Shop Local Raleigh: Pet Paintings by Nicole
Do you love to shop in local Raleigh businesses? Well, it’s your lucky day! I’m starting a series on my blog where I showcase local pet businesses! I love connecting with pet business owners! Pet people are my people for sure! it is so important to shop local Raleigh (and Triangle) businesses!
Today’s small business showcase is Pet Paintings by Nicole. I was able to interview Nicole Drake, CEO and owner of Pet Paintings by Nicole as well as Nicole Drake Paints. If you ever wanted a custom abstract painting for your home or portrait of your pet Nicole Drake is your go-to! Nicole masterfully captures the essence and personality of fur babies through beautiful paintings!
The paintings you see here are of my fur niece Gem and fur nephew Oakley! My sister was thrilled with the results! Nicole is not only amazingly talented but she also is an advocate and supporter of numerous local pet rescues! I had a chance to sit down and learn a lot more about the business and wanted to pass it along to you all!
Keep on reading to see all the answers to the questions I had for Nicole!
What services do you provide?
I do commissions for abstract paintings. People tell me what colors they have in their home decor/what their home decor is like. Sometimes they’ve had an interior decorator come in with certain color palettes. I’m able to make an abstract painting that will go with their color palette. I also paint portraits of pets based on pictures that the owners send me.
What is your “why?” for your business?
What keeps me motivated is the “ahhh” moment that clients have when they see their painting for the first time. It just brings a lot of inspiration and encouragement. A lot of clients may see my work on Instagram but they aren’t able to have that moment until they receive their painting. Many people will tell me they had no idea what it would look like in person and it brings them so much happiness.
What do you like best about painting pet portraits?
There are two things I like the best about painting pet portraits. The first is getting the photos from the pet parents. You get to see the pets and their personality shining through the photo! My other favorite part is physically painting. I love painting the brush strokes to convey the texture and color of the fur, etc. I like that better than the first pare where I draw the image onto the canvas. That’s when I have to get all the proportions right. So I typically will draw all of the portraits I have to do at one time to get them out of the way. Then I can relax and enjoy the process of painting them all.
What type of markets have you attended in the Triangle Area?
I’ve attended Triangle pop-ups, Night Market Series, Cary Food and Flea, House of Hops: party on the blacktop. At events, I sell originals and take commissions for custom paintings. Sometimes I’ll paint it right there at the event.
Do you have time to work on projects just for you?
Not really, I’m pretty booked but I want to change that in the next year and make more time for personal projects.
What do you like best about owning your own business? What is the most challenging part of owning a business?
The best thing about owning my own business is being able to set your own schedule. If I want to go out and get a coffee, I can go out and get a coffee. Although there are two slides to that because being independent can be hard too, you have to be disciplined.
Do you have any pets of your own?
Yes, I have 3 cats and two dogs. Bramble Dog – 5 years, Cat – 5 years, New Cat – 5 years, Zef Cat – 5 years
Peanut (Pnut for short) – 3 years
What advice would you give other business owners?
Forgive yourself. The world won’t stop turning. Sometimes you can’t just turn on a creative switch. If you get behind a little bit or don’t post to Instagram you have to know that your customers will forgive you and forgive yourself too.
What else do you want people to know?
I guess just the idea that the painting looks so much different in person than what they may see on Instagram. It’s impossible to get the full impact of the painting just by looking at a digital image.
Where can people find you?
You can find Nicole on Instagram @petpaintingsbynicole and @nicoledrake_paints. You can also find her on Facbook @nicoledrakepaints and @petpaintingsbynicole. She also has a website HERE.