Finding passion in art, Grace Hickey is a painter with a background in visual arts. Long Island, New York was her home town until she moved to Pennsylvania two years ago. Aside from her artistry, she’s also currently the Inventory Manager at the River location of Black & Brass Coffee Roasting Co. When she’s not making sure that the store is running like a well-oiled machine, she also serves as a barista.
The Artist’s Backdrop
Grace is a visual artist. She got her Associate’s degree in visual art while in New York. Her artwork mainly consists of drawings and canvases. She’s been exploring the creative world since she was quite young, and it was in 2016 when she realized that her art was worth sharing with the world professionally. For Grace, one of her biggest challenges was figuring out how and where to start.
“My biggest challenge at that time was graduating with my Associate’s and feeling like many early artists do. You can’t find that perfect place to start. Still, you have all this knowledge and you’re eager to find a way to release it to the world.”
Reality has a somewhat uncanny way of treating people in the creative scene. When push comes to shove, a dream and a brush sometimes aren’t enough to pay rent or put food on the table, especially with the cutthroat competition in New York. Grace has managed to push through that struggle and increase her drive to make most of her passion.
When asked about her creative process, she says that her art has always themes inspired by nature and other organic forms. Grace is also into folklore and mythical beings, which she incorporates into her artwork. She particularly enjoys highlighting how vast the natural world and known universe both are.
“It’s like seeing how things web together, mold, and grow and how everything’s connected in that way. And then maybe really showing just how small we are on a grander scale.”
Creativity Runs In The Family
For Grace, Black & Brass has been a creative outlet. She’s had the benefit of connecting with other creative people and more. This March, her first feature exhibit, Revivify will be showcased at Black & Brass Main.
“Black & Brass is the outlet to actually put my canvases out there. It’s nice to feel fully accomplished since graduating with my visual arts degree. I never did a gallery or anything before that, and it was pretty rough graduating and not really having anywhere to publicly express myself and showcase my work.”
At a young age, Grace knew that her creative drive would result in her holding a paintbrush and palette in hand. No matter the route she took or the career she landed on, she knew she would always come back to her creative roots.
“I knew that art would always be part of me no matter what, and that whatever I did would somehow have to be creative. Keeping that spark alive is nice and seeing this opportunity truly feels like I finally did it. It’s like I finally found that.”
In five years, she says that she sees herself pursuing makeup, fashion, or special effects either on a film or photo team. With her background in both visual arts and cosmetology, the possibilities are endless, and Grace is excited now more than ever to continue exploring her artistry in these ways.
Beyond The Canvas
Outside of art, her love for animals is the next on the list. When she was a kid, she was fascinated with the local pet shop, and she actually ended up working there for some time. Her family and her pets also serve as some of her biggest influences for her work.
Even when she realized that she wanted to be in the creative industry at a young age, there were still hardships she had to overcome. Art is a process, and it can be a daunting one, but so is having the confidence and willpower to pursue your dreams. Both can’t be done overnight, and they may be placed on the back burner when you’re dealing with your lot in life, but Grace teaches us that with focus and drive, everyone can get there eventually.
You can check out Grace’s cosmetology Instagram page at @beautiengrace. You can also follow her on her personal Instagram at @gracermh. Stay tuned as Grace has yet to unveil her biggest masterpiece. Her artworks are next to be featured March 12th at Black & Brass Main. An exciting endeavor that fellow artists, creatives, coffee-lovers, and art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss!