Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathy Beekman.
Kathy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got serious about my art when, in the early 2000s, I asked a colleague of mine, who happened to be an artist, “Don’t you just want to make a living selling your art?” Her reply lit the seat of my pants, “Yeah, but that’s not realistic.” It was this singular moment that was and is now the driving force behind my wanting to make a success of my creative life.
First, I paid off my debt, next I sought artistic representation by a Santa Fe, New Mexico gallery. By locking in this representation, I immediately locked in the idea in my mind and others’ that I was a master of my medium. Next, I moved onto the New York market and gained representation there as well. Collectors, art lovers and artists alike began seeing me like a star that had risen.
It was at this same time that I began to feverishly market myself while holding on tightly to the sophisticated and professional brand I was developing. More and more people in the art world began to recognize my name and at the same time, I began to make a real living while always staying in the black.
Noticing that other artists were asking me questions about how I “made it”, I saw an opportunity to start an art career coaching business in 2006. I began small and advertised by word of mouth. Fast forward to today and I have grown the business to include workshops, retreats, a business partner, and on average 15-20 steady clients.
As an entrepreneur, I am always exploring creative mediums. Already a collector of old photographs, I began creating handmade greeting cards that included these old photographic images and added funny sayings to them. Needless to say, they were a big hit among family and friends. After a few years of making and giving these cards, I found that the recipients were saving and collecting them. I decided then and there it was time to get serious. Voila! Chuckle & Chortle the greeting card line for the humorously inclined was born.
My biggest mission is to passionately enrich the lives of art lovers and lovers of life alike by offering opportunities to collect beautiful art, celebrate life through laughter that funny cards bring and to actively enrich the lives of artists through joyful and sincere mentoring.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It is by no means a smooth road. The journey has been more like a wild ride at a funhouse. There have been wonderful, scary, adventurous, and heartwarming moments all along the way.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Beekman Fine Art & Design story. Tell us more about the business.
Beekman Fine Art & Design incorporates three businesses: highly collected fine art, sought after art career coaching and a hilarious greeting card line.
Self-taught in the medium of soft pastels, no tools other than my fingers are used to create my paintings. I am therefore known as the “Master Finger Painter of the West”.
I set myself apart from other art career coaches with what I bring to the table as a top-selling, award-winning professional artist. Many coaches possess marketing backgrounds but are not artists themselves. I’ve been there as an artist, understand how artists think and feel, and understand the business side of being an artist.
Chuckle & Chortle is a greeting card line which I created and that is expanding by leaps and bounds, so much so an employee has been hired. Launched in 2018, the line was created and designed solely by me and is now represented by more than 20 retail stores across the United States.
Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
Georgia O’Keeffe. An American original, she was determined to be an artist since a young age. Nothing stopped her. She chose to live the way she wanted and painted what she wanted. She managed to become a success being who she was and not what others wanted her to be.
- Website: www.kathybeekman.com, www.artcoachingforyou.com, www.chuckleandchortle.com, www.chuckleandchortle.etsy.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: chuckleandchortle
- Facebook: Beekman Fine Art & Design, ArtCoaching for You