This week we’d like to introduce fine artist and business owner Karina Hines. Karina is the founder of Purposeful Dreamer, which “showcases what creativity and giving back can do for our overall happiness.” You can connect with Karina on Instagram and Facebook.
What was the inspiration behind becoming an artist? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
Art called me my whole life, but “real life” kept me from believing or considering I could do something I loved so much for myself and consider it a business I would be worthy of creating. The only times I would “allow” myself to create would be when I could find a very specific purpose, like a mural for my son’s wall before he was born, a decoration for our living room, or a craft for a special gift. But the truth is, creativity has supported me through the most difficult times of my entire life. It’s been my healer, my guide, a safe place to process the feelings and situations that can be hard to understand in words. When I think of my journey coming to the U.S. as a young teenager with nothing compared to where I am in my life today, I know that art was one of the parts of myself that supported me and guided me all along and will always be there for me.
Like many others, slowing down during the 2020 pandemic, full of uncertainty like never before, pushed me to understand the true power art had in my life and how connected it is to my purpose in this world; but more importantly, it taught me I CAN and it’s MY responsibility to make and give myself the time to take care of myself and do the things that bring me joy no matter what is happening on the outside that we simply can’t control. Our happiness IS our purpose and it gives us the fuel and guidance to make a positive impact in our world.
Since then, I have followed my call to keep creating, following my creative passions and putting my business skills to the test, but now in my own way that feels purposeful and meaningful.
I created a purpose driven business, an online gallery where you can purchase my art, along with other artists joining our gallery, as we share our creative experience and give back 10% of profits of every sale to a charity close to our hearts and our work. It has not been easy and there is a long way to go, but I love every minute of it, even the frustrating times, because they always come with important lessons and opportunities to understand myself more, and what is important for my happiness and my purpose?
Can you take us through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
I have learned that for me, creativity is not a black and white process. It requires lots of patience, and a lot of grace towards myself. I didn’t go to school for art, so my work is a constant learning and experimental process. Once I have an idea and put it into action, it is going to take whatever time it takes, and the process doesn’t always make sense. But when it is done, I know, and I know I will feel good and know exactly what the artwork is trying to convey.
The key for me has been to keep showing up to my creativity in the way it’s calling me to do so, which means most of the time, it needs to be something I will have fun creating.
They say inspiration is always there, but it has to find you working. So, I have worked really hard to find and make the time to build a creative habit in my life, even if it means only 20 minutes one day—because I know now that the artwork is not just a piece to be sold. The artwork is part of my life, a guide, and it’s my responsibility to allow the process for each piece to be completed.
My artwork is a collection of my own personal life lessons as a Salvadorian American woman. Each time I feel inspired to create something, it comes with a special message in my life that I’m drawn to share with others. I find inspiration in nature, people, experiences, and on many occasions, from the books that feed my soul and bring me so much joy and understanding of my own inner world.
I’m a multi-passionate creative, and my styles continue to evolve. Acrylic painting has been my favorite medium, and digital art is my new and latest discovery and passion. I’m always trying to find new ways to create and learn from different mediums and techniques.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
There are many, but one important misconception is to think we have any control over what will happen tomorrow or the results of our creative work. The pandemic taught us we will never be able to control what happens in the world. But I can learn to rely on myself, to find my own happiness that is always in me, and that everything in my outer world starts with me.
After 10 years of motherhood, working in the “corporate world” and leaving the paint brush behind to be a part of “adult life,” I started to paint again and gave myself the gift of self care more and more, to continue the search for my own joy and passions that fill my cup and allow me to keep going, as well as to give more to others. It doesn’t mean I don’t have responsibilities that I don’t feel like doing, or that I don’t have bad days, but when I can put my selfcare first, I can keep coming back to that joy and passion that we all deserve.
When did you first become aware of copyright, and why?
I knew very little about it until I decided I would begin to sell my own artwork and build the Purposeful Dreamer online gallery. I learned about it by talking with my family about my business idea and was also introduced to the importance of copyright from an online course I took. It felt uncomfortable and a little overwhelming at first, but I realized the only way I could protect this dream is to learn more about it.
The more I have learned about my options, the better I’ve been able to protect my creative designs, my brand and my artwork, as well as ensuring that the work that comes to my gallery is 100% original.
What is the best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
Don’t let something you don’t know scare you away from doing what you really want to do. Knowledge is power, and the more you know the better you can protect yourself and make better decisions. Take time to research, to ask the questions, and then take small steps to build a system that protects your precious work.
Some tips I’ve learned along the way include the fact that you can apply to the U.S. Copyright Office to protect your work and it is not as complicated and expensive as you may think! Copyright protects and gives validity to an original piece. And lastly, no matter how small your art business is, your systems will create the results. So, keep learning and keep staying curious, but most importantly, keep having fun and trusting yourself and your work!
What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?
Our world is constantly changing and evolving, and our copyright related challenges will continue to evolve. Finding the right resources and knowledge to stay protected are critical.
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