Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dawn McVey, Founder of Dawn McVey Art, located in Overland Park, KS, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I'm an artist, and I paint colorful contemporary impressionist art and run a small art business selling my original paintings and fine art prints. Our customers love adding a bit of color and joy to their spaces with my floral or landscape artwork!

Tell us about yourself

I've worked from home for 13 years now, and a decade of that was spent as a graphic designer. I've always loved working with color, even during my graphic design years. I didn't set out to start an art business but had begun painting in earnest about the time that the pandemic was starting, and as I practiced painting each day, people started asking me to buy my artwork on Instagram. Eventually, I started selling what I called my "practice paintings" for very little money because I was doing just that. I was practicing! The more I practiced, the more the Lord gave me more ability to paint better and better. Eventually, I stopped selling "practice paintings" on paper and began painting on canvas and selling those paintings on Instagram. We launched our website in October of 2021 to create a much easier shopping experience for our customers and collectors, and now, we offer not only my original paintings but also fine art prints of my artwork. I took a course and learned to create fine art prints, and we do all of the printing ourselves in-house! Our website has opened up so many opportunities for people to be able to easily shop our site at any time that's convenient for them, and we're able to continually offer a wide variety of paintings and prints for customers to choose from!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Ultimately, I know that everything I've done has been with the Lord's help. Because of the gifts and talents, He's blessed me with, any accomplishment of mine has really been because of Him! He's brought so many sweet people my way who have connected with my art and have purchased it to display in their spaces, and we feel immensely grateful for each and every customer! Knowing that my work is bringing joy to people and brightening their homes has been such a joy for me, and I hope it points people back to Him! And hearing from happy customers who've told me their new artwork is even prettier in person always feels like the best compliment!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I think the hardest thing is juggling all the different aspects of running a business when you're the only one to wear all of the hats! It definitely keeps things interesting when it's up to me to paint the art, create the prints, manage the website, be the entire "shipping department" (haha!), handle all customer service, stay on top of supplies and ordering and be in charge of any and all marketing that happens! Those are just the main jobs! Of course, there are a million other little things that need to be done from one day to the next! It means there's never a dull moment around here!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Firstly, pray about it!! Ask the Lord to guide you as you make decisions, and then keep praying with every step you take along the way!! And then take some steps to just START! You may start very small, and that's totally fine! Just start showing up and doing the thing or making the thing or creating the thing that you're excited about, and your excitement in learning and doing and making will be contagious as you share that with others.

Secondly, do what you can to LEARN! You won't know it all, and that's ok! But there are plenty of people out there to learn from, so whether you pay for schooling or search out free information and tutorials online, or even just ask professionals in your chosen industry questions as you're trying to grow and learn, do that! There are so many ways to learn these days, and not all of them cost money. But taking the time to learn from others who have already been there and done that may save you a lot of headaches as well as expenses if you were to dive in and do something wrong.

Lastly, don't be afraid of doing something wrong! Mistakes will happen because, again, you can't know it all! You're new, and you're learning, so give yourself some grace and be honest about mistakes as they come!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I was extremely sick for eight years and, eventually, had a small intestine transplant. There were so many days that I couldn't get out of bed or had to work in small spurts when I could be upright without being sick. The Lord carried my husband and me through what were literally the hardest years of our lives, so now to be able to spend my days creating beauty that I get to share with others just feels like the biggest gift, and I'm so, so grateful that I get to share that with others! My hope is that my artwork will always bring joy and point people to the Lord. He's seen me through so much, and I hope that brings hope and encouragement to others!

Where can people find you and your business?


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