Color-Coded Creatives: The Artist Behind the Business

Updated: Feb 23


Hey there! I’m Melissa – the professional scratchboard artist running a successful fine arts business with no “background” in fine arts or business.


At 25, I decided that it was time to take my hobby to the next level and in one weekend made the decision to try my hand at being a professional, full-time artist.


Here’s how it happened…


I was showing my work at a local juried, fine arts show. I spent the first day of the festival chatting with my neighboring artists and received a lot of encouragement from them. The crucial moment came when I met another artist working in an obscure medium (scratchboard takes many hours to complete but is not well known so the prices are often misunderstood or questioned) who had been showing and selling for almost 10 years. I finally had someone to compare myself to and I was endlessly encouraged that it was possible to make a living selling my work.

Overnight I analyzed my situation - recently moved back to my hometown, on the hunt for a new job, a chunk of money in the bank, no one else to be responsible for financially - and in those two days decided to end my job search and to go to work for myself!


The decision was exciting and terrifying. Exciting because it felt right and I loved creating. Terrifying because I did not have a degree in the fine arts or business, and I had no clue how to start or run a business. I did have a strong work ethic, supportive parents, a determination not to go back to a 9-5 office job, and a love for the work I was doing.


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I’ve spent the last four years learning how to be a business owner - feverishly searching and reading, experimenting and stumbling, asking questions and putting myself out there. I have committed innumerable hours to figuring out how to be a successful artist and make an ACTUAL living from it, which has meant diving into the topics of financial literacy and budgeting, business registration and taxes, website design, and online marketing, to name a few. All of that on top of continuing to hone my skills as a scratchboard artist so I can create the absolute best work possible – the right product is key, after all.


In my journey, I noticed that most of the artists I encountered at art festivals were in a similar boat – just figuring it all out as they went along – and I knew there had to be an easier way. While there are some really great resources available for artists and business owners, the combination of the two is hard to come by. SO, I’ve decided to help bridge that gap by creating a space to share what I’ve learned about being a creative entrepreneur with other artists, creatives, and makers.


Color-Coded Creatives was born during the 2020 pandemic when artists everywhere were (and still are) scrambling to keep their businesses and creative practices alive, including myself. I am here to help ambitious artists and creatives build strong and sustainable business so they can spend more time creating what they love. I’m a working artist just like you and I want to help make the process a little easier and a lot less stressful.

My VISION for Color-Coded Creatives is to empower artists and makers to create self-sustaining businesses so they may more freely bring their art into the world.


My MISSION is to be an approachable business resource for creative entrepreneurs by helping streamline their business practices so they can reclaim their time in the studio.


I will continue to grow, learn, and push myself right along with you. There is always something new to learn or changes to make. I am committed to working with you so we can both be successful – there is plenty of room for all of our creative voices in this world, after all.




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