Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Miller.
Sarah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My boyfriend and I’s first anniversary was coming in October 2016. Being a typical poor college student, I did not have the money to get Charlie something nice. I had never taken an art class before, but being a naturally inclined doodler, I decided to give him some art. I painted a watercolor portrait of his orange tabby, Merlin, and he loved it. I thought, “hey. Maybe other people would love one too?” I posted on Facebook, and from there, I set out with my $7 paint set and began to paint nearly 100 other college students’ animals before Christmas. The orders have not stopped coming since. I am now a full-time artist after graduating from college in 2018!
Has it been a smooth road?
Since I started my business in college as a student athlete, I had very limited time to work. My waitlist was always very long and I thought when I graduated, it would be like opening the flood gates! This was not the case. I struggled to get enough orders every month for about a year. When I was applying for part-time jobs, I had my big break.
I sent Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye a portrait of his cats. I never thought he’d actually see it, but in April 2017, he posted on Instagram and there it was- in his NYC bedroom! He tagged me and the momentum allowed me to keep going and growing.
Please tell us about your art.
I am a custom pet portrait artist. People of all ages across the country send me pictures of their dogs and cats and I translate their love onto watercolors and paper! My motto is “you pet it. I paint it.”
The adorable golden-collie mix in my logo is Toby. He was my childhood dog, who my family rescued when I was a 2nd grader. We lost Toby in the summer of 2017 after several months of declining health. I get a lump in my throat even thinking about how much I miss him. But it’s okay because he lived his best life and is now my inspiration for what I do.
I know how it feels to have unconditionally loved and mourned a pet. Making Toby’s portrait of my logo is my constant reminder and promise to paint every pet as if they were my own.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Right now, I am in a hustling stage of my business. I am a one woman show and I work long hours to keep up with demand. I have the energy for it because I am 24, but in the next five years, I know I need to make some changes. I plan on hiring someone to help me on the business side of things while I paint. I also am developing a passive income stream that gives my painting wrist a break when I need it!
- ($25) Quick Sketch Portrait
- ($85) 4x6in Custom Pet Portrait
- ($115) 6x6in Custom Pet Portrait
- ($145) 6x8in Custom Pet Portrait
- ($180) 8x10in Custom Pet Portrait
- ($250) 12x16in Custom Pet Portrait
- Website: www.sarahpaintspets.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/sarahpaintspets
- Facebook: www.facebook,com/sarahpaintspets
Madison Crowley Photo