• The Arty Mum

If Not Now.... Then When ?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018

When is it ever a good time to set up your own business?

Me and my girl

After leaving university with a BA(hons) Illustration and being informed that out of all of us only 3 would ever be 'successful' I felt unbelievably lost and was left wondering what on earth the point was of the last three years of study and hard work! I fell into teaching through a series of educational support roles and realised that there was a role out there for me I just had to find it. I love teaching, I love the buzz when students realise that they can do it, when they see themselves learning and moving towards their own goals but as I've become a more experienced teacher I've felt so sad for the student I had been, I would never tell any of my students that statistically they were unlikely to be successful in their chosen field, I have always found that the best way to get the most out of people is to encourage them to strive towards their dreams, not knock them down!


I would never tell any of my students that statistically they were unlikely to be successful in their chosen field, I have always found that the best way to get the most out of people is to encourage them to strive towards their dreams, not knock them down!

I have slowly realised that despite spending the last 8 years telling others how wonderful they are and could be, encouraging my students to take a leap of faith and 'just try it!' and gaining a true love of art and specifically illustration I have still been telling myself that I was a failure as I wasn't 'one of the 3'.


a dawning realisation.....


I became pregnant with my daughter in 2015 and realised I wouldn't be in work for a year. Not having any clue as to what maternity leave actually entailed I was a bit daunted by the expanse of time ahead of me and the prospect of putting aside 'professional me' and replacing it with this unknown 'mum me'. In a funny sort of way I was terrified of not being a professional for a year - what if I never got professional me back?? About 4 months into maternity leave I knew I was happy, I knew things were going well and I had the realisation that as I wasn't completely messing up the most important job I would ever do then maybe I stood a chance of not being a total failure at being a working creative.


The last 3 months of Maternity leave were frankly... a bit nuts.......

I decided to create a body of work based on nursery décor I had made for little Q, set up an Etsy shop and related social media and go for it. After all - whats the worst that could happen? I'd already spent 8 years 'coming to terms with' being a failure creatively and after a bit of discussion with my incredibly supportive family knew that I had nothing to loose and everything to gain. All I can say about those 3 months are - thank goodness my daughter was a good napper!


And Viewfinder Studios was born !


Viewfinder Studios went live on Etsy in Jan 2017, my first instagram post shortly after and eventually a facebook page shortly after that! Still figuring out twitter and pinterest (love it personally, professionally I'm a bit clueless) and only just got this whole website / blog idea off the ground. Any help, suggestions and advice ALWAYS gratefully received!


I can honestly say that in the year and a half I've been a small business owner as well as mum and teacher I've never felt so sure that I'm doing the right thing. Yes I'm making some money out of my work but more importantly I'm proving to myself that I'm not a failure and that is worth everything!


#smallbusiness #newmum #workingmum #etsyseller #illustrator #nurserydecor #childrensroom #animalillustrations #gettingstarted #justdoit #viewfinderstudios #watercolourprints #positivethinking #dreambig #lovewhatyoudo #mumlife

© 2016 Ella Paton Illustrates              ella.paton.illustrates@gmail.com

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