I'm starting a new series featuring entrepreneurs who use the web to conduct business. These entrepreneurs are unique because they are not typical online entrepreneurs, they're not bloggers, or online marketers and they're not social media specialists. What makes them unusual is that they own offline businesses but they use the web to build them.
In the meantime, I'd like you to meet Rana Ryan, local artist and painter, through our interview below and in person this Friday, May 6th, from 4 to 9 p.m., at Caesar’s Designs on Walnut Street, in Shady Side at an upcoming show during the Walk on Walnut. Click here to learn more. Welcome to Digital You Rana.
What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I have been painting and doodling for as long I can remember. As a child I would always draw things for my friends, entertain kids bored in class or at home, wherever we were. I would draw them fun things that kept us all busy and laughing.
In recent years, I’ve had a series of little art camps at my home, for children who really want to draw, paint and express their inner artist. The mini-camps were very popular and I still enjoy each and every class because my students go home proud and happy.
About ten years ago, I started giving serious thought to marketing my work. Whenever we had company over, many were drawn to my artwork that we had hung on the walls of our home. I come from an artistic family since my mother is an established artist She too taught art to young children in Beirut, just a block or so from the American University of Beirut, where my father went to college. My mother likes to work with oils, and I have pieces I’ve made in the watercolor and acrylic media. So, between my mother’s work and mine, our home always looks like a gallery.
As a painter, which mediums do you prefer?
I’ve worked with acrylics from the beginning, and have always loved large canvases. I started watercolor painting eight years ago and fell in love with that medium, too.
I love painting with very bright colors and so often run out of yellow paint! I was told by a fellow artist that yellow is for “amateurs.” Well, if that’s the case, I’ll always be an amateur because I love the enthusiasm and life it brings to my work. I guess my clients like yellow, too, because I sold every painting that had a lot of yellow in it!!!
One series, in particular, called: “We are all the same in the eyes of God” used mostly yellow, a little blue, and green and pink. The series really struck a chord with people from all backgrounds, and each person who purchased a painting had a story they could relate my painting to.
How do you use the web for your work?
I have 2 Web sites: