Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tyler Clark, Founder of Inspire by Tyler, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Visual representation is essential, and my mission is to use my 3D hair art to promote self-love, faith, and women’s empowerment. I want to uplift my community by showcasing our natural beauty and versatility through my paintings. This is my way of changing the narrative.
Tell us about yourself
I have always been a creative person, but I am also really good at STEM. I decided to pursue a path in engineering because it seemed like the best route to success. So, I went to Spelman College and Georgia Tech and studied Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering, respectively. The transition from Spelman to Tech was difficult, and I needed an outlet to help me get through the program. I turned to art and dedicated my time to painting. I realized I had a business here and decided to create one after I graduated from college. I had a full-time technical job and built my art business at the same time. My 3D hair art has gone viral on social media. This encouraged me to pursue art full-time. I took this leap of faith in 2020 during uncertain times, but I knew it was right for me. I have been evolving my business ever since.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I had the privilege to have art auctioned off in the Wearable Art Gala presented by Tina Knowles for the past few years. My work was featured on WACO’s Wearable Art Gala on the OWN network. In December 2019, I was also featured among the top artists in the country during Art Basel in Miami. I have some celebrity collectors, including Taraji P Henson, Chance the Rapper, Issa Rae, and Quavo from the Migos. My art also decorates Common’s school, ‘Art in Motion,’ in Chicago. I have been featured in All Access, Windy City Live, The Jam, and Essence magazine. I was on the YouTube Original Series, Instant Influencer Season II, which is a creative art competition. My biggest accomplishment was being the featured artist at Master Card’s Strivers Initiative. I was the special guest speaker and was introduced to the stage by Jennifer Hudson. I created 23 custom portraits of black women business owners that are a part of their program. I only had 6 weeks to complete this project, and this was all hosted at the Apollo Theater in New York. In 2023 I was featured in Walmart’s Black History Month campaign commercial and featured artist at 2023 BET Her Awards.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Navigating the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and giving yourself grace during the process.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be consistent.
- Give yourself grace.
- Be authentic.
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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