WEST ELM INTERVIEW

Hello there!

I had the privilege of being interviewed by West Elm last week for their blog, Front + Main. I love how much West Elm cares and supports small businesses, so I was (not surprisingly) jumping up and down in my seat when they approached me! 

In the interview I talk a little bit about my journey as an artist and why I love what I do. I also share some advice for folks who may want to start out on their own. It's not an easy decision to make, and from my conversations with many artists/designers I realized that there is no right way to approach this career change. So I say it's ok to not know everything in the beginning as long as you prepare for some of the basic aspects of legal protection of rights and get all the paperwork squared away. I found that sometimes you can spend too much time preparing and researching, and then you become too afraid to take the jump! I went into this thinking I would be happily painting away for, let's say, 80% of the time and I would spend the rest of the time doing administrative and business "stuff". What I found out was the complete opposite, that when I am the one running the show, I'm lucky to get to paint 30% of the time. But that's OK, because that is something I only realized after working on my own, it's not something anyone would have been able to tell me. And even if they did, I wouldn't have believed them. Plus, there's something to be said about learning as you go, that if you love and truly believe in what you are pursuing 100%, then you will put in the time to figure these things out. 

Anyway, check out the interview here! The images are photographed by Christa Kimble Photography and are sneak peaks of my new home office. I hope to get a proper photoshoot in the next few months of my entire studio space to share with you guys! It's slowly coming along but I love how much more space I have to work with.

Until next time,

Yao