So last year, before I merged my old blog Coffee and Vegan Croissants with The Green V I ran a little inspiring interview series with female entrepreneurs I’d met online and in person and I’m super excited to be starting this up again. As an entrepreneur/solopreneur/home-worker it can often get overwhelming, and the people who understand it the best, as with many things, are those that experience this type of working lifestyle too.
On that note, I’m pleased to introduce to you the lovely, talent artist that is Kathy Fearn-Webster!
Hi Kathy! Tell us about yourself.
Hey there, I’m Kathy and I’m the artist and illustrator at Dotty Dog Art. My work is predominantly taken up with painting commissioned portraits of people’s beloved dogs, but I am also an illustrator and occasional wildlife artist. I am passionate about art and animal ‘kindness’.
I love all animals but dogs particularly amaze and amuse me… they’re incredible animals really, so sensitive, perceptive and intelligent but best of all they are hilarious! My dogs make me laugh everyday and I feel very lucky to spend most of my working day with them in my little Dotty studio.
I studied art and design at Swindon School of Art and Design and went on to study Graphic Design at West Herts College. I specialised in publishing and book design and over the years have worked in publishing, typography and graphic design.
I enjoy working with bright, bold paints to create fun and cheerful paintings that make you smile.
Other than art and dogs I also love chocolate, wine and running (probably not in that order!) oh and I also have a little soft spot for anything VW Beetle related too!!!
What’s your morning routine?
After the school run I have a little window of ‘me time’ before starting on my working day… I am very lucky to live close to stunning countryside and being an outdoor kind of girl I enjoy nothing more than running with my dogs… it blows out the sleep and sets me up nicely for the day ahead. And it also means that my lush dogs spend the day sleeping in the Dotty studio rather than causing mischief and destroying something important while I’m not looking (it has happened!!).
Why did you start your business?
I initially started up Dotty Dog Art as a hobby… I truly love to paint and once I set up my Facebook Page to share some of my portrait artwork it turned out that there were people that wanted to commission me to paint their dogs for them too. It wasn’t something that I had planned on doing but it just grew and grew. I was running Dotty Dog Art along side my regular day job for about a year before taking the plunge to embrace my own little business whole-heartedly… and I haven’t looked back…
As a family we have had to make a lot of changes, not least adapting to the challenges of no regular monthly income, but I genuinely feel very lucky to run my own business. Actually when I write that, it feels kind of weird to say that ‘I run my own business’, it has just sort of evolved around me and doesn’t feel real somehow – but it is real and I love it!!!
What can’t you live without?
Chocolate!! No hesitation!! I just don’t think I would be able to live without it!!! Although saying that I did give it up for a whole month (years ago!) just to prove that I could do it if I really needed to – but I was SO miserable and what’s the point of that, right? So now I have chocolate in my life every day and I’m very happy again!!!
What makes you feel beautiful?
This is such a great question, I really want to write something awe inspiring and not shallow at all but when it comes to describing what makes me feel beautiful, I fumble and stutter and don’t generally feel beautiful… I am whole-heartedly and quintessentially British and couldn’t take a compliment if it punched me in the face! My lovely family, on the other-hand, are very beautiful – my children are staggeringly beautiful (teeny-tiny bit biased) and I guess I feel beautiful when we are all together, being us and having fun as a family.
What’s your number one top tip for other female entrepreneurs?
Always be yourself… and be true to yourself too… do what you love and don’t change your vision just so you ‘fit in’.
I love dogs and I love painting dogs, that’s what I do. But I have been advised, on more than a few occasions, that painting just dogs is very limiting and I should paint other animals too, so as to be more appealing to a greater market.
I have to admit to wobbling on this many times, but I’m very determined to stick to my guns and do what I’m passionate about – dog portraits – and if you run your own business, surely you should be doing something that you really love – not something that others think you should be doing, that would be a little bit silly right? 😉
PS – Want to be featured in the Inspiring Interview Series? Email me and let’s chat!