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Painting Portraits Business

By Jane Loedding

I have been in the 'business' of painting and drawing since I was a child. As I recall, I was in the fifth grade when I discovered my talent. Once I made this discovery I never stopped. I would draw pictures of anything I could find. I was very fortunate in that my family was always very supportive of my passion. My mother enrolled me in art classes that our neighbor and close family friend was offering. When I was in high school I took art every year. Most kids only took what was required of them--one year of art class. As for me, it was my favorite part of the day. At an early age my passion for creativity was etched in my heart.

However, once I went to college I decided to major in business management. Don't ask me why. I don't really know. I guess I felt that if I majored in art I would probably end up a 'starving artist'. So I pursued my degree with the thought that maybe someday I could start my own business. I remember sitting in my "Small Business Management" class daydreaming about what kind of business I could have. I had a number of ideas, most of which were thoughts of how I could utilize my passion for painting and drawing. But back then my dreams were merely 'pipe dreams'. I didn't believe in my heart that any of my dreams would ever become a reality.

So, for a number of years after I got my degree, I held jobs in the business field. Then I got married and a year later we were expecting our first child. Thanks to my wise and wonderful husband's great financial planning and good sense, I was able to stay at home and take care of our child.

Well, three children and seven years later, I am still a stay-at-home-mom. I am very thankful I have been able to stay at home with them. But now they are getting older and becoming more independent and I have found a little time each day for myself. Having this time led me to consider the thought of going back into the work world. However, the thought of going back to work does not appeal to me at all. I have no desire juggling the hectic schedules. The stress seems overwhelming.

So, I began considering starting some kind of home-based business. I researched the internet and read every article I could find about working from home. I also read many articles about "finding your niche". Most of these articles offer the same advice: 'Do what you love'. Well, considering the talent I was blessed with, I decided to do just that. My only problem was figuring out what to create! This took lots of time and soul-searching. Finally, after a few months, I got the idea to create images of homes on my computer using the 'Paint' program. This idea worked and I did a pretty good job. The creative side of this was very fulfilling, but I am not the type of person who can sit at the computer for hours. It was difficult and not very 'fun'. So, it was back to the old 'drawing board'! (No pun intended!)

Well, as fate would have it, my mom needed a birthday gift for her cousin, Pat. Pat's kids had planned a surprise party for her birthday and my mom asked me to paint a picture of her home. You see, Pat, who is a widow, was in the process of selling her home where she lived for about 20 years. She raised her five children in this home and they spent many wonderful and joyous years there. We all knew she was ready to move since her children were grown and out of the house, but we also knew it would be difficult to leave this 'sanctuary' behind. With this in mind, my mom thought giving Pat a picture of her house would be a great gift. I started working on the computer image of the house and I couldn't do it. It was a strain on my eyes and I kept getting headaches. So, I decided to rely on my own talents. I decided to draw and paint the picture myself! Why I didn't do this in the first place is beyond me!

To my good fortune, the portrait was the hit of the party! It was then that I knew I had found my niche! My sister asked me to create pictures for some of her friends as Christmas gifts. Again, the portraits were very well received. At this point, I had my product. Now it was a matter of getting the business set up.

A home-based business allows you to keep your family a priority, so I decided to set up my business on the internet. My husband asked me, "Why not set up a booth at the mall?" I had given that idea some thought already. But, the bottom line is, having my business on the internet allows me to be home with my children. If I were to have a booth at the mall, or where ever, I may be able to be my own boss and run my own business, but I wouldn't be able to be home. Which is where I WANT and NEED to be.

I have only just begun my adventure and so far I am loving it! There are so many benefits derived from being at home. Of course there's the obvious, such as being here before and after school, not having to worry about who will take care of the kids when they are sick and so on. However, there is one issue that I never even considered. In pursuing my dreams I am setting a great example for my children. When my kids were a little bit younger they would always ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I would be honest and respond by saying, "I want to be an artist." Well, here I am, all grown up and following my dream! Through my example I am giving them a tremendous gift! Through my actions I am teaching them to follow their dreams!

In the past I made choices based on my fears rather than my dreams. I made a choice to study business rather than art because I was afraid of failure. Therefore, I didn't feel very good about myself. But God works in mysterious ways! I look back and I realize that studying business was a pretty good choice after all. In choosing this field of study I have gained great knowledge of the business world. This combined with my creative ability will assist me in building a better life for myself and my family.

I am pursuing all of my dreams and I have never felt better about myself!

I sincerely hope more people will discover the endless possibilities and opportunities that are awaiting them, especially moms who wish to be home with their children. In this modern age of computers and with the internet so easily accessible, the thought of being your own boss and controlling your own life is no longer a dream, but a reality! It takes time and commitment, but if you are devoted to following your dreams you WILL find success!

Jane Loedding
Artist and Owner of Images of Home

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