Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Parisa Diba, Watercolor Artist and Art Teacher of Parisa Diba Art, located in Orange, CA, USA.

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

I'm an artist, and most of my customers are beginner artists who like to learn from me.

Tell us about yourself

I am originally from Iran and I always loved to paint. At the age of twelve, I picked up mountain flowers, painted them, and sold them in neighborhood cafes. A few years later, I started making handmade postcards and selling them in gift shops.
In 2007, I took a watercolor class. That's where I saw one of Sterling Edwards' watercolor books. I was moved by the blended and fluid landscapes and fell in love with the medium. I moved to Turkey in 2013 and met Hakan Esmer, a Turkish artist and former university professor, hoping to take some art lessons from him. He had no time to teach, so instead, he offered me the use of his old studio. I found myself walking to an old building every day and painting for hours and hours.
In 2016, I immigrated to the United States, took up residency in Orange County, California, and started an art school. Now, I am a watercolor artist and an art instructor inspired by the ocean and the water.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Most watercolor artists work in a few layers or in sections. I, instead, wet the paper, and I paint until the paper dries. In the end, I add tiny details, and the painting is finished in less than an hour, regardless of the size. I have also pushed myself to paint large-scale with watercolors with the same style by using large brushes, and I called this technique One-Wash. I teach my method through my online school and my book.

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

As an artist, it takes a very long time to find your own voice and be different. After you find yourself, now you need to spend tons of time learning so many other things like taking high-quality photos of your art, marketing, social media strategies, etc. There is so much to learn; it's not just about learning to paint these days. It's exciting, but one needs to be patient to become a full-time artist.

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

My pieces of advice for beginner artists are to be unique, work on your presentation and be patient.

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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