Entrepreneur Feature: Katrina Berg, Artist

Hi! I’m Katrina, an artist AND a wife AND a mother AND a teacher AND a sister AND a friend AND a daughter of heavenly parents. You can find my work at www.katrinaberg.com, and on instagram: @katrina.berg

My husband and I live in a quirky but modern concrete home in Midway, Utah with our 5 kiddos (11,10, 8, and twin 2 year olds).  I grew up in Orange County, California, was a high school mascot lol, received degrees from BYU & UNLV, and worked as a City Planner & Landscape Designer before I married and began pursuing art..

Not long after our oldest was born I began oil painting at night. I wanted to fill our walls with art since I knew we couldn’t afford the artwork I really wanted to hang.  Soon, it was all I wanted to do during “my” time.  Now, I’m inspired by memories with family & friends: favorite places & things, patterns, nature, and sweets (who’s not inspired by sweets?!).

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If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

When I started to pursue painting I wished that I’d studied art in school.  When I tell someone I’m an artist, they usually ask: “Do you teach art classes?  My son/daughter loves to draw” (lol, I’m not offended if you ask me this…I simply don’t have time to do that too).  I usually refer them to a few friends who teach classes, and I suggest they buy some inexpensive art supplies for their kids.  And to encourage them to create…to simply put in the time and follow where it leads.

I discovered my love of art when studying a semester abroad in France, and later studying architecture in Italy.  One thing I noticed was the remarkable beauty created when someone embraces their style and shares their perspective with the world.  If we don’t allow ourselves to share these very personal vistas, the world simply will never experience them.

I believe being any type of entrepreneur is similar.  Much of the success is in the discovery, trying, learning, and failing.  Not all can be taught in a class, especially when you follow your heart.  Sure, I think I would have benefited from many classes and teachers.  Embracing my own journey; learning to be a teacher, a dancer, a francophone, a landscape architect and designer, gives me the most joy.  It’s been a great ride.  There is still so much to learn and do. I just don’t think I will ever be bored.  Thank goodness we have eternity right?!

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

There have been some art shows and local markets for which I feel I wasn’t totally prepared. It’s good to check out a venue first, maybe even talk with similar businesses to see what you should expect, and any suggestions they might be willing to share.

I learned that it’s important to have a variety of price points and this might mean different products. One of my first big art shows I brought all originals, and very big ones at that. This greatly limited the amount of people that could afford my art that weekend. Since then, I’ve made a conscious effort to offer different products: smaller originals, sketches, prints, and have designed my own fashion line with my paintings on scarves & blouses.

Also, I’ve learned not to rely solely on an event’s advertising. Instead, I’m trying to be better at getting the word out myself via social media, email, and even texting some of my repeat clients.  Even though I may feel like a broken record…there’s always someone that says they missed the announcements and would have liked to attend.

How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Instagram (@katrina.berg) has been a game changer for my art business. The daily inspiration and opportunities to meet other creatives and entrepreneurs has been such a gift.  It has helped me discover shows and venues for my art, opportunities to collaborate with artists & brands, and has introduced me to collectors that I don’t think I would have met otherwise.

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What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

For a few years before the twins’ arrival, we were struggling with secondary infertility.  Painting each afternoon helped me create something beautiful when I felt I had lost that ability.  This ritual helped me hang in there until I was so sick with the twins that I couldn’t do it any longer, I gladly let my painting go for a while.  Not long after the twins’ were born we had a desire to simplify our crazy family life and I began homeschooling the older three kiddos.  They were an amazing help to me, there was more family time doing extracurricular activities, and there was considerably less stress for all of us.  My sacrifice in teaching them got us into a rhythm and schedule that we enjoyed during the summer and before they were in school.  I honestly think it helped me to start painting again.  I don’t think I would have had the energy, time, or desire to pursue painting as quickly without their help and this change.

I’ve definitely missed out on a good nap now and then.  I mostly paint while the twins are sleeping.  Our home may not always be as clean as I would prefer, but the balance and rejuvenation I’ve been given in the quiet hours has definitely been more of a gift than a sacrifice.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful LDS entrepreneur? If so, what?

Home – Find what works best for you & your family situation and realize that it will look different than another’s, and that’s perfect.  If we all ran our home life & businesses the same, where would the creativity and ingenuity be?  Follow your own journey, you are amazing!

Faith – Get to know yourself, be honest with who you really are spiritually.  Discover your needs and desires.  Learn through the spirit how to use the gifts you’ve been given to bless your family and those you interact with in your business.  Continually look for ways to improve and learn more.

Consistency – Once you discover the best rhythm for you and your family, be consistent in your efforts. Realize that there will be times to cut back.  Create a plan that, little by little, you’ll be able to work towards your business goals without burnout.  (We do school in the morning, and I paint or do art related business stuff in the afternoon and later in the evening.  I crave structure…) Give into your healthy cravings!

Joy – Share your achievements with those you love. Thank those who support you and take time to celebrate together.  (My cute grandmother still cries each time she sees one of my paintings hanging in a museum, show or market, lol. My husband and I like to make show set ups or openings a date night or family night.) Enjoy and keep on making this life beautiful!

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