Interview from Voyage Magazine – Feb. 20, 2019
Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Cochran.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Natalie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Huelva, Spain and grew up all over Europe and the Indian subcontinent so I have been surrounded by vibrant colors and art my entire life. However, it was only in 2013 when my cousin Geoff Wilder introduced me to a local artist, Taft McWhorter that I really began to explore the art world and the essence of its beauty. At the time Taft was looking for someone to manage his gallery, and while I knew zero about the art industry, he gave me a chance and hired me. I scouted galleries, hosted exhibitions, cultivated client relationships and learned as much as I could about the local art business. I decided that this was something I could be passionate about. I began to appreciate the time, effort and passion it takes to be an artist. And more importantly, I understand the power art has when a piece resonates with a collector and finds it’s final place at home.
Wanting to expand my career in the industry, I ventured out on my own and opened up DisegnoHTX in January 2016. I immediately had a waiting list of artists wanting me to represent them and showcase their works and we’ve been going strong ever since.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
A friend once told me, “I’d be so much more disappointed if you didn’t try, then if you tried and didn’t succeed.” These words motivate me every day.
Of course, being an entrepreneur is always a challenge. Being an entrepreneur, in the art business, is even a greater challenge! It’s a full-time job with no guarantee of a paycheck. We are sharing something with the world that is SO subjective. You are not only your top sales representative, but you have to wear all the hats of accounting, budgeting, social media, networking, time management, and client retention. But, in spite of it all, you can thrive.
The art world is dynamic and ever-changing. What works one year, just doesn’t make any sense the next year, so it’s a constant lesson on adaption and growth. While our private events are invitation-only, patrons and those interested in our art services art can subscribe to our list at www.disegnohtx.com/contact or connect via our social media pages!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the DisegnoHTX story. Tell us more about the business.
DisegnoHTX is an art consulting firm and gallery, which services both artists and their collectors. We help visual artists with their business to create a sound foundation and processes while we help them gain exposure to the public. On the flip side, we consult with both private and commercial clients to help them enhance their art collections and spaces.
In 2018, we engaged Inkwell Advertising to rebrand DisegnoHTX and stepped out of the traditional gallery model to join forces with Taft McWhorter Fine Art and opened up a duel gallery in a shared space at Winter Street Studios. This space provides a fun feel at home destination for our artists and collectors alike.
At DisegnoHTX we believe that art should not be intimidating, and should be accessible to all. We represent over a dozen local and international artists of multi-disciplinary art styles that rotate seasonally. We not only host public events in conjunction with Sawyer Yards Creative Community, where our gallery is located but also private exhibitions, artist talks and pop up exhibits in corporate and retail environments around town. We have partnered with Four Seasons Houston to host summer “Live Art Bar” exhibits, which boast live painting, music, and poetry. We are slated to host our 3rd year with them this summer.
Another important part of our business is our involvement in local philanthropy. We give back to the community by using our gallery space to host fundraising events, as well as donate silent auction certificates for art and wine nights at the gallery. To be considered for these donations, please connect with firstname.lastname@example.org. We have some exciting collaborative corporate projects on horizon, which will be announced soon, so stay tuned!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I’m not a big believer in luck. I believe in drive, setting goals and working hard to achieve them while going through all of the challenges, learning the lessons, making the mistakes and giving it 110% effort.
Additionally, I feel it’s extremely important to recognize and appreciate your support system, those people who helped get you where you are today. Those include folks who shopped local, believed in your brand, came out to exhibits and engaged with your team. I’ve been blessed with a rock of a husband; four wonderful children, some solid friends, and generous mentors. I owe them my gratitude and thank them for their belief in me.