Archives for October 2012

story behind the art: Ridiculous but fun.

So I decided to start playing around today with a painting I did a few years ago. I have had a love affair with the BBC’s version of Pride and Prejudice for almost a decade.  Love it.

Mix that with my favorite holiday of Christmas and I had to have some fun today.



Pride and Prejudice fun gift idea









You can find the holiday Greeting Card of this print here:

20 years and just getting started

Rewind 20 years ago, I was in 8th grade. My outfit of choice for school was plaid boxer shorts and a sweatshirt I bought myself. Braces, new contacts and bangs.  … good times.

That year also I was asked to do a logo for the new travelling volleyball league.  I got paid 50 bucks and I couldn’t have been happier.  I’ll never forget the experience of seeing kids in school wearing clothing with that logo on it. I had such a sense of pride.

More importantly though, it made it seem possible that I could turn my love of art into something that made money and could be a career.  Around that time I illustrated my first children’s book. It never got published (to my knowledge) but the experience was priceless.  I took every opportunity I could get to draw or paint.   Who knows which direction I would have gone without that experience.

To celebrate this big anniversary I’m having a HUGE print sale.  On both my Etsy sites:

Noelle Rollins Art on Etsy here or

Music wine and Soul art on Etsy here.

Purchase an 8″ x 10″ print (they are all matted into 11″ x 14″ mat) and get a matching print matted into a 5″x 7″ mat to give to a friend.  All on sale for $20!!!  (regular price for those together is $31) plus s&h.

SALE!!! Through Friday October 21st!


Today I had a perfect people day. I feel so blessed to be able to think through EVERY person I had any form of contact today with and know that every one of them are “my” people.  You can have it too, here’s how.

Let me rewind; At the beginning of the year I did a whole lot of business soul searching.  In one of the courses I took (the amazingly fabulous ) we had to do multiple exercised to determine who we wanted to do business with. We listed our ideal customers, vendors, employees, etc.

In case you’re wondering – some of the qualities of my ideal customer: kind, soulful, value my work, they travel, love life, value people, treat other’s with respect and dignity.

People I don’t want to attract as customers – dishonest, condescending, negative, wasteful, naysayers, don’t respect my time, don’t value my work. 

Those are a few examples.  When I opened my studio in August I very specifically didn’t put ads in the local paper or do mass advertising.  I don’t want to attract everyone, I only want to attract people around me who get what I do.  So every decision I make in my business I ask that question, is this going to help me work with people I want to be around or people I dread.  Because I have been clear about this 95% of the time I get to spend my days working with the most amazing customers, business owners and vendors.

So here’s what to do,

  • write down who you want to surround yourself with in this life.
  • Make choices that will bring you into their world and them into yours.
  • Put your intentions out into the universe.
  • Be your best, authentic, honest self.
  • when you are choosing your job, daycare provider or even your hair stylist.  Trust your gut. Pay attention to how you feel after being around them.
  • Blog, market, hire with these people in mind.  Not everyone will get you, not everyone is your ideal person to be around. That is okay.
  • If you slowly start to weed out those that make you feel down, less than, cheap, uneasy it will make room for those who make you feel good.


apples in a basket

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the art of business – preparation

A few things I’ve learned in my first 2 months since expanding my business:

1)I have dove head first into my real life dream of being in the middle of absolute non-stop busy with an endless to-do list. And I have a pride in myself for making it happen that I will hopefully someday be able to articulate.

2)After years of voluntarily putting my art secondary to my family, other jobs, fear, working for my dad, helping family cope w/ my mom’s death, being the babysitter… it’s my time now.   Once you look fear in the eye and decide you’re going for it anyways… it loses it’s hold and you look back and realize how much harder it was to play small.

3) Stick to the things your best at – find people to hire, barter with or volunteer to help you with the things that drain your energy.

4) I am an artist… yet creating art is only 5-10% of my job.

5) network, network, network.  Find your tribe of people that truly get you.  Find and work with people of integrity.

6) People want to see you succeed.  But once you start having success most of those closest to you don’t want to hear about it.  When people ask how my studio is going it tends to bring out 2 very distinct reactions.  Happiness and excitement from those who are also pursuing their dreams or annoyance and surprise that things are going good from those who know they have more in them but don’t have the energy at the moment to deal with it.

7) Find your sources of information that resonate well with you and don’t just listen or read what everyone else tells you is the best resources for inspiration in your field. Some of those exact type of sites once I really listened to my body I realized just pissed me off and annoyed me. I know I’m “supposed to” really like them and admire them but I’m not feeling it.

8) I can no longer keep using food and caribou coffees to celebrate.  I used to treat myself to a caribou coffee cooler every time I had a mural or fun project I had to go somewhere to work on.  That’s a habit that I must break now that it’s 3-4 days/week. 10 extra pounds in 2 months…grrr.

9) lastly, find a mentor. Find a person or multiple people that are doing or have done things that you are wanting to achieve.  Plus once you are around people that are successful it doesn’t seem so far fetched to be running a successful business yourself.

10) Use what you listen to as learning time. I have found the best blog talk radio shows that I listen to every day at the office. and Artists helping artists w/ Leslie Saeta.  Love them.