29 Aug Sharon Blair Art
Question 1: What does your business produce or supply?
It produces art… and creative confidence! I’m Sharon – a mixed media abstract artist based in Kiama, NSW. I’ve spent more than 20 years creating, exhibiting and selling my original artworks and prints. I also run art workshops (that’s the creative confidence part) – both online and in the studio.
Question 2: What motivated you to start your business?
A screaming baby and a real estate request! (More on that shortly.) I’ve always loved art and saw how mine could inspire others. Running workshops was something that evolved through my experience in HR, my postgrad studies in careers education and my passion for assisting people to develop new skills.
The journey in a nut shell…
I spent hours drawing as a kid and studied art all the way to year 12. However, after school I put it away for 10 years – only picking up a paintbrush again when I needed a creative outlet to recharge my batteries with a new baby that wouldn’t sleep!
At first, it was simply something to put on the walls. However, when we came to sell our house, the buyer asked that all the art remain! This gave me the confidence to start selling my work – and much to my surprise, they sold well. Motivated, I quickly absorbed everything about mixed media art and studied for 5 years under a private mentor. This expertise led to exhibitions and galleries. Yet something still felt missing.
I wanted my work to connect with people in more meaningful ways. I diversified my range – including canvas prints to national retailers, a range of designs for paper products and even teaming up with board designer Gary McNeil to create a range of fluid art surfboards – with royalties going to assist youth suicide prevention programs. In the past few years, my passion for coaching and education has seen me run art workshops, sharing my love with a wider audience.
Question 3: When you think about your business what keeps you awake at night?
Everything! After all, artists only make money when they’re dead, right? Like many business owners, the impact of COVID has been a strain. I focus on how to reach more people, and I’m lucky to have a business that can be seen by a global audience. Even before COVID hit, I was working on creating online workshops.
I think the major challenge for me is how to be across everything and keep all the wheels turning. I’d love to paint around the clock, but it loses out to writing, filming, photo editing, admin, website updates, marketing, social media and so on! It can be hard figuring out what to prioritise – it’s one of the reasons I sought SRBEC’s advice in the first place.
Question 4: What has your business taught you personally?
It has helped develop my creative confidence through all areas of my life and deal far better with ‘impostor syndrome’. One of the big things I teach in my art workshops is “play, not perfection” – and it applies to life too. Nobody’s perfect; just be authentic.
Question 5: What’s a recent business success that you have had, that has motivated you to keep going?
That’s an easy one to answer. The recent launch of my mixed media art online course, “My Happy Place” has been a real boost. First in seeing the product of many months (years even) of hard work come together. And then to see the impact it has had on participants from all over the world – watching them blossom with self-confidence and even improve their health and wellbeing through my course. Receiving their wonderful feedback has really inspired me.
Question 6: How do you feel about the future of your business in the next three years?
I’m positive. There have been plenty of ups and downs over the years, but I feel I have reached a place where I am combining my passions. Now it is about tapping into new audiences through my art and online workshops – inspiring people here and globally.
To be a mixed media artist is to be a patient soul. It’s been a long road so far and now my business feels like it’s growing in a more organic way. It hasn’t happened alone – with a tribe of dear friends who continue to help me thrive.
Question 7: How does your relationship with SRBEC help you and your business?
I can’t speak highly enough of the service. Narelle Blackadder has been a joy to work with and I look forward to our catch ups. She has been able to quickly grasp my business and its unique challenges. I have appreciated her insights, ideas and her ability to stimulate discussion around potential opportunities. Our ‘think tank’ sessions are very helpful, and her energy and enthusiasm are infectious.
Sharon Blair’s contact details are as follows:
Sharon Blair Art
PS: FREE MINI-COURSE OFFER for SRBEC NEWSLETTER READERS
For a limited time, you can get SECTION ONE of My Happy Place for FREE. Professionally filmed, with step-by-step techniques to help you visualise the things that bring you joy in your life, this stand-alone mini-course is perfect for nurturing positive wellbeing and the ideal launchpad for the larger course.
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PPS: If you would like your business to be showcased like Sharon’s, please contact your BEC business advisor to discuss.