Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in art education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ksenia Annis, Founder of Tummy Rubb Studio, located in Houston, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My focus is on helping other artists improve their artistic abilities, giving them tools to achieve their art goals, to find inspiration and courage to create. My art classes are for people who are serious about improving their skills but not interested in a rigid academic setting. I teach through simple but effective demonstrations and exercises and work mostly with water media: watercolor, gouache, and acrylic. Through my teaching experience, I am privileged to connect with thousands of artists worldwide, who, in their turn, help me to continue learning and growing as an artist.

Tell us about yourself

While in college in Soviet Russia, I was told that I had no talent for drawing or painting. I pursued an architectural degree and, for about 20 years, worked as an architect for various firms in Russia and the US. In 2009, my dream of being a professional artist overwhelmed the practicality of a stable office job. Fortunately, Russian architectural training mandates serious study in classical drawing and painting, laying important groundwork for the pursuit of my passion. I dedicated my time to systematic studies at classes, workshops, live model sessions, and regular studio work. In 2015, I founded my company, Tummy Rubb Studio, and my art became a full-time business.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My classes helped hundreds of students in the USA and other countries. I also create large-scale pieces for public spaces. My art is installed in St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, OK, Martin Army Community Hospital in Ft. Benning, GA, Children’s Health Hospital in Dallas, TX, and Kroger Store #121 in Katy, TX. Commissioned artist for TCB mural projects in Grand Prairie, TX, and Sugar Land, TX, as well as St. Albert Chapel and Student Center in Hammond, LA.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Staying motivated is sometimes hard because I am in a creative business. Switching between different activities, time management, as well as taking regular time off to recharge are all very important aspects of running my business.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Technology is extremely important and becoming more and more user-friendly. Outsourcing is fine, but as business owners, we need at least a basic understanding of how things work on the computer. Technology can also help with prioritizing tasks and time management. My company is only my partner and me, so we are always short on time and must set our priorities very carefully. Never stop learning. The business world is always changing, so we have to keep up to be successful.

Where can people find you and your business?


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