It's hard to believe it's been 7 years since Chell Design (formerly Art by Chell) was launched. It was one of those leaps born out of necessity. Newly separated without a means of support and three kids to raise I had no idea how I was going to do it. I owned The Yoga Community, but teaching almost every evening and making a profit of $300 a month just wasn't going to work. I had been dabbling in art; painting furniture, drawing and had completed few murals. Art was something I had always done but I always heard the voice in my head, "It's not a real job". One evening I lay in bed pondering what I was going to do and a different voice came booming through loud and clear, "You're an artist...if not now, when?"
Within the next month I sold the yoga studio and opened my art business. It wasn't easy to get a consistent paycheck but I loved having a flexible schedule and the pay was decent when the phone rang. I did any kind of work I could, from painting windows for the holidays in 17 degree weather to painting faces at kids parties. I think my first year I grossed a whole $12,000 and ended up in the red. Today Chell Design offers high end murals and faux finishes, natural science illustration for government projects, large scale handpainted lettering for universities and schools, painted furniture and many other custom works. I can't say there isn't lean times but it's definitely a lot less sketchy!