Chismeando with my Comadre—A weekly interview blog series focused on meeting motivating creative female entrepreneurs as a source of inspiration for women looking to fulfill their dreams.
We hope that through these interviews, you find the same dose of inspiration each woman found to
just start and follow your dreams!
On today’s post, we bring you someone we feel close to every time we stare
at Frida or the You Are Radiant murals in the shop.
Channin needs no introduction in our world, but she is a San Diego-based graphic artist specializing in murals and other illustrative outlets like lettering and branding.
She loves an analog approach to projects and getting to collaborate with incredible people
to make their business stand out in a tangible and vibrant way.
What motivated you to start your business?
Well, I got laid off from my previous job [which I didn't take well initially]! After interviewing around town and knowing that I wanted to stay in San Diego, it felt like the only sensible option to do what I loved (murals/illustration) was to start it myself. So, that's what I did. It wasn't an easy decision and I've learned that it's hard work. But starting my own thing really has ushered me into doing exactly what I want to be doing. And the work keeps me motivated.
What in life inspires you to create more of what you love?
I definitely grasp inspiration from many people, places, and things. If I had to list a few: California culture, warm and vibrant communities (both here and across the border), color, traveling, coffee convos with passionate thinkers, vintage signage and other "thingy" bric-a-brac. Getting feedback about the work I do also inspires me! Side note on receiving art feedback: I've heard a theory that good art is usually either totally hated or very loved. Any art in between that isn't reactionary (regardless of it being positive or negative feedback) probably means it's irrelevant. So, I'm always looking to stay curious by the reactions people have to my art, regardless of their opinion of it. It's very inspiring to hear those opinions!
What is your biggest dream for your business and/or life?
Some goals would be to scale up my murals, design a US Post Stamp, illustrate a children's book... make people happy in general through my work. I want my work to reflect West Coast culture, since that's a huge part of who I am.
What is the largest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are now?
Money. I didn't start out knowing how to handle finances or negotiate with clients. There's also constant concern about "making it" as a freelancer and I am so insecure about anything related to numbers! I'm still learning but I've realized that it's really important to have this mindset: Good, hard work + strategic thinking will pay the bills, organization pays off, know your worth (woman especially), show gratitude to your people (referrals can go a long way), and suck it up–learn to tame the [money] dragon! The other day I had to google "What are taxes?" Start somewhere. Anywhere. Just don't sit. That's when you're really effed (been there)!
What is one piece of advice you'd give women looking to step into your field?
Three C's: Confident, Cordial, and Curious! Also, take advantage of the resources to grow your skill. This could be watching tutorials, reaching out to professionals doing what you want to be doing, and building a network of both likeminded AND diverse people around you! No one wants to work with an asshole.
What do you do to reset and refresh when life feels heavy?
Get outdoors, head to an art museum, talk with friends/mentors, or pull a "dear diary" moment if it gets REAL BAD. haha
What is your favorite activity on days off?
Walking the beach, strolling around favorite neighborhoods for a conversation of chance, creating a new artwork, or family/friend time.
If you could hop on a plane right now where would you go and why?
I booked Mexico City with a few friends for next month and it can't come soon enough! Also, my dream destination is Palau.
Who would you invite to dinner? Frida Kahlo, Virgen de Guadalupe, or someone else that inspires you?
OMG ALL THE ABOVE PLUS SISTER CORITA KENT
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading Channin's insight into how she started her own business and what keeps her motivated. Stay tuned for a lot more Chisme with other inspiring chicas!
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