Local Small Business with Angela Botz
Angela’s Contact Information
Phone – 618-219-8761
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/angela.botz.7
Lee: Hello, my name is Lee Jackson. I work for MT&A, and I am here with Angela Botz. Hello! How are you?
Angela: Hello, Lee. I’m fine. I’m good. Thank you.
Lee: Great! Thank you for joining us today.
Angela: Yes, I’m excited to be here.
Lee: Thank you. Okay, first question. Who are you?
I’m Angela, and I’m known for having lots of energy. People say I’m the light of the room. When I come in people say, “Oh, Angela’s here!” So I’m very friendly. I’m very outgoing and involved with many businesses and organizations such as RTR/DCC. I was involved with the STL DEAFestival last year. That was one of my biggest accomplishments because I created paintings and helped with the kids corner. I do a lot of artwork shown on websites and Facebook. There were a lot of things that needed help with planning for the STL DEAFestival. As you may remember I did the banner at the registration booth. But I don’t only do paintings; I also do wood making and create signs.
I live in Alton, IL where I work full time. I’ve worked there for over 9 years. Before that for 25 years I was an art director. Now I am the Community Outreach Coordinator, and I also run the Deaf Services.
Yes, I love art. Yes. And that is something I did growing up. People always think I got into art because of my mom. She’s an artist as well.
But my mom and I are very different. We have opposing concepts and views, but we still have a great relationship. Her art and my art are very different, but we learn from each other. I worked for 25 years as an art director for a family run company making clothing for the St. Louis Rams, the Blues, the Cardinals, all different sports. The NFL and other things at a national level. And also I worked making labels for a beer company, Anheuser Busch.
And during that 25 years, I was self-taught, because like with my mom she didn’t use the computer, but I do. At that time, before computers, you had to manually place letters on your paper. It was hand done before the 1980s. But when computers came around, art design could be done there. Technology was a great advancement. I never learned how to use computers in college, but I learned how to use them on my own plus I learned specific programs also. So that’s what I’ve done in 25 years.
Lee: How did you discover that you were an artist?
Yeah, sure. Well, I must have been around 9 or 10 years old. My mom painted a lot of murals. She would paint art, like cars, motorcycles, airplanes, motorcycle tanks, corvettes, different kinds of cars. She did a lot of that kind of work. So of course that she may have influenced my initial experience with art. One day she told me that she wanted me to paint something on a wall. There was a large garage area with a big wall. She wanted me to use airbrush. I don’t feel comfortable with that because it’s messy, the paint on your hands and everything. But she told me just to go do it. It was during summer time when we kids weren’t in school. So I went up the ladder and painted the large wall. I painted a big green face almost similar to the Hulk. Then I hung up the paint brush next to it. And I have to say that was one of my biggest accomplishments. It was my first painting and I didn’t realize at the time I had a talent. And I was creative. I didn’t have blueprint or any paper that I copied. I just created it from my own imagination.
I feel my brain is 80% creativity and 20% space for learning. So in my everyday life all my heart and everything I’m involve in I approach with 80% creativity. Everything I do and everywhere I go, when I see something I think of how I can create from it or improve or change it. Graphics are always in my head. So I think that’s how I am.
Lee: What are the top three skills you need in order to be an artist?
The top three skills. The first would be love, then creativity. And the third would be just do anything you want to do and put your love into it. And then you’ll be able to do so much more.
I learned a lot through perseverance. Don’t give up. Also be willing to ask for help. Read books. Read through the night so the next day you are ready to type up your ideas and make your art. Yes, it’s a lot of stress, but a lot of perseverance is very important.
Lee: Do you have any personal stories from a satisfied customer who has liked your work. Anything that you could share?
I would say, when people receive my artwork they feel happiness. So one experience was with a person from VA, not from MO. They had moved to VA. They asked me to please hurry with a piece I was painting for them. They were anxious to get it so I sent it to them. They took a picture of themselves with it and sent it to me saying, “I have the art!” And it made me feel so good that they felt happy when they received it.
I think one of my best works was a stained glass piece on an old door panel. It was wine and grapes up the side and wine glasses on the bottom. People loved that and talked about it a lot.
Lee: So what is your most popular product that you sell?
My most popular product I would say in general are my paintings. Through several years they have become very popular, and people recognize my paintings well and love them. Now, I would say, I have requests for 20 custom orders. I am backlogged because I have a lot of paintings in the works for them. And many of them have paid me in advance! So that’s one of my top selling products that people really enjoy.
I think back on March 29th there was the Deaf Art Visual Festival. And that went very well, because I did a lot of paintings leading up to that event. And one even last minute starting at midnight, and I didn’t finish until around 6 in the morning. And that sold very quickly.
Yes, I have an art studio. It is a business right in my own home. I do a lot of work with businesses, company cards, getting everything ready for events. I can show my work by meeting with people, or they can come to my home to see my paintings. Or I can write out ideas to make sure everything is working for the business and do money transaction right there in my home studio.
People can contact me through Facebook, Messenger, texting, phone.
Lee: Well thank you so much for coming. I’ve really enjoyed interviewing you.
Angela: Thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed being able to share what I do and my passion and my love for the community.
You may also check out our introduction to MT&A’s local small business series as well as the shorter version of the Local Small Business with Angela Botz interview. Thank you for supporting our local community!