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Quit Your Day Job

Sep 28, 2023

Welcome to the Quit Your Day Job series within the Artist Academy Podcast. This series of interviews highlights artists who have recently taken the leap into full-time creativity in order to share their stories and tips with other artists hoping to do the same. 

*All links are associated with Apple Podcast but episodes can be found on all podcast listening platforms.

326. Quit Your Day Job with Summer Paradiso <- Click to listen! 

Making that leap into full-time creativity after spending years working for someone else can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but Summer Paradiso is handling it with supreme optimism. Summer joined the Academy around a year and a half ago and started absorbing all of the art+business content to get a full understanding of what it would take to sell her art and promote her business to the point of supporting her family with a paintbrush. With two toddlers at her side and a full-time teaching position to fill her day, Summer made some free time in the early morning hours to devote to commissions and growing her business. Listen as she shares what the journey has been like so far in terms of what she’s temporarily giving up in order to gain a new life with flexibility, more family time, and the ability to create meaningful art for her newfound customers.


289. Quit Your Day Job with Jodi Trujillo <- Click to listen! 
Jodi Trujillo is an artist currently living and working in Hawaii doing paint parties, murals, and illustrations. She is part of our Artist Academy $100k club and gives so much to our group with her specialty advice within the paint party and illustration industry. I teach a lot, but I also have figured out firsthand how beneficial it is to learn from artists, like Jodi, who have done the thing I want to do.


285. Quit Your Day Job with Olga Gunz <- Click to listen!
Olga is a former teacher turned muralist. She is about to complete her second full-income earning year of full-time artistry and is set to gross over $100,000. How did she get her start you may ask? By passing around flyers and landing a window painting job that started the domino effect into murals and more. Listen to hear how Olga isn’t working her life away while bringing in double her teacher’s salary and still prioritizing family.

284. Quit Your Day Job with Ashley Cassens <- Click to listen!
Ashley is a former teacher who recently quit her job to go full-time with painting. She has an art school background and a solid understanding of painting techniques, and I think her quick success is a complement to that. It's not necessary to be perfectly good at painting coming right out of the gate, but it helps a lot. I talk about business and making money and all that comes with it. But make no mistake, the more skills we have = the easier the marketing = the more you can charge. I hope this interview inspires you to take the leap into full-time creativity and also inspires you to put in the time to work on your craft. Painting is so much more fun when you know what you're doing, but we all start not knowing. Get good, get confident.

282. Quit Your Day Job with Brittany Grala <- Click to listen!
Brittany is a muralist based in Pennsylvania and has been in the Academy for a little over a year. Within that year she has been able to quit and replicate her day job salary by diving into full-time mural work. I met Brittany at our Missouri Mural Meetup last year and watched the fire start within her. She went home with stars in her eyes, giving so much effort to her art business. Things were slow at first, but I knew it was only a matter of time before one of her efforts landed. Effort (a lot of it) is the key puzzle piece that determines whether an artist will make it or not.

281. Quit Your Day Job with Michelle Ricalde <- Click to listen!
Michelle is a muralist based in New Jersey and has recently had her world turned upside down - in a good way. I know we all have these excuses as to why we are not making the moves we know we need to make with our careers, but let me tell you, Michelle’s story was not one that was easily made. But she took a leap of faith, worked hard, and now has a painting career she enjoys along with an encouraging support system to back her.

264. Quit Your Day Job - Ryan Benefield <- Click to listen!
Ryan specializes in clean-cut murals and logos for the beer industry. He started his business during the covid shutdown and went full-time not long after. He’s since built himself a very profitable art business through the process of utilizing the relationships he built at his previous place of employment. Ryan’s self-awareness allows him to play up his strengths and hire out his weaknesses in a way that both saves time and headaches even in his first few years of business. Ryan’s a member of our Artist Academy Masters program and a great example of how surrounding yourself with upper-level artists can up level your own art business.

236. Quit Your Day Job - Carmen MacLeod <- Click to listen!
Carmen joined the Artist Academy about a year or so ago after listening to the podcast for a while, and now has found herself in Vietnam on a workaway program creating murals in exchange for free housing and food. She reminds me of myself 10 years ago. She’s doing the thing that most of us think would be fun to do but might not have the balls to do it. Or the thing that we all wished we did back when we were young and had nothing tying us down, right? She’s living the solo female traveler life while building her art brand and gaining new experiences all at the same time. Carmen is another one of those people I like to follow out of curiosity about what they’ll do next and where they’ll end up next year. If you’re interested in signing up for Workaway, I have the link posted here in the notes. In this episode, we’re going to talk about how she prepared to quit her day job, how she saved up for this adventure, and the experiences she’s been having thus far.

207. Quit Your Day Job - Lacey Crime <- Click to listen!
Lacey is in the Artist Academy Membership, and we were chatting one day when she told me that her goal for the year was to make $100,000 painting murals. Then, not long after, she shared that she had already made half of that goal just in the first quarter of the year! I said, “Let’s hop on a call to chat about how you’re making this possible for yourself so we can let other artists know too!”

