Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Krieger, Owner of Createful Art, located in Livingston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Createful Art is an online place where art lovers can learn to paint with acrylics, from the comfort of their homes and around their own schedules. They learn how to become a better artist, relax, express themselves, and enjoy the many benefits that come from making Art.
Included is an acrylic painting course with over a hundred lessons, painting workshops, e-books, weekly painting lessons, and lovely video tutorials to practice with. I believe that becoming confident in one's own creativity is just as important as skills.
My tutorials include a variety of painting styles to help artists discover their own personal preferences and unique style. I believe that with know-how, desire and practice, anyone can be a great artist.
Tell us about yourself
I have been making Art since I was a child, simply because I loved it. I remember struggling to draw and paint clouds. I gained a lot of my skills from books, artists, teachers, experimentation, and practice. I enjoyed Art as a hobby for many years and only sold it when others expressed the desire to have my Art.
My career path was in the medical field, but after getting very ill and the need to help my husband through college, I began to teach Art and sell it to supplement our income. I decided to continue my path as an artist instead of returning to the medical field. It’s been such a blessing in my life as well as my family. I know Art can bless others as well, and that's why I built Createful Art.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My family and I get to travel all over the world because of those who enjoy what I offer at Createful Art. We love meeting new people, experiencing culture, and exploring new places. My children couldn’t ask for better education, and I feel so blessed that I can share so much of my time with each of them. To be able to live the life we want as a family has been my greatest accomplishment.
This trumped when I reached 100,000 subscribers, and each time, I reached another million views on YouTube. However, to share the same blessings Art has given me with people around the world is just as rewarding.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Success is not instantaneous. It requires the same thing from everyone who owns a business, perseverance. When I started teaching online, I was paying to work. It took years to build Createful Art so others could be blessed by it. I didn’t know how to build a website, make videos, run a business, and pretty much everything I do now.
Is the word overwhelming even adequate? I would often think…why am I doing this? To have perseverance, which doesn’t come naturally for most people, returning to why I started Createful Art in the first place and holding onto the sweet comments of the people it blessed gives me a reason to continue.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Give yourself grace. You will not do everything perfectly from the get-go. It's in the process of doing that you will get better.
- Don't give up. You can choose to fail by giving up or having the courage to fail over and over until you succeed. The latter is where the blessings are at.
- Owning a business is a game of strategy. Reaching your customers and giving them what they desire and doing all this while being able to support yourself and those you employ is not an easy game to play and win.
- It’s important to learn from the failures and accomplishments of others, but keep in mind that your journey will be unique, and your strategy will need to include that.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The belief that you can is the beginning of being able to make what you desire possible. If I had listened to all my excuses about why I couldn’t be an artist, travel full-time, or homeschool my kids, I would never have been able to accomplish any of them. Here are a few of my excuses…time, money, space, kids, support from family members, permission, know-how, and often lack of health.
The truth is, excuses are just obstacles. We can allow them to be a wall that blocks our path forever, or we can get a rope, learn to climb, or figure out how to get around them. The first take our dreams away from us, but it's easier, and the latter gives us a chance to live a life without regret, but it is very difficult. Which makes excuses just choices. We may not have control over everything in our lives, but we have choices every day that we can make toward our goals.
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.
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