Student artists turn to entrepreneurship

Mollika Singh, Front Page Editor

“I think my favorite part of wanting to pursue this dream is when I tell people and the expressions on their face, the look of concern,” junior Ujjaini Gurram said, “but I love art.”

Gurram, @jais_arts on Instagram, is one student here who not only creates art, but makes money doing it.

She paints commissions for customers, charging for the canvas plus every hour spent on the piece. “They’ll give me an idea of what they want, and usually I’ll sketch it out in my sketchbook I always carry around school like a nerd,” Gurram said.

Junior Ally Nalibotsky, @allys.arthouse on Instagram, runs photography and recording businesses. Nalibotsky started practicing photography recreationally about a year ago. “I would always take pictures of my friends with my old Nikon (which didn’t take great portraits but I worked with it). I really enjoyed taking portraits and I found that I was pretty good at knowing how to not only pose the models, but [also] different shots to get and different styles/sceneries to incorporate,” she said.

Nalibotsky had bigger plans for her photography. “As soon as I got a new camera that I saved up money for, I knew that I wanted to start a little business to expand to more than just shooting pictures of my friends for free. I also purchased a portrait lens so I was able to get as professional looking shots as I could,” she said.

She also records tracks and videos for musicians. “For recording, I never really thought that it would be of interest to me, but for my birthday last year I asked for a new microphone, and I bought everything else needed for my mini recording studio on my own. I wanted to use it to record my own music, but I came to really enjoy recording and thought that other musicians who didn’t have access to big recording studios might take interest in the studio, due to the inexpensive prices that big studios can’t offer,” she said.

Sophomore Madelyn Yi sells handmade cards with her business, MadyPrints, @madyprints on Instagram. The name came at the beginning of her freshman year, but she started the work in seventh grade, which often involves creating personalized birthday cards. “We take custom requests, as well as pre-made, but most of the time the consumer wants a custom request. I personally enjoy making both, I like to be challenged by people’s requests, but also like to be free with my creativity,” Yi said.

These students take pleasure in their business and create art while they do it. “Usually people say if you do your hobby or passion for a living it no longer becomes something you love, but for me I love incorporating my style into what other people want and ultimately what drives me to do it even more is when they love it and seem super excited when I show them the final painting,” Gurram said.