Today we’d like to introduce you to Tori Price.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have made art as long as I can remember. Making art always captivated me in school as I was growing up — I worked hard and thought deeply about the art projects I made in elementary school, I used art as an outlet in middle school, I took an art class in high school and my teacher asked why I wasn’t in AP Art, I took an art class in college and my teacher asked why I wasn’t majoring in Art. Art has followed me around my whole life, but it wasn’t until after I graduated college that I began to practice creating art on a regular basis.
I actually returned to art when I began teaching children art in 2014. One day, after leading a class, I picked up a paintbrush to play with leftover paint and discovered pure bliss as I pushed paint around on a canvas. I started to stay late after work to paint, as time melted away and I found a euphoric state of flow. It was like starting a new romance, and my creativity and I were in the honeymoon phase. I couldn’t get enough of it! I started to paint gifts for family and friends, and I created an Instagram profile and a Facebook page for Luna Leigh Arts in February 2016.
Sharing my work on social media gave me the confidence to build my business, and I’ve grown so much both personally and professionally through being a creativepreneur over the past 2 years. 2016 was all about finding my creative voice, connecting with the art community in Atlanta, and laying the groundwork for my business. 2017 was an intense year of hustle, as I participated in over 30 art shows, led several painting workshops, and was featured in Aquarius Magazine and Creative Loafing Atlanta. So far, 2018 has been about finding the balance between my business life and my personal life and slowing down to be more intentional about the time I spend painting, the work I create, and the events I participate in. I’m giving myself (and therefore my creativity) space to breathe and grow, and it feels delightful.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have faced so many obstacles and challenges on this journey! As an artist and an entrepreneur, I am responsible for creating and doing everything for my business, and the majority of my success lies with me. That reality can feel like a lot of pressure and stress, or it can feel like an empowering opportunity. I’ve learned that a huge part of staying afloat in business is maintaining a positive mindset. Starting something from nothing is a ton of work, and I have had many long days of drudgery when I wanted to give up. Being patient, having faith in myself and my work, and staying connected to WHY I’m doing what I’m doing in the first place keeps me moving forward.
I love Lori Greiner’s quote: “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” We work way more than the average person, but (in my opinion) it feels much better than working for someone else. I’m building my own dream, showing up for myself every day, and shaping my life the way I desire. And with each step, I’m learning, growing, and evolving both personally and professionally. Entrepreneurship a scary, unpredictable, exciting, wild rollercoaster of experiences and emotions, and it is all worth it. Some days I get rejected from art shows or lose money sitting at slow artist markets in the boiling sun for up to 12 hours, and some days I get accepted to art shows I thought were out of my league and sell tons of my work to someone that really connects with my art. At this point, I cannot imagine my life without my business. Through good times and bad, I get to take a leap of faith for myself over and over again. And that is a journey worth pursuing.
Advice for young women just starting out:
Keep your day job as your grow your business bit by bit. It takes time to build an empire and putting the pressure of money on your business too early on can kill your creativity and even cause you to resent your work.
Ask for help. The entrepreneurial path is easier and more fun when you have family, friends, and colleagues on your side to lend a helping hand. Trying to do it all yourself will cause quick burnout.
Don’t feel guilty when you aren’t working. Your productivity is NOT tied to your self-worth, and taking breaks (even week-long breaks!) are healthy for you and your business.
It’s extremely important to be mindful of your self-care as a business owner. Develop a self-care routine, and stick to it. If you have trouble keeping promises to yourself, get an accountability partner.
Lastly, be gentle with yourself. Most people (including me!) start knowing nothing and learn as they go. Enjoy the process of what you’re doing, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Do the best you can, and keep moving forward.
Please tell us about Luna Leigh Arts.
I create colorful acrylic paintings to promote positivity and mindfulness. My goal is to infuse positive energy into each painting and transfer that energy to the viewer. I want my artwork to uplift others, instilling in them a sense of joy, peace, and wonder.
Each piece is unique. I don’t have any two paintings that look alike, as I love exploring new techniques and playing with new imagery. I’m inspired widely by nature, animals, energy, and connectedness, but the thing that unites all of my work is color. I LOVE bright, vibrant colors, and I usually have a whole range of color in just one piece of art.
I’m also an art teacher! I’ve been teaching children art for 4 years, and in 2016 I felt called to begin teaching adults. I started a mindful art workshop in June 2016 called Make & Meditate, where I choose a monthly theme, write a meditation on the theme and lead the guided meditation and an intuitive painting session to a group. These workshops help people release things in their lives that no longer serve them and help them build up things in their lives that they want more of. I design each session to make it easy and accessible to everyone — no experience is required in meditation or in art!
I think a lot of people have trouble knowing their true self-worth, and we all need a little push in the right direction sometimes. I believe that my purpose right now is to nourish people’s hearts and creative spirits through my artwork and my workshops.
Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Growing up with entrepreneurial parents largely impacted me in becoming one too. Seeing my parents on their journeys made it seem like owning a business was a normal thing to do. I learned the value of getting paid for my work from a young age by helping my mom develop mass mailings, organize her inventory, and prepare for her meetings. I saw all the hard work she put in to inspire her team to keep going and be the best they could be. I witnessed my dad building and opening his own chiropractic practice from nothing, and I helped him run his front desk every now and then. I noticed how he treated each patient with care and saw the huge difference between how heavy people felt when they came into his office and how light they looked after their adjustments. They both worked hard to achieve their dreams, and now I’m working hard to achieve my own dreams!
I got the entrepreneurial “bug” from both of them, but I’m really grateful for what they uniquely gave me to make me into the business owner I am today. I got my mom’s positive attitude and ability to inspire others to live their best lives, and I got my dad’s artistic genes and interest in mindfulness and alternative medicine. This blend has allowed me to use my talents in my own business, inspiring others through the messages in my artwork and developing mindful art workshops paired with meditations to care for others and promote a sense of mental health and overall well-being.
- Shop Luna Leigh Arts online, $2-525
- Commissioned paintings, starting at $100
- Make & Meditate workshops, $35
- Private painting classes, starting at $45
- Website: https://www.lunaleigharts.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunaleigharts/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lunaleigharts/