Tell us how you started your business / creative venture?

My creative venture began early in life with crayons and a sketchbook. I didn’t always know I wanted to make a living off of painting, but I always aimed to grow in skill and imagination. My business venture started by sharing art online. I found myself in joining art communities and interacting with fellow creators. Artists will approach other artists in encouragement, and I began to learn how to market myself. I was inspired by a lot of online creatives who took their art careers to social media and began to thrive. After a few investments in my tools, my business in art began, all run by me. The connections I created in college has helped me find opportunities for showing in ATL and middle Georgia. It has been such a pleasure of not only introducing my work, but also meeting great local talents.

How long have you been doing your creative work?

I opened my shop two years ago while in college. Yes, there are many struggles considering I am relying on social media. Not only do you have to be active and consistent, you must also work with the ever changing sciences of social media (ex. Algorithms). Burn out is also a big deal, because I am not only creating work. I am also up-keeping my website, taking care of packaging, and keeping an active social media presence. It is kind of frustrating when you don’t grow at the pace you want, so sometimes keeping moral is also a challenge. But in the end, I love painting and sharing my work. The fact that I can reach all types of people from anywhere, and create lasting friendships with other talented artists makes it easy to continue.

What made you choose this journey?

Ever since my first job, I have always told myself I needed to be my own boss. On top of that, I have always been artistic. It took going a whole year without painting, [to know] art was something I needed in life. The two just made sense together. After eye opening encouragement from my art teacher in high school, I realized I could go somewhere with this. College made it clear that I was meant to paint for the rest of my life, and running a business would fulfill my purpose.

Share a quote you live by. It can be yours or something else that inspires you!

Not a quote, but a reminder. My parents created a life in this country with little to nothing, not even a handful of English words, to give me and my brothers a better life. Seeing how far they have taken us, and how they have given me the head start they never had, I tell myself, “If they could do that, I can do this.” When they had to struggle for our survival, I can thrive in my element for their sacrifices.

Are there any products you recommend that helped you better your craft?

This may be a personal preference, but I always chose wood panels to paint on as opposed to canvas. Not only do I like the hard surface better, I feel like they are just sturdier compared to stretched canvas, and if you have a way to cut wood, it can be cheaper to buy large sheets and cut to your desired size. And funky customized shapes are always fun to paint on too.

How can people learn more about you and your business?

What are some resources that have helped you succeed?

For online presence: I use Wix for my website, because I don’t have to code and it gives me the control I need. For creating: I use Procreate for easy quick sketching. And perhaps the most important tool listed here is my scanner. By scanning, I can edit on Photoshop and create high quality prints and stickers. Speaking of stickers, I order mine from StickerApp.

CMATL is an interview series where our team collects submissions and find Atlanta’s hidden gems of creators and creative entrepreneurs. This project powered by The Creative Folks.