Lynne McDonald. Artist. Beyond Beauty. Unity & Empowerment. Honoree.

HOMETOWN | CALIFORNIA | SINGLE

Interviewed by : Maryan Aiken. Founder. CEO. Publisher. PaperGlass Media

**“ “I grew up in California. I was immersed in the startup culture of Silicon Valley. My first real job was as a Producer for a startup animation company. I created relationships with Pixar, ILM, PDI and Dreamworks. It connected me with creative people and got me addicted to technology and the startup atmosphere. In 1999 I moved to Atlanta and teamed up with some GA Tech entrepreneurs to launch six more businesses before shifting gears, moving to Montreal and starting painting. I painted my first piece in 2005 for myself and thought that would be it for me.

In 2012, my son and I moved back to Atlanta and I found myself needing to reinvent myself once again. One conversation about art and painting led a woman to ask me to do a commission for her and I jumped at the opportunity even though I really didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I threw myself into the chemistry of acrylic paint and Lynne McDonald’s Gallery was born. I mix my own paint to be different viscosities and pour them on the canvas. While most artists are taught blending techniques, I was more interested in what they did when they repelled.

It's been an interesting road of learning and discovery. I've done it all; galleries, restaurants, festivals, hotels, commercial spaces and am now making my introduction in into the world of film by licensing my pieces to production companies. I love the Atlanta art community and have enjoyed finding my voice.

Currently I’m working on a pop up show called Seduce, as well as a large installation at 32 Dental in Acworth and I also recently signed with a modeling agency for commercial contracts too. If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's to run with the opportunities life brings you.**

Who has been the strongest influence in your life and why? My mother is a therapist, an author and an entrepreneur.

Your biggest trial that you had to tackle and how did you overcome the challenge? Becoming diabetic while I was going to college in San Diego, first time living on my own and I had always been healthy and active.  I went from being energetic and involved to feeling lethargic and depressed.  It took me a while to come to terms with having a chronic auto-immune disease and what that meant for my future.  And not being able to eat ice-cream anymore was devastating!

One thing that you are grateful for that makes you happy. Explain why?
I'm so grateful for my son.  He's my miracle baby.  I had several miscarriages and was told it would be very difficult to have a child.  I was diabetic and older. He's been my main motivator and makes me a better person.  

Traits and habits that proved to be successful for you?
Thinking outside the box no matter what industry or field I've been in has always been the trait that has set me apart.  That and a positive attitude has carried me a long way.

Your proudest moment?
Most recently I'd say it was my first solo show. There's something about putting something you created on display for everyone to see, and then to put a price tag on it and ask people to be moved enough to spend their hard earned money on it.  It left me feeling exposed and vulnerable, but the response was phenomenal and left me blessed and ecstatic.
 


What positive impact have you had since embarking on your new venture? While I lived in Montreal, I started a mother's group.  There was a woman who joined that was successful and accomplished.  She had a high level position at Bombardier as well being the president of a children's literacy organization.  She wrote me recently to tell me she quit her corporate job to follow her dream and start her own business helping young girls become engineers.  She said that she saw me take the leap and doing what I loved and it encouraged her to as well.  When someone you respect shows you such respect it is deeply humbling.  I was so amazed I could have influenced her in this way.  It was a very proud moment for me.  


I have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 29 years which has led me to work with young kids suffering from this debilitating disease. I hope to be a positive role model and that one day there will be a cure for me and for the millions of kids suffering from it.
— Lynne McDonald

Looking ahead, what does five years from now look like for you? I want to have a more saturated presence in the Atlanta area art community. I'd like to be profiting from my real estate investments, high tech marketing consulting, and commercial modeling jobs and maybe actually have my book on relationships published.

Your favorite 3 go to places in Atlanta and why?
You'll find me several times a week working at Chattahoochee Coffee Company.  It's Atlanta's best kept secret.  This time of year, Canoe is one of my favorite places to go for a drink by the river and their menu is always superb. Whiskey Mistress after hours.  Live music that makes you sing along to get up and dance.  So much fun!

I am involved with Camp Kudzu. A non-profit organization dedicated to children with type 1 diabetes

What was your first job ever? When I was 8 my brother and I would wash white walls on tires with Armor All for $2.00/car

All photos courtesy of Chuck St. John {205}  266 0918

Lynne McDonald. Artist. Beyond Beauty. Unity & Empowerment. Honoree.

"I know how hard I had to work for everything I have. Nothing was given, so I appreciate every little thing and take absolutely nothing for granted. I try to focus on how blessed I am to have everything I’ve got rather than what I don’t because focusing on the things I don’t have would only spoil the things I worked so hard to obtain."   bRITTANY pIENTA 

"I know how hard I had to work for everything I have. Nothing was given, so I appreciate every little thing and take absolutely nothing for granted. I try to focus on how blessed I am to have everything I’ve got rather than what I don’t because focusing on the things I don’t have would only spoil the things I worked so hard to obtain."   bRITTANY pIENTA