Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carla White, Founder of C. White Designs, located in Glendale, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an abstract artist specializing in pour painting. A few years ago, I started dabbling with this style of painting and fell in love. That was also about the time when I realized I wanted to take my art to the next level and really pursue it as a business. I am currently selling my art online through my website and at in-person markets, and at various art events. I also have art listed on a few different online art markets, and some of my art is available for rent in the film and tv industry, and I am also working with a wholesale art company, Level57, that works exclusively with interior designers and the hospitality industry.
Tell us about yourself
I started my creative journey in 2000 with a variety of artistic and creative expressions, such as jewelry design, hand-painted greeting cards, hand-painted furniture, and a line of aromatherapy products which included my own label and packaging designs.
I was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, and currently live in Los Angeles; I am transitioning from functional art to fine art with a current exploration in Resin Art and Art Pours. Taking from the design elements in my greeting cards, I am discovering how those translate onto larger pieces, as well as exploring new and innovative ways to express my creativity with resin, wood, paints, inks, and custom blended art mediums.
My current pieces are personal experimentation in color, line, space, and movement in combination with the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the materials and processes involved in pour paintings. The paintings are left transfixed, and the results are mesmerizing. Even dry, the images appear to be fluid and in motion. I fell in love with this style of painting, so it is easy to stay motivated. The process itself is very meditative, and I love being in that creative flow state.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment, I would have to say, is getting some of my artwork licensed to a greeting card company and a wholesale art company. One of the challenges of selling art is having a diversified audience and customer base, and these two accomplishments were a big step in helping me achieve that. Those phone calls are also the most exciting ones to get!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part of being a business owner is balancing everything that needs to get done and worrying about money! Particularly as a creative, I find managing the business aspects to be especially challenging. Having to do it all, the art, the marketing, managing social media, networking, selling, keeping track of expenses, etc. I often feel like I need at least two more of me to get it all done. There never seem to be enough hours in the day.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Some tips I would give to anyone looking to start a business would be to make sure not to overextend yourself financially in the beginning. Take things slow and be creative with how you can get things done within your budget ( I made that mistake!). Secondly, I would say work on balance. There are times when I have so many irons in the fire that I forget to practice self-care, and if you are grinding too hard, it’s easy to feel burned out, which definitely stifles creativity, growth, and progress toward your goals. Lastly, connect with others about what you are doing. I find that when I can share my art with people or even talk shop with other artists or entrepreneurs, it feeds me and help keep me inspired and motivated.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.