District Boss: Christine Olmstead
In a city filled with politicians and consultants, it is incredibly refreshing to meet an artist based in Washington, D.C. Christine Olmstead comes from a family of entrepreneurs and artists. Her love of art history and serving others has lead her to creating gorgeous pieces of art. See her creations and read her interview below:
1// What is your work?
I own CHRISTINE | OLMSTEAD which is my own collection of fine art, paintings, prints, etc. I could have gone with some cutesy little name, but in the art community it's really unwise to brand yourself with anything other than your name.
2// What lead you to where you are today?
Just like anyone else, thousands of decisions and influences have brought me to where I am today. Here is a short list of of the main things that influenced my choice to become an artist. My mother was/is a professional graphic and web designer. As a child she really stressed the importance of learning art history, understanding periods in art, being able to recognize an artist by their stroke, or palette etc. She would have me recreate all the masterpieces as a child. Art lessons and professional training in fine pencil/charcoal drawings as well as oil training were another huge influencer. But I think my main desire has been to bring beauty into people's lives. I want to make them feel uplifted, peaceful, and hopeful when they look at or live with my art. This was one of the most tangible and attainable ways that I can encourage others, by painting for them.
3// What brings you the most joy in your business?
What brings me the most joy is when I get an email from a potential client, or just an admirer, who let me know that my art was inspiring to them. That they felt a sense of peace and joy when looking at my work. That means, that my message is getting across.
4// What's the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
I think the most difficult part is discipline. You really have to be self controlled and consistent, with content, frequency of products, engagement, saving for taxes, math, updating the website, reaching out to galleries, or future collaborators. It's a lot of work, and a lot of little details. And I am the first to admit that I do not keep up in all of these areas, but that is my biggest challenge I would say.
5//What's your nighttime routine?
I do a lot of my painting in the evenings. So evening usually looks like jumping between making dinner, and painting, it's sort of like a dance. Back and forth, stir the veggies, swipe on a few strokes on the canvas, flip a chicken breast, apply some gold leaf, but I get very dry hands because I have to wash my hands between each task... but I like the cooking/painting evenings. Then I usually take a shower/moisturize, drink a half a water bottle and prepare the next morning's Instagram and Facebook posts. Then I pray and fall asleep within 10 seconds of my head hitting the pillow. Bed time is usually 10p.m. I'm a sleep diva.
6// What is your advice to other entrepreneurs?
My one piece of advice would be to be patient. Don't start your own business if you're looking to get rich quick, or just because you're sick of your current job. Create a business because it is something you love and because it serves others. Be patient with where you are and enjoy the place, the success or lack there of, the money or lack there of, the detail and time it takes to do what you do. Just enjoy it and be patient with where you are. That would be my advice.