Rebecca Pierce, the 224th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, has an artistic heart and a commercial brain.

Bec has been an artist for the past four decades – fashion, design and licensing for the first half of her career and painting for the second.

At the same time, Bec has always understood that it’s not enough just to create quality art; it also needs to be marketed and sold.

In 2010, Bec opened Traffic Jam Galleries, which plays to these two different sides of her personality. When time permits, Bec gets to paint; mostly, though, her job involves recruiting artists, promoting their work and cultivating buyers.

As I discovered, galleries have more ways to make money than just exhibiting artworks. Galleries can also sell their artists’ work at art shows, display their work in office blocks and take orders from buyers for the creation of new artworks.  

Given that Bec’s an artist, I wasn’t surprised to discover that she’s a very stylish dresser, although in an understated way – think op shops rather than designer labels.

I was also struck by how quickly Bec made me feel at ease. She’s very warm, she’s an excellent conversationalist and she asks really good questions. Those people skills surely help Bec build strong relationships with her artists and buyers.