Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lynn Goldstein, Founder of Lynn Goldstein Fine Art, located in Fairfax Station, VA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lynn Goldstein Fine Art is where people come to find that perfect painting to enhance their homes, offices, or corporate settings. The work that I produce is one-of-a-kind, and my collectors find peace and happiness looking at my artwork every day. I also provide coaching to art students that are at all levels of their artistic journeys through online courses and in-person workshops in Europe and the Mid-Atlantic region.
Tell us about yourself
Art has been a constant for me my entire life. However, for five years, I hid my art. Berated by college art teachers who told me I couldn't draw, I kept my perceived failures buried under a stack of papers so no one would see. But a childhood illness, and the death of my father when I was 25, had taught me not to take life for granted. I realized that I would likely regret it if I didn't follow my passion, and the encouragement of a friend was the boost I needed to finally bring my art out into the world.
Years later, I'm thrilled to say that art is no longer my private contraband. On the contrary, my work is an inspiration for many happy collectors in the U.S. and in Europe. I've exhibited widely, won awards, had my work exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution twice, and have a painting in the permanent collection in the Jean-Haffen Museum in Dinan, France, to name a few select accomplishments.
I didn't quite think of my art as a business until I got a studio that was open to the public outside my home in 2008. I then began working with an art business coach, building my collector base, and teaching more seriously. As mentioned above, I have taught workshops in the mid-Atlantic region, France, Italy, and Portugal. I have also taught classes at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, where I volunteered as a docent for over two decades. Additionally, I began designing online art classes as a result of the pandemic that I continue to teach.
As for what motivates me each day to do what I do, I can say that I always strive for consistent improvement in my artwork. It is an all-consuming, mental (and sometimes physical) challenge to explore new directions in my work while staying true to what I want to express. When teaching, I am motivated by watching the lightbulb moments that my students experience. There is nothing quite so rewarding than recognizing that you have inspired a spark in others to create.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There have been several for which I am grateful. One of my recent favorite accomplishments was having 5 of my original paintings purchased for a local library. This library is located in an underserved area, and I was thrilled that my work might help to uplift someone's day. As far as my teaching, I see one of my biggest accomplishments as setting a goal to teach in Europe and meeting that goal.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As an artist and business owner, the most difficult task is to have enough time to create art while also marketing my business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
An artist's business tends to be a little different from other businesses; here goes:
- Learn to market yourself, and do so consistently.
- Use e-commerce on your website to sell your work. I sell in multiple venues, but I sell the majority of my work through my website.
- Do not try to do everything by yourself.
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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