Art, Behind the Scenes, General Posts, Projects

Beginning Again, Part Two

In one of my recent posts, Beginning Again, I talked about the effect of my mom’s death on me and the direction of my art.  I had talked about how difficult it is for me to separate my personal life from my business, mainly because the passion I feel for my business comes from a very personal place. I am passionate about what I do, something I do not take for granted. Every time I do a project, its, pardon the pun, a labor of love. I give 110%. I think “what if this is the last thing I do?” I am only as good as my last project. I take a lot of pride in my work and make sure to give each client as much as I can.

I also talked about being selective about projects that I take on. In a perfect world, I would only accept projects that excite me, that fulfill me, that have the perfect budget…but the realist in me understands that I also have to make a living. I would be foolish to just turn away from the business I’ve worked so hard to develop. Therefore I will continue to offer the services Deelite Design has been known for: high end decorative painting, marbling, faux bois, plasters, murals, custom art; all with an emphasis on very high quality and personal attention.

However, I’ve been grappling with the idea of how to make more time for my personal art without letting my business take a back seat. I’ve thought about bringing on help, and how best to do that while maintaining the level of quality my business has a reputation of providing. I would often boast that when you hire Deelite Design, you get me. Well, I would like that to continue, but how you get “me” must evolve. One of the reasons is that my body is breaking down. I know I’m only 38, but I’ve had four cortizone shots in my shoulder, knee surgery, and have persistent neck and shoulder pain. Who knows how long I’ll be able to maintain the pace I’m currently running is up in the air. I would love to have 2-3 people who would make up a team of finishers that I direct and coach on projects, folks who would be happy to just show up and paint and not have to worry about the business end of the job. But that opens up a whole other host of questions…one being how do I maintain workflow in order to pay them? (I tend to be a bit of a worrywart sometimes 😉 ) Perhaps I start with a few subs when work begins to pick up again and see how it goes? How I wish there was a little business fairy sitting on my shoulder that would just tell me what to do!

With the new year, I plan to change the name of my business to Cunningham Studios. I believe it will represent more of what we do, the various services we offer, and the level of personal attention we give to each project. I say “we” because of two reasons. I cannot stand alone, claiming this business is all my doing.  There is a whole host of people who aren’t on the payroll who help me every day. And I hope that in the near future I will be able to afford an employee or two!

I am so thankful to have the life that I have. I love my studio, the friends I have met through this journey, and the amazing clients for which I have been able to work. I am thankful that I had my mom who was so enthusiastic to help with whatever I needed done. I am thankful for my husband who is my rock and enabled me to take this adventure and to afford the time away from painting to attend to my mom during her illness and during my time of grieving. I’ve had so much support from everyone sometimes I feel I don’t deserve it.

With that said, I’d like to share the finished painting I showed in my last post, Getting Back My Mojo. I’m currently calling it “Around Back” but may change it.


Thanks for following along in my journey.


5 thoughts on “Beginning Again, Part Two”

  1. You really touched me with this Dee. You are struggling with the problems that we all face…how to keep cash flow and still paint what is inside of us. Just keep listening to your gut, you know your Mom would say the same thing, cause we women know that is always our best compass.

  2. this a while back, too and my decision was to make the art a central part of my work. You can, too. I know it because you have the skill and the love for the work. And pretty soon the simple faux limestone job becomes part of a larger art piece and not just something you are doing to make money. Ask those clients to be patrons of your art. Let them support you. Let everyone support you.

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