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Conversations with Sally Bunting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sally Bunting. 

Hi Sally, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Greenville, SC where my love for all things creative blossomed at a very early age. Art was my escape, but never something I imagined I could make into a career. I was the first creative in my family so my parents tried to foster that love as much as they could. I moved to Charleston in 2008 to attend College of Charleston and I’ve lived here ever since. A few years after college in 2016, I launched my art career while I was still working full-time for a local tech company. I developed my first collection of paintings, built and launched my website that year. I nearly sold out in the first couple weeks which made me realize I could give this a real go as a career. A few years and several collections later I am now painting full time out of my home studio. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Challenges can create some wonderful opportunities. I’ve found most challenges usually revolve around fear. Once I embraced my fear of failure and used it as fuel to grow, everything changed. Perspective is everything when facing difficulties. 

We received my son’s Down syndrome diagnosis when I was only 14 weeks along. Just weeks prior my husband and I had sold our house, bought a lot, moved into a rental, found out I was pregnant, and I was laid off from my full-time job. The chaos of all the change that surrounded us was terrifying and yet, somehow exhilarating all at the same time. James’ diagnosis was the best thing that ever happened to me as much as it might have scared me at the time. I didn’t feel qualified to cater to such needs and maybe I’m not, but I’m learning and I’ve grown in the process and I think that’s what matters most. The same could be said about me diving into becoming a full-time artist. 

James and his little brother, Ward, are the reasons I decided to finally take the leap of going full-time this year. They brought me strength and knowledge and have opened my heart and eyes to new experiences which I’ve allowed to transcend into my artwork. Maybe it was motherhood, maybe it was the pandemic, or maybe it was becoming a new mom during the pandemic that brought my confidence to another level and taught me how to pivot and trust the process. To seek guidance from my own gut and intuition and going out and making it happen if it makes me happy. I’ve learned that there is no right way to do anything in this life and getting out of your comfort zone is when you start to see the magic around you. Staying focused and being true to myself is what has helped me get to where I am today as a woman and an artist. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My artwork is a journal through my life experiences expressed through vibrant colors, patterns, and movement. It has always kept me present in life and allowed me to enjoy beauty in the little things. Nature has and always will be my number one inspiration, animals especially. My use of color is intuitive to the subject and my feelings. I’ve always had a very playful nature to my work. It has been called “childlike” which I find to be one of the greatest compliments. I’ve found more of that childlike manner evolving now that I get to experience life through the lens my two young sons. 

My most recent work is focused on minnows which was inspired by a trip to the beach with my son, James, before he became a big brother. I loved seeing him interact with them in the water. It was such a blissful moment while we studied the minnows dancing in the shallow waves. I noticed there were some who lead the school and some who carried the rear, but they all worked together for the greater good. It reminded me how we are all equal in this society and the basic principle of inclusion. This series represents my journey to finding myself again through motherhood in the special needs community, forging a path to allow those who are differently-abled to stand out in a way that is celebrated and accepted.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory was visiting my grandparents. I was lucky to know and grow up with all four. Each provided a unique and lasting impression on me that I’ve always treasured. My grandmother, “Mabets”, is 96 years young and I always look forward to our phone calls every week. 

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