Get yo money Mama.

If you do something well; get paid for it.

I urge you to find what lights your fire and really gets you going. Secondly, I want you to find a price your comfortable with and add Tax. You are worth every penny and if the mass doesn’t think so, well you know what to do with them (this is a teen friendly blog). I have a ten year old and we no longer spell things out when we are trying to be discreet, because she can spell and reminds us of that. I’m a multi-passionate individual and I like to do a little bit of everything. I love to paint and nothing makes me happier than pouring a glass of red, putting on my current “Me and Bae” playlist and going to town on a commission piece.

It wasn’t always this way sadly. I recently stopped working multiple jobs and have decided to put all my efforts into my own endeavors. The journey to true entrepreneurship has not been an easy one. I’m going to assume y’all don’t know me well and reintroduce myself flaws and all. I am an obsessive personality. This is something I’m working on diligently but its programmed in me. If I’m working seven days a week I don’t complain I just do it. If I forget to comb my hair and paint for two days straight that’s what I’m doing. If my friend needs me and I can support them I’m there regardless of my prior obligations, I’m raising entrepreneur kids (my kids come with me). If one of my kids are all about a sport I’m taking it serious until they don’t. I’m working on a middle ground and I thank my team for understanding me and loving me regardless.

Mi Madre (I’m learning Spanish fluently in 2020 because I’m sick of saying poquito when asked “abla espanol?”) is my number one supporter and she of course encouraged me to paint and purchased my initial paint supplies. When I told her I wasn’t gonna look for a job after my honeymoon she was calm and said “you can paint” and I have some ideas for you. Support is something that is easily overlooked especially for someone as self sufficient as myself. I wouldn’t be who I am without the support of my family and my husband’s family.

I’m an Artist, business, and a brand. I have now hosted adult and children Sip & paints. I have made money off of my original artwork and my portfolio is growing daily. I have commissions that I have yet to start, and I’m grateful for my clients. I’m doing my best to work on branding and the best way to market myself as an Artist. Most importantly, I’m just taking it one day at a time, one canvas at a time, and one client at a time.

“So she said, and then I said”. Isn’t that how all of the stories about crazy women start. Let’s talk about the woman that almost made me re-consider doing commissions for grown people and of grown people. The woman that is behind my “your deposit is for my time and is non-refundable” statement. Lets get into my cray cray client and all that I went through messing with her. She will of course remain unnamed for professional and legal reasons. I had been posting my artwork on my social media platforms and she reached out to me and inquired on what my costs were for original artwork. She than began to ask me what medium (type of paint or material) I use and if I seal my work. She asked me if I could make a piece that was similar to a piece of artwork that she already owns by another artist (her aunt). She was looking for something similar to a painting that I had done for my son. She sent me photos that were filtered (I now ask for unfiltered images) and asked me to interpret them into the painting.

I painted for hours on end to make something mature and beautiful. I posted some progress photos on social media and she messaged me asking “is that it”?. I responded with “no, those are just in work photos.” She stated that her expectation was something similar to my sons “charcuterie ” painting. I was kinda discouraged and decided to scrap 8 hours of work and make the client happy. I started over, and I won’t even complain to you guys about the size I priced her at and the size she asked me to purchase to match the other painting of “herself.” It was way large and not at all what I charged her. I am a budding artist and charge by the hour (my nursing rate) so 8 hours of work was hard to lose. I didn’t sweat it though and saw it as a challenge. I knew better then to post in progress photos and decided to message her directly and she responded with ” heart emojis.” She made specific requests and I matched them.

It finally got to a point where she told me she “hated” it for lack of better terms. She explained to me that she is a difficult person to work with and that her other art work took lots of time to create and she gave the other artist shit the whole process. She told me that she didn’t truly know what she wanted and was willing to pay me more to start over. I was at a family event and discussed the matter with my tribe and they of course came to my defense like the “lionesses” they are, and even sent my messages for me. I will admit that I’m a soft body and am working on being assertive and making my needs/expectations known. That was a difficult time for me, and made me doubt my ability as an artist. It wasn’t only that she was so mean and asked me to “not seal it” and drop the canvas off to her, or the message where she said “It’s just not speaking to me” that made me self conscious . She asked me for her deposit back guys! Can you believe it? I under charged her and worked on that painting for 16 hours ( sorry kids and hubby) she still asked me for the money back.

I messaged her back and notified her that the time that I spent working on her piece was far more valuable than her deposit and she would not receive a penny from me. She sent me a cash app request and then threatened me I think “she said I’ll have to take things into my own hands”. Not sure if sensible people still fight at 30 years old. Anyways, my husband gave me the don’t let anyone get in your space speech since I’ve managed to avoid fighting in my adult life and he obviously thought I needed it lol. I have things to lose and I’m a lady. Maybe she aimed at suing me for the money (the court fees would be greater), but who knows. I stood my ground and offered to drop off the canvas to her unsealed prior to blocking her on all social media platforms.

That was discouraging and made me reconsider doing commission Art. It’s much easier to paint what you want and post it for sale than to paint portraits of people and hope they like them. I’m still painting portraits of people, and still learning my craft. I thank god for confidence, and the ability to take insults and to preserver. I’m really sad that this situation happened and feel that I did everything in my power to avoid it. I am proud that I acted with grace and professionalism, while maintaining confidence in my craft.

I’m going to take this time to announce that I will be having my own art show before 2021, and hope to sell out (manifesting). Thank you to all of my friends, family, and clients that have supported me throughout this journey. If your interested in booking a party with me, or a custom piece please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My final thought for this post is: Support your local Girl Boss! Share and repost her products, blog, and social media platforms. This costs us nothing, but for someone like me that left a career behind it means everything. I’m taking back my future and living on my own terms. I will no longer slave for a company that sucks their teeth when I tell them I’m taking PTO to attend a field trip. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but I encourage you to be brave and fan your fire.

“Im and artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.” – Erykah Badu


Andrea Byrd

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