Artful Creations

Introducing Ruth Welter owner of

Can you tell us a little about your background?
Back in the 90’s I first started out in art, as a porcelain artist. I would hand sculpt porcelain bowls and vases, in a very free form way and adorn them with 3 dimensional porcelain flowers as well. I really enjoyed this art form but I didn’t love it, love it, in other words, I don’t really think it was for me. I started taking art/painting lessons in 2000 and found out very quickly that this was my interest or "calling" in life.

How did you become involved in your business?
In 2002, after two years of taking instruction, I really knew that I wanted to start selling my work in some capacity. While I enjoyed attending art fairs as a customer, I was never really interested in doing them as a vendor. They are a lot of time, travel, money and preparation and I really knew that scene wasn’t for me. My very capable husband (Chris) built a website for me and I started selling my work on line. This idea really appealed to me as I liked the fact that people could visit 24/7 no matter what time of the day, even sitting around in their bathrobes, they could shop on my site. I also hired a website promoter to help me get my business up and running…I’ve been with him for years and his services have been invaluable.
I’ve changed and grown through the years of selling my work, as has my artwork and website. I got a brand new website this year as well as a brand new blog to go along with it, to more suit my current needs and to fit what my art is about at this time in my life. I’ve totally changed directions with my art this year and it is a really good feeling that I think over the long run, will continue to be a positive change for me.

Can you briefly summarize your style or inspiration?
When you look at my work, you’ll see that I paint a lot of floral subjects. I use my garden as well as the gardens that I visit to fuel my inspiration to paint. Wherever I go, I bring a camera if I feel there will be any good garden photos to be taken. I store these photos so that year round, I have access to them and they can serve as my source of inspiration or ideas for paintings.

What is the most satisfying part of your business?
There are really two answers to this question for me…….First I find it very satisfying to be able to paint subjects that I love so much. I also love constantly mixing it up and working in different media, on many different surfaces etc. I’ve painted in watercolor, acrylic and I’ve done some work in oils as well. I think I love experimenting with the surfaces, to see what I like painting on and what I don’t. There is so much available to us as artists today, that I try to sample a lot of different ways of doing things. I think it keeps my work fresh and fun for me to create.
Second, I love working with customers to give them what they want. I’ve done a lot of custom work for many people over the years and have really enjoyed it. Making people happy and seeing an idea that they have envisioned come to life, is very rewarding.

What is your greatest business challenge?
Trying to always go down new avenues of selling my work, so I can make money, while still enjoying what I do. If you lose the enjoyment for what you do, why do it at all?? This is something I’ve struggled with before and the end result is, if I want to keep painting, I have to change what I’m doing so that I’m happy with it and happy creating it. Hence the reason for a new website this year, time for some very positive changes for me.

What makes your work different from other designers?
Every artist is different, for example: you can have 10 people in the same room working on the same project and at the end of the day, you will see 10 totally different projects. My work is different because it comes from me and I have a different outlook on life and on my creative process then other people do, therefore my work is my own and will always be that way.

What advise would you offer someone who is interested in starting his or her own business?
My biggest advice would be : you have to be proactive in your own success. Don’t sit around waiting for things to happen and get mad when they don’t. If you have a question, ask. If you need help, ask. Never be afraid to chart out new opportunities for yourself, if you don’t, no one else will. A very wise friend of mine always says: " If you don’t ask, the answer is always no." I think that is an important one to live by.

What is your earliest memory involving your design work?
Not sure I have one. At least I cannot think of it at this moment.
Did you have an early interest in design and art?
No, in fact, I came to art as an adult. Sadly, there were never any art courses offered at my high school.

Where do you see business 5 years from now?
I recently had some of my work accepted in an upcoming book. I’m very excited about this and my long term goals over the next years will be to find more publications that might want to feature my work.

Do you work alone?
I paint alone but my husband Chris does so much for my business that it is practically just as much his as it is mine. He’s done so many things over the years, he is my webmaster, he sprays pieces, cuts wood, makes frames, packages and ships and the list could go on and on.

Were you creative as a child?
Do crayons count??

Please visit Ruth's websites & blog:
Ruth's work can be seen in the upcoming book by Dianne Zweig, " Hot Cottage Collectibles For Vintage Style Homes." Available fall of 2008.


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