Girl Talk – “Nothing To It But To Do It: An Artpreneurs Advice on Building a Business”

Posted: March 14, 2013 by ERCPCP Blogger in Uncategorized

A Diva Dialogue on Entrepreneurship by Melissa A. Matthews (Mamltdart)

I’m a 28 year old Artpreneur (artist and entrepreneur). I guess I always knew this is what I wanted.  As a child, I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I watched my parents toil in jobs they weren’t particularly fond of and I just knew that wasn’t for me (though in college and even after I worked my fair share of ridiculous…what-did-i-do-in-a-past-life-to-deserve-this type of gigs– enough for a lifetime).

mamltdartI have owned and operated my sole-proprietorship, Mamltdart (pronounced MAM-Limited-Art) since I was a sophomore in college (19). It started as a way to supplement my income. I was already working three jobs as a fulltime student and started making tee shirts with original art, because, well it made sense. I already spent an inordinate amount of time painting as it was my major. It soon snowballed into exhibiting and selling my fine art pieces and the business model has evolved somewhat organically as I have grown and changed both personally and professionally.

This doesn’t mean I’m on easy street, if you didn’t read it carefully I did say I’m an artist and entrepreneur, and let’s be real I’m a tenderoni. (Now if you don’t know what that urban colloquialism means… I’m a PYT –Pretty Young Thing!) And now that I have sufficiently dated myself, I shall move on. Every day is a new challenge, implementing new ideas, developing new product, finding my audience, and developing a LONGTERM relationship with them. I am at various levels in each part of the MAMLTDART brand with these principles.

As a mixed-media artist, curator, illustrator, accessory designer and when I’m really broke- a freelance graphic designer , my brand is a catch-all fine art and art services company. It is a struggle most days to keep all of my projects straight and have them all in the place I want them to be. However, I LOVE ( and I do mean whole-heartedly) love what I do. I am amazed that I get paid to paint and draw for a living — Who even does that? I’ll tell you who, ME! And that excitement pushes me through the bad days. If you don’t love what you do, I can only imagine that the bad days are worse and the light at the end of tunnel– just a little dimmer. Who wants to live like that? Not me!

Here are few things I have learned along the way:

  • Know who you are: You may not yet know what you want to be but you definitely know who you are culturally, mentally, physically and hopefully spiritually- a strong sense of self will keep you grounded while you explore or try to find out what your talents are and what your career path should be.
  • A huge part of entrepreneurship and life in general is understanding, embracing, and learning from failure. It is almost better to fail a few times before you find your stride because:

1.when that inevitable failure comes your way, you won’t fall apart (resilience)

2.It teaches you the important lessons of professionalism: being prepared, having a contingency plan, and regrouping

3.if you know how to fail graciously, you will know how win graciously – your success will have a bitter taste if its accomplished while burning bridges and stepping on other people (you don’t want to be that woman)

  • Money is a secondary goal: Wealth is better defined as “Joy” – being content where you are and enjoying the journey. Money can be a tangible outgrowth of a journey well-traveled balanced with happiness. Balance; THAT IS TRUE SUCCESS!

To find out more about Melissa Matthews, visit her online at or



Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed in this post are those of the guest contributor and not those of ERCPCP.

  1. Danyell Taylor says:

    Great article. I too self identify as a PYT!

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