Small business spotlight - Art by GG
Welcome back to another small business spotlight. Featuring today is Gail, from Art by GG. Gail is an accomplished artist, and fellow Navanite. But we won't hold that last part against her.
I've known Gail a while at this point (let's not try and count how long), but she still managed to take me by surprise with some of her answers!
Let's jump right in.
What do you do?
I’m an artist.
Why art? What do you love about it?
I’ve always loved it! I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child - it has always been my favourite thing to do.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
I don’t think I have a favourite - I just love art in general so it’s not really a “job”, I’m doing the thing that I've always loved to do.
What’s your least favourite part?
I find social media hard. I’m not naturally one to think 'I must take a photo and put this on Facebook or insta'. To be honest if it wasn’t for my business I’d probably only use WhatsApp. This aspect is something I need to work on as today social media is such a huge part of growing your business.
Tell me about your daily routine?
I work full time in HR (for now!). I finish work at about 4.30 everyday, cook dinner and then get straight into my artwork until late at night. It can be very tiring, especially in the winter months, but I flat out refuse to let anything get in the way of my artwork. Weekends are the best because I have all day long to draw and paint and just generally organise my commissions/to do list.
How do you come up with new ideas? Where do you take inspiration from?
Good question! I save A LOT of photos and have A LOT of notebooks where I’ve written down ideas over the years. Even holiday bits - hotel business cards, leaflets with cool pictures, paintings I buy at markets because the colours were super interesting - I always say 'just look up from the footpath and you’ll see amazing things'.
Do you ever notice that the best part of a street or building is never at eye level? Look past all the shops and the roofs/windows/brickwork is more often than not super gorgeous!
Another part of my inspiration comes from books - my background is English literature and philosophy, so my notebooks are full of quotes that I eventually want to put into picture form. This is an ongoing idea of mine since I was
a teenager, I’m still working on it, but the inspiration I get from books is really amazing.
How do you find your work-life balance? Is this something you struggle with
Yes I struggle, definitely. As I said, I need my job in HR now in order to get a mortgage, so I can only start my art in the evenings. I genuinely never let anything get in the way of that - yes I’m tired a lot after work, but then I remember that my art isn’t “work” it’s actually who I am and what I love to do so I do it!
But then it can be hard to even chill out on weekends because I have commissions to do, or accounts to sort, and I want to hang out with family and friends too. So yes, I can be very tired.
Any essentials to get you through the day? Music/drinks/food/podcasts?
Coffee for sure! And the radio - I’ve been a loyal listener of TodayFM since I was in college.
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting a business?
This is not the first time I owned a business - me and my husband had a fitness studio for a few years. A lot was learned during that time and the experience was the best. Owning a business is one of the best things you can do, but my God you need patience to allow it to grow and it takes hard work. The fitness studio taught me that, so thankfully I was a little more prepared this time around.
What’s one unexpected fact about you that people may not know?
Hmm… I’m a massive F1 fan since well before the Netflix show! And I love all things Star Wars! I feel like that would definitely surprise people.
HOW did I not know Gail was an F1 fan? My mind is blown. We literally never miss a race here at at the Farm. Gail, you're more than welcome to join the fan club!
I think Gail's artwork speaks for itself - the attention to detail and architecture of the buildings is painstakingly done. There's always a unique perspective with her art. I'm delighted to own Trim castle and Trinity library prints. They look so cool in the house.
Well, se sittä for today's blog! - That's my Finnish by the way. Which I'm learning. Because my favourite F1 driver is Valtteri Bottas, and who knows, I might run into him one day. It could happen people. Best to be prepared.