Friday, August 31, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness

Just about 4 years ago, I picked up a paint brush for the first time in many, many years. My business was hurting, I was going on two years without a paycheck and I needed to figure something out or else I'd have to let a couple of my employees go. And I just couldn't do that. I wouldn't do that.

I knew I could draw, so I got busy doing these little paintings, like the garlic above. I put them on eBay, for the first time, sold them for around $20 and when I made $100, my motivation kicked in like you wouldn't imagine. I'd work all day, paint every night, and I kept at it for months. When I got enough savings, I tore down my old shed in the backyard and built a place for me to paint. A real studio. The day it was finished, I bought oil paints and started teaching myself - and trust me, it wasn't easy. Little by little, I got the hang of it - and in three months, I had my first, sellable painting ready to put on eBay. That was January of 2004.

The rest of the story is that this is what I do for a living. I paint. I still have my business, still have the same employees and out of necessity, I stepped into a whole new chapter of my life. It is possible.

Often I am asked where to start. We live in the best of times - remember - the internet and computers are the fuel to get you going. Learn all you can and work hard at it every day. It'll happen.

26 comments:

Chris said...

You're an inspiration, Karin.

Steven said...

Thanks for sharing. I've been lurking for a while and it's fun to know just how you got where you are in your journey. Keep up the fine, fine work and thanks for the blog!

hollly said...

Your words are encouraging. Thanks.

Jana Bouc said...

Thank you for the wonderful inspiration...especially that you are self taught. I envy your energy to work all day and paint all night!

Dani said...

What an inspirational story. I haven't had any schooling in art and often wonder how capable I am of getting better without seeking instruction. You are proof that it's possible.

GK said...

Your story is what helps others to know that through problems we create solutions that can turn into our dreams come true. I am doing something similar and last month was one year of doing daily paintings for me. It has led to a more serious endeavor for me with my Art. I have always followed your work on your blog which has been a great source of inspiration to help my dream come true. I see how you love what you do and that is what it is all about!
Cheers, GK

Jiddje said...

A big hand for Karin. And for those lovely paintings. And for this story. The kind of stories keep me going, KArin. Day after day. I am painting two months now, every day, and I keep telling me that I can pull it off. Someday. Your story is an inspiration. Thanks and keep painting!

The Paint Pot said...

I'm 80, still painting and learning, and you're an inspiration! Thank you for your story. My dream is to own one of your paintings some day...

artbymj said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is such an inspiration to hear about another's journey and hard work leading to the fulfillment of a dream. Just reading that makes me want to go grab my brushes and work harder!

Helen Read said...

Great reminder ... consistency and belief! You are an inspiration! (Also a very skilled painter)

Brenda said...

A very inspirational post. Do you have a photo of your first 'sale' painting from ebay?? Would love to see how it all started....

Robin Neudorfer said...

A wonderful reminder that one foot in front of the other, will most likely move you forward. I love watching the progress, thanks for sharing

Heidi Malott said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing Karin.

Takeyce said...

Such an inspiration, Karin! You are a gem!

martha said...

Wonderful garlic painting, and a great story too. Congratulations on finding your true way!

Belinda Lindhardt said...

Yes i agree you are definately an inspiration and an example of what can happen if you believe in yourself.

Ujwala said...

I'm still in the teaching stage of self taught. it's great to hear how you got where you are and also gives me hope. and most of all - i love your paintings!

Katherine said...

Hi Karen - I think we're all agreed - this is a very inspirational read! I highlighted this post in yesterday's "Who's made a mark this week?" plus your website.

Karin Jurick said...

It's a very interesting posting Katherine - and thank you for including me. I appreciate it.

TK said...

Hi Karin,

Thanks for the spiritual lift and your honesty and especially for the gorgeous work! It's meant a lot to me. I got a BFA in art in 1980, and had sculpture in galleries all over the west. In 1995 it all "went south" for various reasons, and I have worked other jobs ever since. 12 years later I did nothing but paint in January of this year, and you and other artists were a big inspiration for me, and it was glorious! I've had to go back to work since, but still take some time off here and there to paint, though finances are a huge struggle. I think that's what drags me down so much and is so frustrating. Your wise and inspiring post has reminded me that the main reason to paint or do any creative endeavour is for the love of the work. Your own love of painting shines through on every canvas, in your phenomenal light, compostion and brushwork! I wish you all the best in your journey, and thanks again for sharing your struggle and your success, and especially your joy.

Mike Barr said...

I have much the same journey starting with eBay about 5 years ago, even though i had dabbled since teenage years. Selling cheap first. I got to paint 100s of beach scenes and became good at them.. and it was my ticket to bigger and better things. still have day job and paint from my shed but it feels like I paint full time. cheers Mike
www.theartofbarr.com

jeanette said...

one day ill have my own shed too, yippee,
your paintings give me goosebumps
:)

Plein Air Florida said...

You have great talent. I'm a fan.

Love,
Linda Blondheim
www.lindablondheim.com

Anonymous said...

Karin, I found your site from a link Don Gray's site. If I could I would frame that little story about "The Pursuit Of Happyness" Your living my dream.

soraya nulliah said...

Karin-I just found out about you via a classmate and...I want to thank you for your inspiring story. I too have found that hard work, time and commitment go a long way. Very Inspiring!

Francis Jong said...

Your story is truly inspirational, i'am really touch by your effort and shere determination. I wish i have such a nice boss like you. I'am a self taught artist too and someday i hope i can be like you. Thanks for sharing your life story. May you reach your goal and have a bright future ahead.