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Elizabeth Hawke lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband and young daughter. She says that “As a new mother, I am inspired to pursue my dreams and take chances, in hopes that my daughter will do the same. It encourages a full and happy spirit.” Elizabeth has art for sale on her website and also works on commissions for custom projects. She has representation in stores throughout the southeast. You can see her work in its entirety or reach out to her on her website, One Birds Nest, or via email,

Tales of a Peanut Divider

I love that Elizabeth stresses how important communication is and that she doesn’t compare herself with others in her field. Those are important lessons for all of us! And is reflected in Elizabeth’s business by very happy customers and a style all her own. Do you have any business lessons that you’d love to share? I’d love to hear them! Leave them below in the comments!


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