With Gwinnett being a community so rich in diversity, we are very fortunate to have local artists around every corner.

We sat down for a Q&A with Anita Darling for our next Local Love feature. Anita Darling is the owner of Anita Darling Fine Art, and you can view her work at Tannery Row Artist Colony. If you have never been to Tannery Row it is a collection of 21 individual studio spaces where artists work in a variety of mediums and genres. You can stop by and view the artists working on current and completed pieces. 

Anita's interest lies in the visual patterns and physical development of flora and other natural inspirations. Her work showcases her ability to let line and shape to create rhythm with her favorite mediums being ink or charcoal. Darling’s work is aimed at giving a legacy to nature that would be too soon forgotten if not captured plein air by her fluid hand.

Anita has been featured in Atlanta Magazine and Voyage Magazine of Atlanta. She also has studios in Sis and Moon in Downtown Alpharetta and another one in Midtown. Check out her Instagram for her latest work: @anita.darling.fineart

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Q: How did your business get started?

A: "I think the best businesses can begin with a hobby. It solved a problem for me and ultimately provided something to the world that helps me to feel fulfilled. So, yeah, my business was originally a relief from mom life at home. I opened a studio in Tannery Row Artist Colony and felt like it would simply be a reprieve. Little did I know that I would end up selling artwork and then eventually signing with other corporations to provide artwork for high-end hospitality spaces. Now I have grown even more and am planning on opening another studio in the spring of 2023 to cultivate artwork creation experience for others in Crabapple in Milton. I have to add that I could have never planned this in the beginning. I think we have to be unafraid to take a small step and see where it takes us. Be willing to pivot and explore and never be stagnant."

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Q: What struggles have you faced?

A: "I have definitely faced struggles, especially as an artist. I can often love to stay in my right-brained function but to operate a business you need many facets. I definitely faced anxiety and tried to often avoid many tasks that needed to be done but I’ve found that that is just me holding myself back. Mostly having a business is learning how to make a schedule and then get out of the way of yourself."


Q: What advice would you give to others wanting to start their own business?

A: "If I were going to give anyone advice it would be that you have to develop a habit. If you can develop a habit you can make any mountain move even if it is just one grain of sand at a time. I mean, look what ants can do!?"


Q: What is your favorite part about your job? what is the hardest part?

A: "My favorite part of my job is creating. It’s as if I get to think up what to make within a designer's guidelines and then seek all of the pieces and parts and then assemble the work. The hardest part is also the same as the easiest part. Honestly, when you add deadlines to that work it becomes even more pressure-filled. A pile of expectation on top of creation can definitely be a struggle."


Q: What goals do you have for Anita Darling Fine Art?

A: "As far as goals go for A Darling Lifestyle (Anita Darling Fine Art) I will continue to provide and create artwork for high-end hospitality and residential but I will also expand to helping others to learn to open up their creative side as well. With the exploration of the Crabapple community in Milton, I have found it fertile ground to plant that location. While the plan is to keep the Gwinnett studio location I am looking forward to branching out and touching people in more senses than just their eyes."

Be sure to check out Anita's work and all the other amazing artists at Tannery Row in Buford. 

Explore Gwinnett continues to make an effort to promote local minority-owned, LGBTQ, and women-owned businesses. To support this initiative, we are writing blogs focusing on owners and telling their stories. Click here to read more Local Love stories.