Originally published on The Makery
By Samantha Reichstein
While Starla Michelle Halfmann found a love for painting at the age of four, the switch from enjoyment to a full-fledged career only occurred in the past few years. What she used to consider a “pipe dream” is now her new 9-to-5, and then some – fueled by her love for a sweet glass of Chameleon Cold-Brew vanilla concentrate. Starla says she took a step of faith and quit her eight-year office job, and that step proved to her that timing really is everything; two months later she met with buyers from Anthropologie, and three months later her previous company went bankrupt.
Free from a walled-cubicle, Starla Michelle Halfmann (@starlamichellefineart) spends her days in an open studio pressing paintbrushes to canvases, creating magic with every stroke. We got the chance to meet up with Starla and learn about her artistry, life in Austin, how Chameleon Cold-Brew has become a staple in her life, and what being a #Maker means to her.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE A TYPICAL WORK DAY?
A: What’s so awesome is that every day is different. These past five years, each day revolves around finding inspiration. If I am stuck, that either means I need to go talk to someone, hike, go on vacation, or find some way to bring life back in so that I can keep on painting and creating.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A GO-TO DESIGN OR A FAVORITE PIECE?
A: I always find myself saying, “Oh the next painting is going to be my favorite!” Every time I sell one I get more excited because I get to try something new, experiment, and grow. It makes me excited every time someone loves what I’m doing and continues to support that, since I get to continue to push my own limits.
Q: YOU CAUGHT OUR EYE WITH A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF OUR ESPRESSO BOTTLE. HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT CHAMELEON COLD-BREW, AND HOW DOES OUR COFFEE FUEL YOUR ARTISTIC DRIVE?
A: The logo has ALWAYS caught my eye, since I love animals and love painting them. I’ve noticed that I can handle cold brew much better than other kinds of coffee, and feel way better when I drink it. This is going to sound so typical, but it’s definitely one of the first things I look forward to in the morning when starting my day.
When it’s cold outside, I love to heat the vanilla concentrate up a bit! I add some heavy whipping cream in it… okay a LOT of heavy whipping cream with a mix of almond and coconut creamer. The final product tastes like dessert! I tend to drink eight ounces instead of four, which allows me to just keep painting and painting all-day long. It doesn’t feel the same as regular coffee, it is a cleaner energy I don’t crash on.
Q: IS THERE A CERTAIN COLOR IN YOUR ARTWORK YOU FIND YOURSELF GRAVITATING TOWARD MOST?
A: Cobalt – a really rich blue I love to incorporate. It’s safe to say that initially attracted me to the Chameleon Cold-Brew Vanilla bottle!
Q: WE WERE VERY LUCKY TO START OUR COMPANY HERE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS. AS AN ARTIST NOW LIVING AND WORKING HERE, WHAT ARE YOUR EXPERIENCES LIKE?
A: I absolutely love the nature here, and that is one of the things that inspires me the most. I love that I can be in a city and not feel like I’m in a city, with my studio here backing up into the Greenbelt. My art revolves around animals, woodland creatures and nature scenes, and Austin really yields that inspiration easily.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME GOALS –PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY– FOR THIS UPCOMING YEAR?
A: Bigger, better, beautiful, more inspirational.
Q: AT CHAMELEON COLD-BREW, WE PRIDE OURSELVES WITH THE LOGO THAT OUR COFFEE IS “MADE FOR MAKERS.” IN YOUR OWN WORDS, WHAT DOES BEING A MAKER MEAN TO YOU?
A: To be a maker, you definitely need to be proud of the work of your hands – which I am. In this day and age with so much technology, crafting something yourself is authentic, genuine, and allows for more love to be put into the final product.
Follow along with our Maker Series by using our hashtag #MadeForMakers on any and all social platforms! Have a story, passion, or side hustle you want to share? Email [email protected]