Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Daniela Pasqualini, an Italian abstract artist based in Dallas, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I create modern abstract paintings with rich colors and bold texture transforming observations of my surrounding and experience into abstract patterns, creating texture through form. I work with commercial, public, and private collectors, galleries, and whoever loves ART.
Tell us about yourself
I have certainly evolved into a lifelong artist. They say that if you do what you truly love, then you will never have to work another day of your life. This absolutely describes my situation. Here is a little background about me. I was born in Rome, Italy, and I lived my youth in Petritoli, a little town on the Adriatic coast. After completing my degree in Business Administration, work and life circumstances brought me to the Tuscany region of Italy, specifically Florence, and this represented an important turning point in my creative spirit and outlook on life. The constant connection with the historical and cultural context of the city of Florence and the many opportunities provided by the sites have been an artistic stimulus in my passion for painting.
In 2013 I was offered a unique challenge to leave the only country I ever knew and lived in to move with my family to Boston, MA, USA. In New England, the many colors, different types of landscapes, and many different cultures have provided me with a surreal environment as a backdrop to really launch my true passion. Everything started with a Christmas gift from my husband… an ART set! I then joined art associations, met amazing open-minded artists, and I have been in galleries both in Europe and the USA. I partnered with Lord and Taylor, Birkenstock, and Modher SF handbags. I worked with interior design companies and art consulting firms. Prints of some of my paintings are in the Marriott hotel and Magnolia hotel, and I even took part in an exhibition in the Vatican.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to find a balance between the business side and the ability to just create. The ability to keep myself motivated and the self-discipline to force it is not something that is easy. It took hard work besides just painting because there is so much to be done behind the scenes.
In my artistic career and in a period of gender inequality, I learned never to sell yourself short and to be perseverant and authentic with your practice because, as a woman, nothing is going to be handed to you. I think that for everything to be taken seriously, you need to be serious and fight for what you believe.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Since I started this adventure, I understood that you must be able to access a wide range of skills in order to be not just a successful artist but run a successful art business. As you look at all successful entrepreneurs, they have a vision, drive, and an unrelenting drive to succeed, and I think as artists, we embody all these characteristics. The ability to put one’s vision, emotions, and passion on display for the world to see, critique, love, hate… there is always a sense of what’s next, and I think that any great entrepreneur will tell you as they start whatever their business or activity was; it always was with a sense of awe, nervousness, excitement, and hope. As an artist, I can say with absolute certainty we live that dream of entrepreneurship.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Perseverance! Do not give up, and be authentic with your practice! Some other advice I can give to those who want to break into the art world and grow a business are:
Have a good portfolio shot with great light, write a good artist statement, do not procrastinate in sending applications, do not ignore deadlines, make sure your hard work gets seen also using social media, during gallery shows approach visitors, do not underprice or overprice your work, be involved in your local community, take art or business education class.
Since I started this adventure, I understood that you must be able to access a wide range of skills in order to run your art career to succeed. Honestly, my finance education heavily influenced and helped my art career: keeping good financial records throughout the year, tracking business expenses and income, being smart about marketing myself in the right way, trying to expose my work to new audiences, creating wide networking, building an artist support system, being able to navigate web design, prioritizing my expenses, equalizing my production and sales efforts, managing my time.
I am a to-do list addict, always trying to approach problems and challenges systematically. I plan before I invest money, and I don’t leave things to chance. I think it is important to understand your financial picture and to have knowledge about your business. The more you know, the less you fear.
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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