Alexis Avery creates original paintings that empower, uplift and inspire with oils and acrylics. Additionally, she loves to explore different mediums and dabbles in mixed media art, candle making and designing jewelry. Read our interview with Alexis, and you’ll find amazing tips for your own journey as a creative entrepreneur.
How did you begin creating art?
I was always drawn to art growing up and have always had some form of art project going on. I got into painting in my twenties to help me as I worked through my anxiety and developed my mindfulness skills.
At what point did you realize that you could turn your artwork or creative product into a business?
There was a tipping point where I ended up having more creations than I had space in my house, and with encouragement from my loved ones, I decided to branch out and sell at local art markets.
How do you define success for your creative business?
For me, success is directly proportional to how much fun I’m having. If it sparks joy in me and I can potentially do the same for others, I know I’m successful.
Where do you find inspiration?
I’m very inspired by natural landscapes, butterflies, and flowers. I like to take photos while I’m hiking and then use them for inspiration in my paintings.
What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Network with your local arts community and talk about your business whenever possible. Some of the best opportunities come from putting yourself out there and talking to people.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to begin selling their art or creative product?
Don’t be afraid to price your work a little higher than you may be comfortable with. Your time, talents and energy are worth more than you may believe.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I graduated with a degree in psychology and am self-taught in both art and business. I’ve learned a lot through trial and error.
As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining our art. How do you handle perfectionism?
I’m not sure where I first heard this piece of advice, but it often comes up when I find myself getting in a perfectionistic rut. View whatever you are currently working on as practice for the masterpiece you’ll create five years from now. I like this advice because it allows space for grace in the present moment and releases attachment to whatever it is you’re creating if you are struggling with it or even if you really like it.
What’s something that surprised you about running a creative business?
I think part of me is still always amazed when someone buys a piece of my work. I feel really honored when someone is excited to display my art in their home.
Running a business brings joys and challenges. What advice would you give to someone about handling the highs and lows?
Develop a solid self-care routine outside of your work that you can lean on in the lows and use to celebrate the wins.
Has someone ever criticized your work? How did you handle it?
I’ve received criticism that was constructive and criticism that wasb’t. When I was learning to work with oils, I was very appreciative of the feedback I got from artists more experienced in that medium. This is how we learn and fine-tune our technical skills. When people give me feedback on my work that is them saying they don’t like it, I brush that off 100 percent. Everyone has varying tastes, and as long as I enjoy the content of my work, I’m happy.
What’s a cause you are passionate about and why? Please list a link to a website where our audience can learn more about this cause.
Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to do a completely different type of painting when I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. I enjoyed being able to be a part of the build process by painting the interior walls and enjoyed the process of helping create a safe home.
Can you share the name of a supplier or vendor that you use for your business that you just love—one that makes running a business a bit easier?
Canva has been my go-to for designing flyers, business cards, and banners. It’s easy to use, and its versatility makes designing things for your business fun.
And, of course, we have to ask you this: What brings you joy?
I’m very grateful to say that a lot of life brings me joy! I find joy in connection with my community and loved ones, practicing yoga and meditation, leisurely hikes to waterfalls, the sound of my cats purring while they sleep on my chest, sunlit flowers in spring and a hot cup of jasmine green tea!
Thanks, Alexis! You can learn more about the artist at intuitivealexis.com.
Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.