Today we’d like to introduce you to Julianne Strom Brill.
Julianne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After graduating from Skidmore College with a degree in Art/Art History, I worked a slew of odd-jobs (from a dude ranch in Jackson Hole to a surf school on Maui) before finding myself teaching art to children at a summer camp just outside of Boston. I was shocked to discover how much I enjoyed the work and went on to receive my Masters in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
My first job out of grad school was teaching art part-time at an elementary school in Westwood. I was only in the classroom 4 days a week, so on my off-days, I would paint for my own enjoyment in makeshift studio at my parent’s house. I started posting pictures of my work and studio on Instagram (which was just becoming popular at the same time) and sort of accidentally stumbled into an audience of people that really enjoyed hearing about and seeing my work.
Encouraged by my followers’ enthusiasm on social media, I set up an online business and began to sell my paintings through Etsy and eventually my own website. Over the course of the next year, I decided to leave my teaching job and focus solely on my business and art career. I’ve been working as a full-time artist now for almost 2 years and I couldn’t be happier that my round-about journey led me to where I am today.
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never easy to know whether taking the leap into a creative career is going to be the right choice or not. I found myself at a crossroads where I had to choose if I should continue teaching (the smart, stable career path) or pursue my art business full time (the riskier, albeit more soul-fulfilling career path). I was 28 years old and had no experience with running a business, selling artwork, creating content, developing websites, nothing. What I did have was the passion to give it all I had and a deep understanding that I would rather try to make it work and fail than not try at all. I had a good enough sense of my finances, income and expenses that I was able to wait until the right time to leave my ‘day job’ and pursue my side hustle of painting full time without fear of where my next meal was going to come from.
If you are a young woman just starting out, I would suggest maintaining your ‘day job’ and saving enough money until you are able to take the leap into your passion project full-time. There are tons of podcasts, blogs and books out there now that can help you financially plan and strategically understand when the right time to do this is for you. Everyone’s career trajectory looks different, so try your best to avoid comparing your journey to anyone else’s. And when in doubt, buy yourself flowers. It always helps.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Moss and Blue – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am an abstract painter that works primarily in acrylics to create large-scale expressionistic paintings. I specialize in sharing the messy process behind my work and studio scenes with my followers on social media, which gives them a deeper understanding and appreciation for the finished paintings. I am proud that I am able to keep the prices of my paintings significantly lower than other artists, as I feel passionately that art should be available for anyone to have and enjoy in their homes.
- Website: www.mossandblue.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @mossandblue