invest in Alcoa shares After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Vanessa Lee experienced some success selling her art in craft shows around the city. But it wasn’t until her move to New York City, and working 70 hours a week in two part-time jobs, she realized she needed to pick up her creative practice again; “I opened up my Etsy shop in 2012. The first day, I listed 16 paintings and didn’t expect much to happen… But two months later, someone bought six paintings and my jaw dropped. There’s been a huge learning curve to build the business up, and every sale that comes in, I call it a small success. I still work two jobs, seven days, but the circumstances behind my schedule are much more conducive to running a small business, painting and being creative. Sometimes I feel like the busiest person on the planet, but it’s because I have a dream and I want to see it to fruition.”
Vanessa’s work is unique and filled with juxtapostion: from her highly detailed bird illustrations, to her abstract figure art. She started selling her work on Etsy because “Having an outlet to present and sell my creative works on my own terms, without going through a gallery or the hoops of the art world really appeals to me. To be a successful artist, one must learn how to wear many hats and have multiple venues to sell the work. In addition to selling on Etsy, I participate in many local craft fairs and enjoy talking to people about what I do in person. Right now, I am in the middle of research of what my next step should be…”
It’s always nice to hear about other couples that work together (my fiance and I do, too), so I love that Vanessa added, “My partner, who has been with me through thick and thin for the last eight years, has supported me throughout my creative career. He also has a small business going on Etsy, shoofish.etsy.com which I assist in managing. Having two creative people in a relationship can have its ups and downs, but I think in the end the results are rewarding.” Indeed!
I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what those next steps are. Here is just a small sample of Vanessa’s paintings: