Art Business Foundation

Researching training plans for my first Ironman (a 3.86k swim, 180.25k bike and 42.2 run endurance event) I dove into books by famous pro’s. Start at the top was my motto, and they had it down to a science. The problem with this approach was I didn’t have time to accommodate their rigorous training plans while working a full time desk job with an art career on the side.

 I  knew something about endurance sport participating in marathons, but Ironman was a whole other ballgame. 

I changed my tactic, approaching people who had finished the event unscathed. Regular folk like me, who had full time jobs and life commitments without the genetics of a born athlete. I carried a notebook penciling in their best advice. 

I needed to engage with participants at the race and hear their experience first hand. An ideal role allowing individual athlete time was volunteering at the finish line massage tent. Lacking massage expertise wasn’t a deterrent, I took a two day shiatsu course and approached the volunteer committee with my certificate. Agreeing to a training workshop with their RMT’s secured my spot. 

My four hour shift turned into 8 when my replacement never arrived, making it one of the most enlightening, if not exhausting moves I made to gather training intel.  Witnessing how athletes were feeling physically and emotionally immediately crossing the finish line was invaluable. 

I approach my art career in similar fashion. While its wise not to be blind to masters methods, I am curious about those who didn’t have an easy path in their field, in art or otherwise. I scrutinize every job and activity for life gems, gaining art business education from some unorthodox places.

I learned effective communication as a travel agent and customer service waiting tables. I discovered how not to package shipping items working in a warehouse. Time management attributes matured employed as a maid for resort hotel.Being non presumptuous enabled me, to have great working relationships with bushmen in arctic exploration. I developed a thick skin, listening skills and intuitiveness working in advertising. While employed by a national business magazine, one client dubbed me ‘ the chihuahua’ explaining, while working in a male dominated field I was ‘ tiny, unafraid to play with the big dogs, and the persistence of a dog with a bone.”

I am not a naturally gifted artist, yet I have managed to carve out a career in a field many do not consider qualifies as a ‘real’ career. My strengths lie in chihuahua persistence, curiosity, open mindedness, street smarts, vision and a deep desire to make a difference. 


Northern Sunlit Shore 30×40 oil $2,970.oo

Blue Skies & Fireweed 24×30 oil $1,980.oo (shown in studio & natural light).

~ thanks for your inquiries asking about art business skills. Conducting research is valuable, and life experience can be transferable to your future goals. Sending good thoughts your way.

~ Dawn photo- Ironman Canada 2006.