My story starts when I was born cross-eyed. Then at 4 years old, my school had me fill out “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My young soul knew… I wrote “artist.” I didn’t I spelled it right at that age, but you get the point.
Growing up, girls were always a consistent problem in my life. Prank calls, fake accounts, gossip and bullying. It got to the point where I just about gave up on trying to be friends with girls. It felt like I couldn’t hold a lasting friendship with anyone. I’ve spent a lot of time alone just because I didn’t want to socialize with people and end up getting hurt in some way. Looking back, those times were crucial to my creative thought process though, so thanks gals.
In high school, my Teachers used to take my colored pencils away from me as a punishment. Rightfully so I guess… I rarely paid much attention nor did I care about spanish punctuation or square roots. Little did they know that I was just practicing for my future career and that’s what school is all about, right? Or should be at least. A good school day consisted of not getting my pencils taken away and doodling for 7 hours straight. The only class I put full effort into was art class, which happened to be the most pathetic class in the Greenville School System. Our art teacher would try to assign projects but instead people would just paint big red d!cks on her floor or cause some scene to provide live entertainment. Thanks for the memz GHS. She would try to assign me projects to draw realistic fruit or to accurately scale out a picture but I’d never go by the rubric. By senior year she gave up and gave me freedom to create what I wanted. I think I was one of the very few people in my high school who electively took art for 3 years straight. Bless up Hillary Jernigan; I made some cool sh!t in your class.
After high school I moved to Colorado, which was hands down the best decision of my life, alongside buying my dog, Jimi. In South Carolina, I never really felt like I was “home.” It always felt like something was missing from my life there. Come to find out it was myself. Colorado took me in, forced me to work through my issues alone, grounded me, and spit me out into the person I am today. Very grateful! Before moving across the country though, I was forced to sell all the artwork I made during those high school years. When I sold out of everything in just a few days, I realized that maybe I had something going for me.. something special. With that, my college experience was different than most. More often than not people would say to me “My parents would never pay for me to go school for art” or “Art won’t finically support you.” Shoutout to the real MVP’s; my parents. I only took about 8 “normal” classes for the entire 3 years I attended. Not to mention I transferred colleges four times… The commitment of staying in a place 4+ years was daunting enough to push me away from the whole idea. In the end, I took as many art courses as I could then one semester decided I had learned what I came to learn and I was finished on my own terms. My mind was expanded. I didn’t need a degree to justify that.
The most beneficial aspect of college for me was the people I met. Once I moved to Colorado everything changed. It gave me the freedom to only allow people in my life that oooooozed loving energy. Now I’m surrounded by the most power girl gang there is. Each girlfriend offers their own insanely unique aspect to my life. These women are why I started getting into painting nudes. I started to feel loved and supported by a group of people that I hadn’t before. I’m so incredibly inspired by the women in my life that it has become the platform for my art. Foxy as hell, every single one of them. With much reflection, I’ve come to realize that my ‘Foxy Lady’ series was brewing inside of me long before it was created. I always had a fire, a desire to be strong and confident during years when I didn’t feel that way. A Foxy Lady was the friend I was seeking and now I have many of them. That’s what I want my art to stand for. I want to build each other up more than tear each other down. I want to be that friend. Everyone has a foxy, you just have to channel it. Plus, who doesn’t appreciated a good nude? AMMIRIGHT?
A pivotal moment for me came from the first Foxy I made. I wasn’t planning on making many of them, just one as an experiment. I hung it at a local coffee shop in Denver for $200. A few weeks later I had a conversation about my art with an inspiring man. When I showed him my one and only foxy, he offered me $2K for it on the spot. When I called the coffee shop to retrieve it, they told me it had already sold for $200. Moral of the story artists, don’t undersell yourself. There is always someone out there that will recognize you’re worth and will be happy to give you what you deserve for it. That’s when the “Foxy Lady” series became what it is today. One conversation, one person can change everything.
After dropping out of college, into the workforce I went…sort of. I refuse to be a slave to the man. I did whatever odd job I needed to do that still gave me the freedom and time to make art. Art has always come #1 over any job I’ve ever had. Just about every decision I make I consider my art and how it will be effected, being that it’s the most important aspect of me. You’ll catch me living out of a van before you find me at a 9-5 desk job. I trimmed weed, passed out free bud lights, and lived with my parents for a bit, all so I could pursue this thing I called a dream. By not locking myself into a demanding job, I was given free range to get my art career started. With the help of my brother, we vamped up my social media presence, kick started my website, and established my database. This was the time in my life when I realized that no one was going to take me seriously unless I took myself seriously. So there ya go world. BAH Artwork is here and ready to rock.
From then on, I found myself constantly coming up with new ideas for series and plotting how I could make a real living off my passion. I started pushing my artwork online first. For those of you who are looking to promote your craft, instagram can be a great tool for entrepreneurs if it’s used in the right way. About 65% of my sales have come through people seeing my posts on instagram. In addition, it’s served as an outlet for local Denver galleries to connect with me which has lead my art to its current home at a gallery in the most up and coming art neighborhood in Denver, RiNO Arts District. Shoutout to Millers and Rossi. Aside from social media- First Friday, festivals, and event booths became a new source of income as well. Up until about 8 months ago, I was living out of my overdraft without shame. Being broke for the sake of my art never came with a guilty conscience. I just kept going cause I could feel that I was on the brink of something big. With that being said, in just 2018 alone, I have quintupled my total sales since 2013. I live comfortably now because of my dream… but it’s not a dream anymore. It’s my reality. I’m a big “Law of Attraction” fan. If you don’t know what that is, hit me up and let’s have a conversation.
It’s funny though, all of this didn’t start from a drive for money. It started with a desire to communicate with people that I felt I couldn’t. It started with me trying to express feelings I couldn’t. It started with my whimsical child mindset that morphed into what I call my “Mac Miller mindset” today. Rest easy, man. It has always been my way of releasing and leaving my mark on the world. A way of escaping myself. What I’ve found is that if you’re a consistent, positive, kind, and hard-working person, the money eventually does come.
I started my story explaining how the most consistent aspect of my life was failed friendships. Now I can confidently say that the most consistent thing in my life is my artwork, my sales, and the recognition and love that has come from all of you throughout this journey. Thank you! It’s a blessing how life works out when you follow what you want for yourself. People have disagreed with me many times when I say it’s important to be selfish, in the right ways of course, but I will forever stand by that statement. Especially in my 20s. My name is Bridget Hassold and I’m a 23 year old bada** that makes money doing exactly what I said I wanted to do when I was 4 years old. Work hard, be kind, and don’t let anyone tell you what best path is for YOU.