Forging Entrepreneurial Dreams

Joanne Guthrie first discovered her love of art as a teenager, unlocking a deep passion and appreciation for metalworking. Years later, after establishing herself as a professional welder, Joanne’s continued commitment to the craft ultimately led to her decision to become a full-time artist.

Her art is a combination of strong metals and soft mixed media art. Everything she uses is organic, including ink made of wild berries, and she even makes her own paper. She says one of her greatest accomplishments has been “integrating sustainability into my art practice, which reflects my commitment to minimizing waste and promoting eco-friendly living.”

With a welding studio set up in her garage and a painting studio in her house, Joanne has proven to be incredibly resourceful while starting her own business. This spirit of entrepreneurship led her to Business Link for support with market research for her business. Alongside a team of Business Strategists who were able to access, compile, and share key demographic data with her, Joanne was able to learn more about her target market, which can be very challenging for artists in comparison with other small business owners.

Joanne worked with Business Link from the free, one-on-one coaching to the free small business webinars. She learned how to develop a marketing plan for her new business, including setting up an attractive, lead-generating website to improve her brand awareness. Today, many of her works are commissioned art pieces for businesses and private purchases.

She credits Business Link for providing guidance and support to refine her business strategy, enhance marketing efforts, and discover networks and opportunities. She says, “The tailored advice and direct mentorship have proven to be an invaluable asset. It’s not just about general guidance; it’s about custom advice that has addressed my specific challenges and aspirations.”

With dreams of her work being recognized internationally and opening her own physical studio, Joanne imparts her wisdom to other aspiring art-based entrepreneurs:

  • Remember that consistency and authenticity are the keys to building a successful business. So, engage with your audience and genuinely share your passion for art while remaining open to experimentation and growth.
  • Take the time to understand what fuels your creativity as this will provide a strong foundation for your business allowing you to create work that resonates deeply with your intended audience.
  • Artistic evolution happens in unexpected ways. Stay open to trying new techniques, exploring different styles, and working with various mediums. This willingness to adapt will keep your creative journey exciting and might lead you to audiences you never thought you’d reach.

JSG Mixed Media & Art

Edmonton, Alberta