Interview with Anne Klar – Artist

Interview with Anne KlarTell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.

I received a greeting card several years ago that said, “Build a dream and the dream will build you.”  That is very much my story. I can remember from a very young age wanting to work with my hands and be creative. Working as a full-time artist feels like a dream come true. I have been doing this for over ten years, learning as I go along and continually evolving.

In 2009, I was chosen “Artist In Focus” by Progressives Greetings Magazine, a British Greeting Card Trade Publication. In 2008-2010, Groupe Pierre Belvedere, Canada’s biggest Greeting Card publisher, selected certain artworks of mine to be featured in their “Canadian Collection”. My Artwork was published and distributed in Greeting Cards to over 200 retail outlets across Canada. In 2012, I was picked up by an art Licensing Agent in Sarasota, Florida. In 2012, I was selected one of several designer/artists by Hewlett Packard to work on one of their new product launches. As well, my artwork has been featured in decor magazines. My Fine Art Prints (and other merchandise) are sold from my website

Perhaps what I am most proud of is the monies that Princess Margaret Hospital (one of the top 5 cancer research centers in the world) has fundraised with artwork that I have donated. One of my initial goals was to see my artwork generate money for a cause. To see this happen has been immensely satisfying.

What did you do before launching your own business?

When I graduated from university I joined Reader’s Digest Magazines Ltd., in Montreal. I started as an Editorial Assistant and eventually worked as an Art Researcher in the Art Department. It was a job I just loved, I often thought I should be paying them. While at Reader’s Digest, I was offered a very good position by Kodak Canada to head up their Corporate Communications Department. My editorial experience and photographic skills made me the right candidate for the position. After several years with Kodak, I transitioned into the advertising industry where I worked as an Account Executive for a Recruitment Ad agency. The experience I gained over the years most certainly brought me to where I am today.

How did you fund your business?

I had family who were willing to invest in me.

How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent in your home office?

I have a home office and an art studio. My hours are my own and they are long. If you are going to run your own business then this is what you have to be prepared for. My hours will fluctuate depending on what I’m working on. In the earlier years, 13-14 hour days were not uncommon.

What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?

I would have to say juggling family and business. This can be especially difficult when you are working from your home. I think most women can relate to this.

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?

I would say be patient and stay the course. It will take time and tremendous hard work. There is an adage, “What can be imagined, can be achieved.” If this is something you really want, then you can make it happen. To become an entrepreneur takes tenacity, the will to succeed and a Herculean drive.

How do you mange all of your personal and business activities?

I truly love what I do and feel fortunate that I’ve carved out this niche for myself. That sentiment and philosophy helps everything get done and keeps me on track. When you really enjoy what you are doing, everything is doable.

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