This article is part of a series called “Artist Interview” telling the story of other creative women from all over the world.
The artist way
Bea Mahan, born in Chile in the 70s, studied graphic design before computers existed. And she was very happy the handmade way! The day she had to use a computer, this career didn’t suit her anymore.
A stay in Barcelona, Spain, in 1999, completely changed the course of her life, when she completed a course in engraving and felt in love with the craft.
A few years later, Bea is back in Barcelona at the same engraving studio where she starts her artistic journey, with the guidance of her mentor Clara.
After a few years of experience and confidence gained from several international competition awards, Bea moves to a new space in 2009 where she continues experimenting with printmaking on her own.
I love the freedom it gives me to fully enjoy my time creating, without worrying about the outcome or artistic success
And she will continue doing exactly that for the next ten years.
While working full-time in hotels, she develops her style and printmaking techniques and produces abstract prints, with consistency and love, which she starts selling on Etsy.
Embodying artistic perseverance.
In 2019, she moves with her husband to a small French village of 2000 inhabitants where, for the first time ever, she has her own studio (shared with two other artists).
Twenty years after my first engraving course, I finally gave myself permission to be a full-time artist.
Since in France, she has stopped printmaking (as she does not own the necessary equipment) and switched to painting and collage.
Her studio is also a gallery very strategically positioned on the village square. During the warm season she sells her work to local people, while she gets the winter to keep experimenting and producing work.
Her income allows her to pay the bills, which is a major achievement since it’s the first time ever she does not need a side-job.
I am very happy doing what I love. I don’t worry about the future.
Defining success on your own terms.
What if being a successful artist would mean being blessed by the freedom to create every day without measuring the outcome financially?
Bea always understood that working with love and joy, and growing from her experience IS what really matters as an artist. Not how much you earn.
Growing at your own pace.
When thinking about what would be next for her, she says
I would like to expand and grow out of my comfort zone.
Designing a professional book and reaching out to galleries in the area (South East of France) would be her next move.
And we wish her all the best!
May she always keep the joyful spirit of creating art that she loves, art that delights her faithful and hopefully expanding niche.
I hope you will take inspiration on Bea’s story to allow yourself to create your way, at your own pace, in your own terms.
The money you make from your artistic production is not a good indicator of its value. The joy it brings YOU is, because ultimately it will spread and pay off.
Be patient and have faith.