We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Honerkamp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tina, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Even though my introvert personality is one which doesn’t like to take risks, I find that risk taking is essential in my creative process and in my career as an artist. Without risk I tend to gravitate to a life of comfort and routine. I actually have a small group that meets weekly to share what risk we will take that week to either make ourselves or our world a little bit better. The following week we then share what was the result of the completion of that risk. The risk taken can be a small one but you will be shocked at large impact it can make in your life and that of your career. It creates forward motion. Over time, this motion recreates momentum. It’s life changing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I began my creative journey when I was young, gravitating to the artistic and outlier crowd in high school and college. I actually ended up graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Clothing, Textiles, and Merchandising because I felt I could marry my creative side with my love for fashion. When I was actually in college, I met a wonderfully, talented woman who was an expert in smocking and French heirloom sewing. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a technique of gathering fabric to make beautiful pleats on cotton or linen garments. It also involves a lot of lace and embroidery. She had perfected these hand sewing techniques on a sewing machine and was writing a book concerning her discoveries. She hired me to do the illustrations of her designs and garments because I had a knack for the pen and ink details needed for such things as lace and embroidery. That was my first real artistic gig!
I would love to say that my career took off from there but it just didn’t. Life happened. Two weeks after graduation, I married my husband of now 30 years, who I will affectionately refer to as “Handsome” from here on out. Now Handsome had a call on his life for ministry which I totally agreed with and supported. Fast forward 25 years and I found myself in the empty nest phase of my life, boys out of the house and Handsome totally successful and thriving in his calling. What now?
God and I have had many, many, MANY meetings and conversations in the last five years as He has so lovingly and faithfully shown me my true calling. (Wow! Here I am in my 50’s!) I never knew until now that a “calling” on one’s life doesn’t have to be in full-time ministry or on staff at a church somewhere. That was huge revelation! Faith is an essential part of my life and career so at the prompting of my husband, I jumped! I am now a full-time artist/illustrator reflecting God’s beauty to the world, a world that may not be so beautiful.
Wildlife is the subject matter it tend to gravitate to and I love capturing the animals that are all around me where I live in the mountains of North Carolina.
As I look back, things have a way of making sense. Even though I chose to defer my career to raise a family and to do ministry with Handsome, (and I wouldn’t change that for any about of money or success in the world) God had it all planned in His perfect time. I wouldn’t want it any other way, would you? At the risk of sounding cliché, age is relative! It’s never too late to find and walk in that which you are called to. I’m living proof!
A dear friend and artist once told me that I’m not an artist that has just five years of experience but I’m an artist with 52 years of experience. All that I’ve walked through, the ups and downs, the sorrows and joys, have made me the artist I am today. The journey is priceless!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in a small town in North Carolina. Waynesville is about 3o minutes outside of Asheville, NC and is the gateway to the Smoky Mountains.
You can divide your time between outdoor activities, art studios and galleries, and craft breweries. Who doesn’t love that combination and one can definitely tell by the influx of tourists and transplants.
-Main Street is the location for the Hallmark experience. It’s idyllic with it’s local owned shops and restaurants.
-Hiking is popular with access to the Blue Ridge Parkway close by.
-Buckner Gallery is a great place to view local artwork and it happens to be where I have a studio.
-Frog Level Brewing and Seven Clans Brewing have great craft brews, amazing outdoor seating, and live local music
-Boasts more craft breweries per capita than any US city, many with free tours and samplings
-The River Arts District (RAD) is a must see and houses hundreds of artists and local crafters
-The Biltmore House, built by George Vanderbilt, is America’s largest home where you can explore the house, winery, and grounds and experience the Gilded Age of America.
-Rafting down the French Broad
-Free Historical walking tour
-NC Arboretum and the UNCA Botanical Gardens
-Asheville Art Museum
-Blue Ridge Parkway is minutes away
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Nick, who encouraged me to jump.