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Meet Anat Ronen of Anat Ronen in Telephone and Lockwood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anat Ronen.

Anat, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We (my husband Ori, son Orr and myself) came to the US in 2007 as a “Hail Mary” move “before it gets too late”. Aged 35, we felt we wanted to try something else, something far away, create a new life for ourselves, from scratch. Both of us were working in boring, routine jobs, both didn’t go to college nor had any professional training at anything. We didn’t have much to lose by trying.

Born and raised in the state of Israel, we wanted a life that is not defined by our nation’s problems. I started as an administrative assistant (that was what I did in Israel until then), and after two years, wanting to break free from a visa that bonds us to one particular party, we decided to try and go solo. I applied for an extraordinary ability O1 visa, using everything I have ever done (and had with me) to prove my ability. That included a couple of murals for my son’s room, random illustrations for the corporate bosses I worked for, and anything in between. I never worked professionally in the fields of art or design.

It was a dream I prevented myself from dreaming, knowing I didn’t even go to school to be allowed to be in it. I was extremely fortunate to have been granted with that visa, and so, my professional art career started in late 2008. I had no idea where that desire would take me, and looking back, the journey was and is still unbelievable even to me. I really didn’t know I had it in me, and now every project takes me to new territories, testing my abilities and challenges me with new perspectives.

Once I got the visa, the next step was reaching for the green card, and parallel to providing for my family and solely sustaining our lives here in the USA, I started working on the requirements that are key to obtaining permanent residency. The process, for someone that is an artist, is to prove that indeed, they are exceptional, and extraordinary.

One has to show he goes places, does big projects, does significant pieces, being written about in important outlets. I solely listened to my intuition, and my heart. I traveled everywhere they wanted me, participated in festivals, poured the best of my ability out on walls and floors. Luckily, 10 years after we first stepped on US soil, we were granted with the holy grail, or the green card.

As an untrained artist, I tend to have an organic relationship towards art‐making that corresponds to a vital need, a matter of personal balance and identity. I work with a variety of materials from acrylics, latex, tempera, chalk, pen, marker, color pencils, digital and more.

Typically working on at least 20 projects at one time, I work on a large scale and at a rapid pace – simply because I find the fastest way by myself, not depending on prior education or a certain way I was taught to work. My work ranges in size from a few inches wide to over 30 feet tall and covering a variety of subject matter.

Starting this art life so late in my life, I feel like a volcano that has so much in it, and is steadily erupting. Having a relatively rich “normal” life experience thus far puts me in a place where I can see both sides – the artist in me, but also the regular, random folk, as well.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think I covered it in the previous question. Everything is a challenge, a struggle – but everything is a gift, too. I feel very fortunate to have been able to find my way – without even looking for it or hoping to find it.

Anat Ronen – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business really is me, with the great help of my husband. Together, we make a great team providing all kinds of artistic productions and innovative art performance solutions. From large scale murals to onsite popup panels for events and festivals, my husband builds the panels and erects them on site, builds the scaffolds and assists with all lifting equipment. Together we provide the complete solution to small, medium or large events/projects.

My style is very defined and I am pretty vocal about what I think is the right way to go when asked by a client. I don’t just do whatever the clients want me, but I suggest my own take on their ideas and suggestions. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t – like any relationship.

I work fast – not because I am rushing it, but because, being self-taught, I find the “key” early in the mural process, and continue from there. I typically work on areas, completing them as I go, like a printer. It’s a fun performance when done as live painting in events and festivals.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I painted a 250’x18′ mural for Blackshear Elementary in the Third Ward. It depicts 55 people from the community that asked to be included in the mural. Being int he third ward and not commissioned by any big corporation, it didn’t get a lot of publicity, but the main “badge of honor” I wear proudly comes from the fact that 2 years after its completion it wasn’t harmed in any way.

Typically when asked that question I am left without answers, because I am always thinking of the next project.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Craig Houdeshell, Alex Barber

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