Tell us a little about who you are and what you do...

I'm Karen Atkinson, artist at Artful Bee.  I create finely detailed paintings of birds and flowers. From these I produce prints and images that can be put onto cards, mugs and a range of other products. Recently I have started painting on glass and ceramics. This allows me to create a light translucent quality to the painting that mimics the natural effect of wild flowers in their natural habitat.

What does success mean to you, right now?

Having my artwork displayed and sold in outlets across the globe. Why think small! I want people to be able to look at a piece of my work and for it to be immediately identifiable as mine and for them to appreciate it and get as much pleasure from owning it as I do in creating it.

What do you love about what you do?

I love that fact that I am now able to be creative, doing the thing I love most and being in a position that allows me to channel my energy into my passion. I find it so therapeutic, relaxing and calming when I am painting and to be able to turn this into a business is like a dream come true.

What do you find most challenging?

It is early days and this venture is very much in its infancy. I have a lot to learn, develop and plan in order to turn it into a profitable business. The danger is that I turn something that is a passion into something that becomes a chore whereby I have to churn out things on demand. I don’t want to lose the creative essence of what I do.

What's your biggest achievement(s) to date?

Again, it is still early days and, so far, my biggest achievement is transferring my skill to painting on glass. This is something I had never tried before and I love it. I have had to learn and experiment with styles to achieve the desired effect. I want to create something that is different and unique to me so have had to carry out time-consuming research on other glass painters, but the end result has been well worth the effort.

What are your hopes and dreams for future success and happiness?

My biggest dream is to be doing this in 10 years time and still loving it, whilst earning a comfortable income that allows me to develop and expand my creativity. Also to be a recognised artist in my own right having created my own unique style.

What's your best piece of advice for others wanting to feel more successful?

I have started a number of ventures in the past, based around craft ideas, all of which have fallen by the wayside. This has been largely due to my lack of appreciation of how much time it has taken to make the products in relation to the production costs, my time and the money people are prepared to pay, resulting in me being out of pocket and very disillusioned. My advice is to make sure EVERYTHING is costed out to the finest detail, especially your time. Whatever your business, everything has to be accounted for so that you can get your charges set accordingly. Don’t undercut yourself or you will become disheartened. Once this has been done then plan out your goals both short and long term, so you have a clear idea of where you want to be and what you need to do to get there. Most of all enjoy yourself and be proud of what you achieve.

Lastly...a thank you and an update
A huge thank you to Julie for her continued support and patience over the past year.  I'm excited to be moving from my home studion into premises on 1st February 2019 and will have my official launch on Saturday 16th February at Vallum Farm, Northumberland.  For more details visit my Facebook page (link below).

Written by Karen Atkinson

You can connect with Karen via her Facebook page.

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