But without further ado, I will let Kelly introduce herself!
Tell us a little about yourself (e.g., where you’re from, hobbies, fun facts etc.).
I live in the southern part of New Jersey, in an area that is part suburban and part countryside, with my sweetheart, Morris, and our feisty calico cat, Kismet. Once upon a time I was a lawyer, but was sidetracked by autoimmune issues. I became a poet (won some awards, even!) and a children’s writer. In 2012 I was fortunate to publish a picture book, AT THE BOARDWALK, illustrated by the wonderful Monica Armino. In 2013, I first started to explore making art, and now it’s a can’t-stop sort of thing.
What is your business called and what is it that you do?
My business is called Kelly Ramsdell: Art & Words. It sells my original artworks, as well as signed copies of my picture book and a poetry chapbook I wrote called The Universe Comes Knocking.
What is the vision behind your business? What inspired you to start it?
The vision behind my business is to share beauty with women and inspire them to step into their whole selves, to realize that they are valued just as they are, and that they are seen and supported.
Do you have any advice for creatives who are nervous about sharing their art with the world?
It is super easy to feel like a fraud, or as if you and/or your work is somehow unworthy. The thing is, as creators we are aware of the struggle and effort that went into things, and of how the finished product diverges from our imaginary ideal, but other people don’t know or see any of that. They just react to what we make, often on an emotional level. So put it out there.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
I absolutely stink at picking favorites of anything. One that I like a lot, though, is this from Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” (Ooh – I realized that I *do* have a favourite quote, and it’s this:
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. Not sure it’s inspirational to others, but it is to me.
I imagine each day probably looks very different to you, but can you take us through what an average day in your business looks like?
On an (idealized) average day, I get up, put on a pot of coffee, do a 20-minute meditation while it brews, followed by some exercise, then pour a cup of coffee and sit down to work on writing or editing, or (quite often) business planning for about two hours. Then I start working on some artwork – I tend to do some painting or pasting (for collage), then shift to other art pieces (or away from art to social media) for a bit, then back to my art. I usually eat lunch around 1 p.m., then it’s time for more art. Or running errands. Or a nap. Or writing a blog post and newsletter. And I often circle back to still more art in the early evening – either finishing detail work on something that’s nagging at me, or a new, “for fun” project that I’ve been wanting to start.
What’s your favourite piece of work you have created and why? (feel free to attach in image!)
My favorite piece may be this Buddha head, because looking at him gives me such calm, and it turned out really close to what I envisioned.
We all have highs and lows in our lives and business, what helps you to keep going when the going gets tough?
I remember that while I would like to sell lots of things and make mad bank, my reasons for sharing my art are to spread happiness and help women feel seen and valued. Also, my husband is unfailingly supportive and sweet, and quick to remind me that business success takes time.
Being a creative, you must have a lot of ideas for fun projects, how do you try to keep your focus?
HA! Oh. That was a serious question? Um . . . I rely on my bullet journals to keep me on track (although on occasion I ignore them, but still). I have only recently started using a second, smaller bujo for my business stuff – in it, I plan an entire week of work, with what art projects I *think* I will be working on in any given day, plus noting when I want to put up a blog post or send out a newsletter, and so forth. In the regular one, I set three priorities each week in four categories: personal (things like “eat more fruit and veg” or “meditate daily”), household (e.g., a shopping or cleaning task that’s key), business (advertising, a meeting with my accountability partner), and art & words (the creative end of stuff).
And as we are the Happy Boss Club, let’s end on a moment of happiness – what makes you happiest?
What makes me happiest is time spent traveling with my husband. We try to make sure we take at least two vacations each year.
Kelly is an artist who paints original abstracts, does art on tambourines, and creates literary collages; award-winning poet; author of AT THE BOARDWALK; writer of other manuscripts for children and adults.
Drop her comment below or drop her DM here:Kelly Ramsdell
You can find Kelly and all the details about working with her in our business directory.