Wednesday, October 25, 2006

From Pet Lover To Business Owner...

I should introduce myself, since this is my first blog. My name is Mia Houman and I am perhaps just creative. Last February, at the ripe age of 27, I left my cushy publishing job at a government contractor behind in pursuit of greener pastures. Without divulging too many gruesome details, I had been excelling at my job but was horribly bored. I spent my days chained to a desk, editing military content. It was misery and I wanted to create.

After leaving my job, I thought about where to go. I had worked in several editorial positions. While I was talented with graphic design and text editing, I secretly longed to spend my days painting and drawing. I missed my 4 hour studio classes in college where I would tune out the world with headphones and just paint.

So, I decided to start my own business. To provide a little background, my business started as a hobby before my cubicle hell job. In between editorial jobs, I drew portraits of people's pets for fun and some extra money. The clients were unique characters and the work satisfied my urge to draw. I developed a website and thought about turning my hobby into a full-fledged business.

I became scared... The formalities of launching a small business seemed daunting and the downtime in between commissions was frustrating. Plus, I began to feel guilty because I wasn't generating a steady paycheck. I was newly married and my husband made an adequate living as an engineer. We could survive without my paycheck. But, I could barely survive my imagination and churning mind.

So... I applied for another job and found myself at the above-mentioned government contractor. It was fun for a while. I felt useful again, wearing cute corporate outfits and earning a steady paycheck. I even won awards for my good work! Who doesn't enjoy awards? Over time, my fun projects began to disappear and work was like prison. So... I left.

The opportunities were endless and the need to pursue my dreams became clear. I bought all of the recommended art business books and spent weeks reading about marketing and the business details that allow you to stay afloat. I conducted web research on the laws for starting a new business and obtained all of the necessary licenses ALL BY MYSELF! I even attended a few small business counseling sessions. I was officially a business in May 2006.

Here I am in November with commissions under my belt and a website that I am proud of. I try to complete a new piece every few days. To be honest, I would like more commissions!!! I have developed simultaneous goals along with my business. I have several published digital illustrations from my previous jobs, but am working to expand into the children's market. I feel that my work is perfect for the 5-10 age children's market. It also would work in the preschool market.

But enough about these details for now... If you are interested in a pet portrait or my work, contact me via email or phone. My information is listed on my website:

In the meantime, leave comments... Lots of them! I would love to hear from other illustrators or pet lovers!