Today we’d like to introduce you to Florelle Rodenberg.
Hi Florelle, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have loved art since I was a little girl, and some of my most vivid memories throughout my life involve art in some way. I got my first set of paints when I was 8. They were given to me by my grandmother Florelle, after whom I am named. In middle school, I painted ornaments and learned how to quilt. I even made money from my art back then, though on a very small scale. In high school, I took every art class I could, and I was dying to learn as much as I could about every medium, especially painting. As I considered colleges and career paths, many people discouraged me from pursuing art at the college level. I was often told that I would never make a career out of being an artist and that I should do something more productive with my time. I internalized that message and majored in Speech Therapy instead, and slowly I lost part of myself, even tho0ugh art was still an occasional hobby.
I ended up hating my major, traveled a bit, and could never find something fulfilling enough to pursue. As a passionate and driven person, that was difficult. I ended up moving to Australia in 2018 where I met an Australian artist named Jess LeClerc, and she became my mentor and art teacher. I had never learned art the way that I learned it there at the Art School Co with Jess. That year truly changed my life. I spent anywhere from 10-30 hours a week doing art, and the rest of the time I was working or on the beach. I realized in my time there that art makes up so much of my truest and deepest self. And that in many different ways, being an artist is the way I can make a difference in the world – and be my happiest and most genuine self. I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that art is such an essential piece of what makes me, me. It is almost as if that piece of myself found its way back to me all on its own.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road, but it has been a fortunate one. My parents always made sure I had all the art supplies I could ever dream of. At one point, I took over the whole playroom in our childhood home with my art projects and paints. I think practically, studying fine art at a university does seem difficult to imagine, but back then, there is nothing I wanted more. When I graduated college with a degree I hated and no plans of grad school, I floundered a little. I don’t think society does a good job of equipping young people with how to transition from college kid to adult, regardless of whether or not they immediately jump into a career. I tried different things, traveled to different countries, had some interesting life experiences along the way. But I was always missing something. I was kind of bored with my life, unhappy a lot of the time, and honestly the worst part was, I wasn’t fully aware of that – I wasn’t fully awake or present in my daily life, and that can catch up to you. I was so fortunate to meet Jess and have the opportunity to go to her art school – much less live my dream life on the beach in the Sunshine Coast.
When I moved home from Australia, I wasn’t sure what would happen or how I would make money. I had put grad school on hold, and I found myself back at my old serving job. I ended up randomly meeting a wedding vendor named Stacy while I was serving one night and she connected me with some wedding planners in St. Louis. That is how I booked my first ever live painting with Kristen Ashley Events for a wedding that ended up (by NO efforts of mine) in Martha Stewart. I built my business from the ground up when I moved home, but I am so thankful to have met the people I did. Owning a business isn’t easy, it is hard work. At one point, I was working at the restaurant, working as a long-term substitute teacher, finishing my master’s and running the new art business. I finally went full-time Art last fall. I guess what I am trying to say is that I have realized how much I value hard work, and I owe a lot to the people I have met who have supported and encouraged me along my journey.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Florelle Studio was created as an all-encompassing art brand and business. A brand that is authentic adds beauty to the world and helps people express themselves and their love through gifting art – Your new favorite F-word. I am known for my live wedding art, my painted Champagne bottles, and my other watercolor commissions – custom artwork created in a wide variety of styles, all with a touch of romance. I love being able to create an elevated experience for my clients and couples both at weddings and beyond. My wedding work is very fun and I love what I do, but it definitely is the “work” side of my art.
I am most proud of how much I have grown as an artist in the last five years. I want to work hard at improving my skill in classical painting and portraiture in the coming years. I would eventually like to move away from weddings and focus on fine art and gallery work. I have recently started a new Instagram that will be mainly fine art focused (@ffineart) and a portrait project called “For Friends and Flowers” that will hopefully culminate in a show next summer. I am really excited about and proud of that.
I am also working with an awesome local couple (my friends Jake and Lexi) who wants to turn their airbnb into a living Art Gallery – my work will be predominately featured and everything in the space will be FOR SALE. Check out my Instagram in the coming weeks for more on that!
What makes you happy?
There are many things that make me happy but I will focus on three.
1. Travel. I am always my best self when I am traveling or when I have a trip on the horizon. There is something about travel that pushes me out of comfort and habit into the more spontaneous and adventure loving sides of myself. There is nothing more inspiring or exciting to me than going to a place I have never been before.
2. Being Genuine. I find that so much of what we see and intake in today’s world is false, doctored or a facade of some sort. I highly value authenticity and genuine human connection and I feel that I am happiest when I am living life as my truest self. That can be intense for some people to be around, but I don’t feel good or positive when I have to water down myself in order to fit into the boxes or expectations that are placed on me by others and societal norms. It has taken me most of my life to truly love myself, and I want to always be true to her.
3. Loving others. I feel like this goes without being said. I have a deep sense of responsibility to the world to give back in every way I can because I have been so fortunate in my life and my experiences. Most recently, I have noticed how much just loving people I am around makes an impact on their lives and on my own. Kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way, and nothing makes me happier than going the extra mile to make sure my people know just how much I love them.
- Email: Hello@florellestudio.com
- Website: Florellestudio.com
- Instagram: @florelle.studio @ffineart
- Facebook: Florelle Rodenberg
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