Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
I am a full time, self taught artist and author living in Seattle, WA. I sell original artwork, giclee prints, notecards, and hand-painted yoga mats. I share art techniques and ways to nurture your creative spirit in my book, Painted Blossoms: Creating Expressive Flower Art with Mixed Media, is now available for preorder here: http://www.amazon.com/Painted-Blossoms-Creating-Expressive-Flower/dp/1440336741 I also teach an online yoga inspired art e-course called Journey to the Self that blends my passions for yoga and art-making. You can learn more about that here: http://www.carrieschmittdesign.com/?page_id=3638
I will be presenting a FREE live online presentation about my art journey with Artists Network on July 21. You can sign up to listen and even ask live questions here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3957310940008340737
When did you discover your passion?
I’ve always loved to create, but I didn’t pursue painting as a career until recently. In 2009, I developed a life-threatening allergy to heat. No longer able to enjoy my garden outdoors in the heat, I began painting flowers instead of planting them as a therapeutic way to deal with my new limitations. I loved painting so much I decided that I wanted to be a working artist so I could dedicate my time to what I love to do.
What made you turn your passion into a career choice versus just a hobby?
In 2010 my family and I moved from Cincinnati to Seattle, and I didn’t paint once that entire year.
How do you stay motivated?
Motivation doesn’t seem to be a problem for me because I absolutely love what I do. I wake up every morning and cannot wait to start painting and check off all the things on my list related to my art biz. It is an adventure and every day is different with endless possibilities. Every day is a hustle but completely enjoyable.
That being said, working for yourself and creating can be exhausting practices. I take care of my whole self—mind, body and spirit—so that I feel energetic and healthy when I paint.
Can you share a little about your design process?
I paint intuitively, which is a process that can have quite an impact on how you create and even how you live on a daily basis. When you paint intuitively, you rely on instinct and surrender to whatever emerges on the canvas without resistance. I randomly make marks and brushstrokes on the canvas and build layers of paint until I begin to see images emerge. For me, I usually see flowers! You can learn more this powerful process in a blog post I recently wrote on clothpaperscissors.com here http://www.clothpaperscissors.com/blogs/clothpaperscissorstoday/archive/2015/05/27/how-to-paint-flowers-art-inspiration-painting-intuitively.aspx?utm_source=clothpaperscissors.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=cps-cdh-ac-150527-CarrieSchmitt
What is your favorite part about having a creative business?
I love the freedom that comes with getting to choose what I want to focus on each day, what my short and long term goals are, and even just being able to make my own schedule so that I can be present for my kids. I also love that every day is new and exciting. Creating each day is a dream job.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career and how have you overcome them?
Having a steady income has been a big challenge for me. This is made extra challenging by the lack of time I am able to actually spend working as a mom with 3 busy children. Diversifying by having several income streams, such as selling originals, licensing, and teaching, helps with the money issue. As far as time, I just do the best I can and squeeze in time to work every chance I get.
What advice would you give to aspiring designers looking to build a successful creative business?
Be persistent. Study what others are doing. Don’t give up. Go for the long shot—you never know what might happen. And, put your work and products out there on social media. Having an online community has helped my business to thrive and is the most rewarding and inspiring part of my art biz because it allows me connect with inspiring and beautiful people.
Whats next for your career?
In addition to the release of my book this summer, I will be teaching at the Art Makers Denver Retreat from Sept. 21-24. You can learn more at artmakersdenver.com
I hope to offer more online courses and teach more workshops and retreats in the future as well.
Where can we find you on the web?
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