The Six Degrees Creative brand is all about connection. With the Connecting Creatives segment the goal is to highlight creatives and entrepreneurs in our communities and share their journey. No matter the outlet or industry, it is important we support each other’s growth both professionally and personally. Together we can make being a creative or running a small business sustainable and successful.
This week we highlight the beautiful abstract art from Messy Ever After. Kelly, the artist behind Messy Ever After, creates lively paintings with playful line work and an array of colors. Channeling her emotions into each piece, her work is full of personality and a joy to have in any space. Not only does Kelly create stunning art she is also a creative consultant that offers a wealth of knowledge via her tutorials, blogs, and consulting services.
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to be part of Connecting Creatives. Can you tell us more about your background and how you got started on your creative journey?
Thanks so much for the invite! I got started professionally as an artist in 2010. Though, I’ve been creating since I can remember. I started selling my work at art fairs in Minnesota while I was a full time college student. I wasn’t sure if I had the energy or skills to push as hard as I needed to make art work as a career, so I put it on the back burner for a few years as I finished my degree and tried a couple of non-creative paths. Then, after fulfilment eluded me outside of creative endeavors, I decided I needed to embrace art and pursue it full time in 2016.
What keeps you engaged and passionate about your small business?
So many things! I love that I can continue to evolve. My mind is always going a mile a minute, and being an artist allows me to pivot whenever feels right. I also thrive on a lack of limitations. I can try new things and push myself without needing permission from anyone above me. Most of all, I am passionate about inspiring others. When I can share my work, tutorials, or blog posts and give other creatives the tools and confidence to travel down their own artistic path I feel an incredible sense of fulfilment. All of these things keep me excited about even the mundane parts of running a business.
If you could give advice to your younger business self what would it be?
Make art more than you think about making art. My younger self got stuck in her head way too often. I used my critical mind more than my creative mind and I got in my own way. Put your head down and create. It sounds simple, but when you waste time worrying about if people will like your work or you spend too much time judging your own work, you can exhaust yourself before you even figure out what you’re selling.
What is a challenge you have faced as a small business and how have you overcome it?
Knowing what to put your energy into when there is no guaranteed pay check at the end of it. If you’re an artist, you don’t know what art will sell. You don’t know if an event will have a decent turnout. You don’t know what social media post will get you a new commission. You don’t know what will come from the work you do. Those unknowns used to paralyze me because I didn’t want to waste my energy.
I had to pick a direction and follow it and hope that I would gain something from the experience. Many directions didn’t provide a pay check, but the skills I picked up were invaluable. Overtime, when you put enough effort into multiple directions, hopefully you will have diverse income streams to help you take more risks on the unknowns in the future.
What do you want people to take away from your small business?
Ultimately, when people interact with me and my art in person or on social media I want them to feel inspired and confident. I’m all about helping people find contentment in who they are and helping them find the courage to create.
What is the next milestone for you?
I try to look at everyday as an opportunity to take a baby step toward a more creative future in general. I suppose my next milestone is to just do a little more each day than I’ve already been doing. I wish I had a huge goal to point to in the distance for my art career, but I mainly just want to squeeze as much joy and creativity out of every day of my life.
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