…building a business: “should I quit my job & paint?”

I get hundreds of emails that mean so much to me. There are some that really pull at my heart strings and those are the ones from people that are really tired, exhausted, despairaging about their current work situations and want to do something that makes them feel more alive & creative. They want to Chalk Paint!

I so so so so so so so so empathize with this feeling that I want to jump through the screen and just rescue these souls hungry for more & different. I was smacked with the awful realization that I could not write poetry for a living in my highschool creative writing class. Ouch! After all the awards, contests, publications that I had won and would continue to win and I WAS STILL NOT GOING TO BE PAID FOR WRITING POETRY?! Let’s be honest, even published poets make just about nothing and poor little Emily Dickinson who made zip when she was alive.

I was lucky enough that after college I landed in the design industry. I was able to keep some sense of creativity in my bones, but it was in my peripheral. I was not an architect or interior designer. I was in the marketing department down the marble hallway. And although I was able to write and create and enjoy many aspects of the process, I knew I was mis-placed. I knew I wasn’t using all of myself. But, I was biding time like so many of you are just treading water until your real creative self can arrive.


Life is hard. Have I mentioned that recently?! Ha! I want desperately to tell all you that are seeking my advice & direction to wake up tomorrow and quit your jobs and paint furniture and own a shop and sell it all and be able to pay your bills and support yourself. I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT! I know many of you that have written and are ill and cannot work the job you are in OR want to retire, but need to still make a little money OR are moms and you need to use another side of your brain before you go absolutely bananas pouring diluted apple juice into sippy cups!

The grass is always greener on the other side. No, the grass is greener where it is watered. If you need the money, real money, stay where you are and paint at night & on weekends. You will still find your peace here in these moments. Find a piece furniture here and there and put it on Craigslist to see if you can sell it. Enter a craft show. Make a few business cards. Water your grass on the side. If things start picking up and you get your name out there as someone that can help transform old pieces – because Dear God there is enough ugly furniture out there that can use some paint – then think about the next step.


I will stay true to what I’ve always said and that is you should approach chalk paint for the pleasure of it and if it turns into more then how lovely.


  1. Sound advice Christen. Since finding AS chalk paint my creative needs have been more than fulfilled. I have been revamping my existing furniture, and it has really brightened up my whole house. I never knew a tin of paint could bring such joy to my life. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to write on such a subject. I must say I’ve been refinishing furniture for 3 years now and it has been so pleasurable and fulfilling for me. After owning a restaurant that I lost after the downturn of the economy, I knew I had to make the leap. I am so glad I did because it’s been the most rewarding job I’ve ever done (aside from being a mother) and I don’t think I would have done it had I still owned the restaurant. It has been a lot of work but it has paid off! We (7 women) are opening a Vintage/Antique Market next month in Arizona. I encourage women to go after what makes them happy and fulfilled! The money will follow.

  3. Christen,
    I relate to the part about loving to work in your studio, get painty and be alone. I’m an introvert artist as well. Just found you on youtube today demo-ing Chalk Paint. Looking forward to seeing all you have on your blog.
    I have contemplated having a store so many times but have children and a husband and fear the heavy commitment. Thanks for the reminder to paint for the joy. I have 4 new cans of AS and a beautiful old buffet waiting for a transformation.

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