Tiny Images with a BIG Impact: An Interview with Brooke Rothshank

brooke2Brooke Rothshank's paintings might be teeny tiny, but they deliver massive amounts of joy. (Full disclosure ... I'm a super fan.)

She's been painting for many years but just recently made it a practice to share her work daily via social media.

Once she started posting her paintings daily on Instagram following went from several hundred to 24,000+ in just a few months.

I'm always eager to see what Brooke decides to paint next. It's not uncommon for it to be something that makes me feel nostalgic — I know from the comments on her photos that I'm not alone.

Her miniature paintings are for sale in her Etsy Shop. (I've personally purchased three and love to give them as gifts!)

Enjoy Brooke's Q&A.

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Name: Brooke Rothshank Business: rothshank.com Home base: Goshen, Indiana Instagram: @blrothshank

What have you discovered since making the commitment to create and share a miniature painting every single day? When did you decide to make this your practice?

I have discovered that I am my worst critic. It is not uncommon for me to finish a painting and groan, only to post it and receive a comment from someone who loves it. I have discovered that the real work is being consistant in my creating, not so much what I create.

Last summer my youngest son turned two and I started to do daily drawings in my sketch book as a way to get back into a creative groove. A friend sent me a link to a South African artist (Lorraine Loots) who was working on her second year of daily miniature paintings. I thought to myself, this is managable. I started right away.

Where do you get inspiration for the subjects of your paintings?

I like to think of my mini paintings as moments. Moments from the day before, something I shared with a friend, noticed on a walk, or heard on the radio. At this point I also have commissioned requests sprinkled in. I am preparing for a show in Bluffton Ohio about Instruments of Peace, so that is something that I am including every few days as well.

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Your Instagram following has exploded over the last few months. (It has been so exciting to follow along!) Was there a particular tipping point/painting that sparked the growth in your following or has it been gradual?

I realized once I started posting daily on instagram that I was creating a body of work that was accessible in a way that wasnt possible when I was privately working in my sketchbook, or painting in my studio and not sharing the work. This public sharing has opened the door to exhibition invitations, teaching opportunities, interveiw requests, online featurettes, and increased sales. All of these things have influenced the growth of my instagram account.

More specifically, one of my collegues from International Guild of Miniature Artisans who is very active on social mediaI invited me to participate in an instagram contest that she was hosting about a month after I began posting. Since that time a few of my images have been shared by some instagram feeds with big followings. It seems to just take one share like that to see a significant jump in numbers.

What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?

I mostly follow friends and other artists. I especially like dtamerica, penlandgallery, jrothshank and heesooceramics.

What advice do you have for other women artists/entrepreneurs (artrepreneurs? :) ) who want to create their art full time.

I have found that the best way to be successful as an artist is to consistantly produce. The more you produce, the better you get and the more you have available to sell. A daily practice of creating/painting has been the number one most positive thing I have done to be an artist.

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