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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jodi Ohl

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jodi Ohl.

Hi Jodi, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I started dabbling in the art after a long hiatus in 2006 which was a year of much turmoil for me personally.

Art became my way to self-heal and move forward in life. I was working as a bank manager for several years which was hectic and full of stress, so when I came home, I just found painting to be that sanctuary I so very much needed.

In 2009, I started teaching art both in-person and online which widened my audience tremendously. Still working at the bank, I dreamed of becoming a full-time artist, so I did everything I could to improve my art, find an audience for it, and eventually started writing how-to articles for several mixed media art magazines.

In 2011, I took the biggest leap of faith in my life and left my day job to become a full-time artist and teacher. Over the last 10 years, I have written a book on abstract painting, “Abstracts in Acrylic and Ink”, authored 8 DVDs on painting and mixed media techniques, and produced over 15 painting workshops.

I have also traveled all over the US teaching art to various artists in specialty venues that feature guest instructors in the creative industry. I currently reside in Aberdeen, NC, where still paint for galleries, travel to teach, and produce online education for aspiring artists.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Being in business for 15 years prior to pursuing art full-time, prepared me for some of the skills I needed to be both a creative and an entrepreneur. I knew that there was more to making a living than just being in the studio every day so I created a business plan right from the start, setting goals, devising ways to diversify my income stream, etc.

Unfortunately, during the first few years, I did struggle with the ups and downs of not quite hitting my income goals due to fluctuating markets. For example, in art shows that had been good one season, I made under $50 with over a $1000 investment the next.

Despite being disappointed by some of the immediate success I expected, I quickly learned that you must keep digging your feet into the sand and put yourself out there because you never know when that ‘admirer’ at that unsuccessful show might become your best collector in a few years.

Or, the post you do every day on Facebook or Instagram is found by an interior designer who opens up a whole new avenue of opportunity for you. I work harder than I ever have before, but I have no regrets at all for following my dreams.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am most known for both my whimsical and abstract art, which are full of color, texture, positivity, and often, humor. But I have several sides to both me and what I do for a living.

I am very proud to have taught thousands of students from around the world abstract and illustrative/mixed media painting. My mission is to empower others who have a dream to find their own way in the creative world, to do just that. I think one thing that sets me apart from others is my work ethic and my business background.

I try not to compare myself to others, however. Rather, I only compare myself to myself and how I have improved from yesterday, last month, or last year. I might not be the best, but I will do my best every day.

How do you define success?
I rather think of success as milestones achieved over a lifetime of dreaming, learning, pursuing, and doing.

In my final days, I hope that others will see me as a good person who did good things in the world, loved deeply, cared immensely, and set an example for others.

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