Note: In this story, both she/her and they/them pronouns are used for Tiffany Fullerton.
Using a nearby window as her source of light, Tiffany Fullerton, a media arts junior, looks down as she selects an earring hook from a clear, compartmentalized box balancing on her legs. With a pair of pliers in hand, she prepares to attach the earring hook to a circular gray decoration she previously made by hand.
Fullerton said she has always been passionate about art but only within the last year has she started selling items that she has made.
“I started with acrylic pours and the acrylic pours were just something I wanted to make all of my family for Christmas,” Fullerton said. “I made six or seven acrylic pours and then I posted them and people were like, ‘Oh my God, these are so cool,’ … then I started selling acrylic pours and getting better and better at them … And on Christmas, I got an Amazon gift card and I was like ‘I want to try resin,’ so that’s when I started resin, too.”
As a self-taught artist, Fullerton learns how to make her projects. She said her favorite part of her projects is when she tries to make something she has not seen before, or seen instructions on how to make, through her own research.
“I think you definitely have to have the passion for [art], otherwise it just doesn’t work,” Fullerton said.
For inspiration, Fullerton uses Instagram and Pinterest, as well as finding items by chance while shopping. She cites Colin Christian, an artist who works with resin, as a specific inspiration.
“I want to start making stuff like him,” Fullerton said. “He uses resin, but he makes these really cool sculptures, but they’re dark and creepy and weird. He has a bunch of spooky-looking stuff. He has a Patreon now where you can find out how he makes everything, and if I weren’t poor, I’d be paying for that Patreon because I just want to learn literally everything from him.”
Fullerton said she also turns to her fellow artists for advice on how to better her art.
“Every once in a while I’ll post a problem,” Fullerton said. “I’ll be like ‘Hey, I’m having an issue with this, fellow artists, how do y’all manage this?’ and then they’ll tell me, ‘Oh, this is what I do,’ or ‘This is what you should do’ … Just communicating with a bunch of different artists has been really helpful.”
Fullerton’s acrylic pours go from $35 – $200, depending on their size, while her earrings are $15 – $25. She describes her brand as “playful and dynamic.”
“[The first time I sold something] it honestly felt pretty good,” Fullerton said. “I think the main reason I started selling [acrylic pours] was because I was really low on rent and I was like, ‘Y’all, here’s a list of things I can do for you so that I can make rent this month,’ and a few people bought pours whenever I was really low on rent and that helped a lot.”
Jonathan Roosa, a 24-year-old cybersecurity analyst, has purchased three acrylic pours from Fullerton and paid for a professional photoshoot.
“I feel very strongly about supporting local artists,” Roosa said. “It’s extremely difficult for artists to sell their art and make a living under an economic system that does not value creativity or artistic expression. Tiffany’s art is a great example of the talent of local Denton artists, and with them also being a friend, I want to support them in their creative and artistic endeavors.”
In addition to selling her art, Fullerton is also a freelancer, taking photos and running social media for companies.
“I’m very close to [selling my art] and freelancing full time,” Fullerton said. “As of the last few months, I’ve gotten it to where I only work my serving job two days out of the week, and freelancing and selling jewelry is my main source of income now. And as soon as I get a few more consistent clients for freelancing, then selling art and freelancing will be my complete job.”
Fullerton’s main freelancing client is Triptych Records, where she met Jessica Luther-Rummel, co-owner and manager of Triptych Records, who Fullerton said has become like a mentor to her.
“She single-handedly changed my life,” Fullerton said.
Luther-Rummel, who has a booth at Doc’s Records & Vintage in Fort Worth with her husband, offered Fullerton the opportunity to sell her art there.
“We know that Tiffany wanted an outlet to sell more of her artwork, so we figured it just made sense to help her get her foot in the door,” Luther-Rummel said. “Ultimately, we’d love to see her become successful enough that she can have her own booth full of artwork for sale.”
Fullerton works with her friend, Sage Luna, a 21-year-old visual artist, to learn how to grow their respective businesses.
“We’ve been there to support each other through our trials and errors,” Luna said. “It’s always helpful to have someone cheering you on when an inevitable setback knocks you down … We consistently share inspiration boards, update each other on our goals and progress, and hope to share a studio space in the future.”
To market her products, Fullerton takes photos and posts them on social media, such as her art Instagram @fullerton.creations.
“Anytime I post a new thing on social media, then there’s a grind to get everything out and if I have to make more, I have to make more and do it in a timely manner,” Fullerton said. “So it’s just a little bit more stressful, but it still feels really good. I wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t love it.”
Featured Image: Junior media arts major Tiffany Fullerton works on a piece for her online shop. Image by Jessica Duvall