I’m Claudia Lucy, a self-taught artist and owner of Love and Light by Lucy. I make Acrylic Canvas Paintings and use my art to help me through my current battle with chronic illness. Life with ongoing health struggles has its ups and downs, but I try to live by the motto “More Blessed Than Broken” and truly believe that even when life is tough, there’s still so much beauty to be found! I hope that message comes across in my art.
What inspired you to start a business? I never imagined myself owning a small business, but after facing some really difficult health challenges, I needed to find something I could do from home and at my own pace depending on how I’m feeling. So I guess getting sick, which has been a really tough journey, is the thing that inspired me to turn a simple hobby, into Love and Light by Lucy.
How did you come up with your business name? When I first decided to start selling my art, I didn’t want it to be about making money or even about me. I just wanted my art to inspire anyone who was walking through a difficult time like I was. So I decided to go by my middle name, which is Lucy, and the fact that my biggest goal for my shop has always been for my pieces to be a beacon of Love and Light.
What is your favorite thing that you make and why? Custom paintings for sure! I just love it when customers contact me with ideas for pieces that specifically mean something to them or that they’d like to give to someone they know. It’s always so special for me to be a part of that process!
Tell us about the progress you've made since you first started I started my small business at a craft fair and my only expectation was to hopefully sell a painting or two. At the time I had no social media presence, no business name, and no idea how to sell online. I figured it all out as I went, and I’m still figuring it out, but I’ve definitely made a lot of progress since I first started and I continue to learn with every sale I make.
Describe your creative process My creative process comes from things that inspire me… quotes, bible verses, songs, books, movies, tv shows, nature, animals and so much more! Ideas for paintings are always popping in my head, but once I have one I love, I’m pretty quick to get it onto a canvas.
What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? Because I live with a chronic illness, which is almost a full-time job in itself, the best part for me is the flexibility. I can pace things around what I need and how I’m feeling on a weekly or even daily basis. I also love the creative side of building a small business from the ground up! It’s super fun. :)
What is the hardest part of running your own business? Trying to manage everything while also battling a chronic illness! So much work goes into running a small business, especially when you’re still just starting, and my health right now can be really overwhelming, unpredictable, and time-consuming. This means there are many times when I’m just too sick to keep up with business tasks on my own. However, my family and friends always step in to help whenever and however I need them. So I’m extremely grateful for that!
What are your business goals for the future? To find platforms where I can grow my small business virtually! Unfortunately, as someone with an illness, I still have to limit my social interactions and exposure. That makes me pretty limited in the area of markets, places I can sell my art, and ways I can reach customers. So I hope people continue to support small businesses virtually that are run by chronic illness warriors like me.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being a maker? It’s ok to make mistakes! I can easily be a perfectionist, but as an artist, there’s always a level of accepting that your work will never be perfect. I’ve come to realize that it’s those slight imperfections that make each piece unique and truly handmade. It’s actually what usually ends up drawing people in and making them fall in love with a piece!
What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of starting a small business? I would say to just give it a try. I hesitated for a long time, because as I said I never thought I’d be a good entrepreneur, but the best thing I ever did was to just give it a try! My business may still be super tiny and I don’t have many followers, but the fact that I get to turn my passion for the arts into a job is really special. I’m always so humbled by any sales I make!
How can people support you and your small business? I think more than anything it’s about spreading the word! Follow my socials, like and share my posts, or tell your family and friends about my shop. All these things really make a huge difference and it means a lot to local makers and artists when we get that support!