195. Quit Your Day Job - Austin Fabinski <- Click to listen!
This week’s episode features Michigan based artist Austin Fabinski. Austin is my go-getter in the Academy since joining almost 2 years ago. He’s always up for a challenge and trying anything and everything to make this art career thing work. From books to art prints, shows, and going viral on TikTok, he’s done it all. I think this is a great look at the effort needed to go full time and I hope it inspires you to give a little extra this week. It all adds up.

193. Quit Your Day Job - Samantha Cox <- Click to listen!
Missouri based muralist Samantha Cox just happens to be one of my best friends. Samantha’s journey is going to be very relatable to a lot of the mom listeners. She shares how she went from the stay at home mom role to boss babe business owner with a lot of tough mental shifts in between. I’ve personally gotten to witness this because I’ve coached her from day 1 until she was able to stand on her own this year. Her confidence is currently at an all time high and continuing to grow, but it started from a pretty low place. Since quitting her day job she’s happier than ever and I hope this interview gives you the inspiration you need to do the temporary hard thing to experience the good things in the long run.

191. Quit Your Day Job - Sarah McComb-Turbitt <- Click to listen!
This episode features Canadian wildlife artist Sarah McComb-Turbitt. Sarah is the perfect example of someone who takes things one step at a time, and has a very methodical approach to building her art business. She learns a new skill by pouring her everything into it then moves on to the next task. This makes sense considering her background is in science. She’s a biologist turned artist, and I know you’ll love all of her stories.

188. Quit Your Day Job - Shannon Joy <- Click to listen!
Shannon Joy is from my area Springfield, Missouri but is currently on vacation in Hawaii. She carved away some time to chat with me about her dive into full-time art. I’ve met Shannon in person many times this past year both on mural projects and off. I first had her out to help paint a project at a local park, then another for a business, then another, and each time she’s helped more and I’ve done less. Now she’s out on her own in the art world and making a living with a paint brush. Listen as we chat about everything that happened in between that helped her go from working a job she didn’t like to now into a full time creative career.

185. Quit Your Day Job - Hibaaq Ibrahim <- Click to listen!
Hibaaq Ibrahim: A Minnesota based muralist who joined the Academy not long after I opened the doors over 2 years ago. She’s attended both mural meetups and I’ve had the privilege of watching her grow from a beginner artist to now a full-time muralist.

178. Quit Your Day Job - Lyssa Wyn <- Click to listen!
Lyssa Wyn: A Florida based artist who joined the Academy when I first opened the doors over 2 years ago! I have a special place in my heart for Lyssa because we’ve grown together and I’ve watched her transform her life through building an art business. I think you’re really going to love this episode so that’s all the introduction I think it needs.

176. Quit Your Day Job - Christine Riutzel <- Click to listen!
Christine Riutzel: A Branson, Missouri, based artist who joined the Academy not long after I opened the doors over 2 years ago. Christine has this vibrant energy that you can feel through her art and is someone who you need to see her work to understand her uniqueness. Go click the link to her Instagram below. We talk a lot about getting involved in your local art community and how Christine has used that to grow her business and inspire other artists along the way. She really has been a positive force for the arts here in small town America and I think small towns need that. So if you’re listening and are wanting to build a local brand then try doing what Christine has and is doing within her community of creating street art and all the things.

 175. Quit Your Day Job - Dani Roma <- Click to listen!
Dani Roma: A Kansas City based artist who joined the Academy just recently and attended our Mural Meetup. Dani is in the thick of it from just recently transitioning from teacher to artist and is currently in the process of getting her first few big mural jobs. This is such a fun/stressful time for most artists and I wanted to chat with her about her current struggle and wins to help inspire you to go for it too. It’s worth it I promise, just ask Dani.

172. Quit Your Day Job - Brianna D'Amato <- Click to listen!
Brianna D’Amato: A New York based artist who joined the Academy back in April of 2019. Brianna has been to both Mural Meetups, this year in Missouri and last year in Iowa, so I have had the chance to get to know her pretty well. We have a few inside jokes and I just can’t help but laugh a little to myself thinking of our time together. You know how some people just get your humor, well Brianna is one of those. On a professional level, I’ve watched her grow on social media through the past couple years to the point of now being full-time and selling so many original paintings, and I’m just so proud of her. It’s so fun to me to watch and encourage these artists through their beginner years and Brianna is one of those for all of us to watch. She has so much potential and this is just the start.

171. Quit Your Day Job - Chelsea Blosil <- Click to listen!
Chelsea Blosil: A Salt Lake City based muralist who joined the Academy back in September of 2020. I have had the privilege of meeting Chelsea not just once at the Mural Meetup here in Missouri but twice with the first time being in her home state of Utah. After getting to know her a bit my immediate thought was, “It’s so crazy how we attract what we are.” We have so much in common when it comes to ambition and adventuring. I feel really lucky to be able to meet these amazing artists and I think Chelsea being the first episode of this Quit Your Day Job series is just absolutely perfect. You’ll hear why and let me know what you think of this week’s episode with Chelsea Blosil.




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