Bonnie Pelnar [underwatercolours]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
Artist, photographer, designer, presentor, producer, promotor, mentor, explorer, travel and expedition leader
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
I graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I took art classes for fun, but it was the Chairman of the University of Wisconsin Art Department that convinced me to switch my major to Fine Art.
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
I'm my own worst critic, expecting perfection and performance above and beyond in everything I do.
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
My education gave me the art history baseline, as well as technical skills needed to move ahead into the many modern art applications inspiring me to branch out and grow creatively.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
I've been an artist my entire life and have always been encouraged to follow my dream. There has never been a time in my life where the importance of my work was not realized.
Who have been the most influential people in your career?
The people I have worked for, as well as people who worked for me. Those who have inspired and encouraged me, like employers, art directors and satisfied clients. People who challenge or criticize me are equally inspiring.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
I love working with people who are more talented than I am.
Which goals have you focused on in your professional career?
To be an artist and quickly get past distractions that are craft.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
In spite of having a touch of stage fright in anticipation of presenting in front of a large group, once I'm there I'm in my element. I have presented to groups of hundreds of people many times. I always invite the opportunity.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
Every opportunity I get. Not only do I attend, but I more often host.
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
I have branched out into many different areas of art, including underwater photography, watercolor, serigraphy, illustration, ceramics, sculpture, fused glass and other glass techniques, jewelry, as well as commercial graphics, internet marketing and promotion, advertising and print design.
Do you do telecommuting?
I have clients and friends all over the world. Technology helps to keep them close, 20 hours flights helps to keep them live. Thank goodness for business class!
Would you relenquish some of your income in exchange for more free time?
You can't buy time.
What are the things you least like about your job?
There is never enough time to execute all the ideas in my head.
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
It is important to share and teach. Each artist has their own set of ideas and skills that inspire and support others. Techniques are only steps in a process. Art is created when someone uses a technique to make something nobody else can. Creating art is rewarding, but teaching and inspiring other artists to create art is just as gratifying.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Architecture and interior design has always been of interest to me. I also considered studying law and forensic psychology when considering my college major.
What do you do to manage stress?
Since I left my corporate career there is very little stress in my life. What might look like a setback to some is simply a change in direction for me. That change has always been good.
Laguna Beach, CA