The Color of Money: Artists Find Rewarding Careers at Pinot’s PalettePinot's Palette
“Starving artist” sounds romantic in theory, but the reality for liberal arts majors is often anything but. Forced to choose between passion and a reliable income, creative types often abandon their talent to pay the bills. But paint and sip franchise Pinot’s Palette® seeks to change that starving artist mentality. Pinot’s Palette helps artists do what they love by giving them a flexible schedule and a regular source of income.
To that end, Pinot’s Palette creates hundreds of jobs for artists in over 140 studios across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to teaching classes, artists can earn continual commissions through the company’s Artist Reward program. Artists submit ideas for new paintings to add to the Master Painting Library and earn a commission each time the painting is taught at any Pinot’s Palette studio. It’s quite lucrative for artists who produce a lot of paintings. The program sets Pinot’s Palette apart from paint and sip competition, and encourages artists to innovate and create.
Henderson Artist Colors Studio with Creativity
One of those artists, Natalie Tremayne of the Henderson, Nevada Pinot’s Palette studio, pushes the envelope to bring unique projects to her studio’s guests. Natalie has been painting since she was 13 and is also an oil painting instructor. She scours Pinterest for ideas and finds a sounding board in her regular customers. “I have a very good relationship with a lot of our customers,” she says. “They give me ideas, and I take them and change them up a little bit.” She realized many of these customers were running out of wall space in their homes for 16 x 20 canvases. So, Natalie started incorporating wood pallets, glass blocks, and wine bottles into the studio’s lineup of projects.
In addition to teaching these unique classes at the studio, Natalie appreciates the extra income she earns when one of her paintings makes it to the Master Painting Library. But at the end of the day, she just wants to make her customers happy. “My whole purpose of doing it is for the customer,” Natalie says. “I’m a very nurturing person and all about making customers happy. Probably why I have a big following is that I get my customers excited about painting– they tell me they love to come and they love how their paintings turn out.”
Her studio owners, Reed and Judy Alewel, are supportive of her ideas. In the four years that Natalie has worked for the couple, they’ve developed a collaborative relationship. Natalie comes up with a new idea and approaches Reed and Judy, who usually sign off on her epiphany. Successful studio owners, an excited artist, and happy customers: it’s a winning combination for the Henderson painting studio.
Falling for Professional Art in Louisville
Unlike Natalie, who began painting in childhood, Emma Puckett found art as an adult. She was a psychology major at college, but decided to take art classes as electives. The electives got her hooked, and she ended up getting an art degree. She’s taught paint and sip for five years, including three at the Pinot’s Palette Louisville paint and sip studio. “There’s something really special about a person, like myself, finding art later in life,” Emma says. “There’s something special about showing people you don’t have to be born with artistic talent. Anybody can be an artist. It simply takes practice and time to expose them to the creativity that they didn’t know was there.”
Emma also appreciates the financial stability. In her three years at Pinot’s Palette, Emma has accumulated a portfolio of about 150 paintings. Adding these to the Master Painting Library brings her a significant stream of revenue, which she estimates contributes more to her monthly income than even her classes. “I love that I can make a living making art,” she says.
Emma finds that Pinot’s Palette allows her to combine her love of art with her desire to help people. “I was originally going to pursue art therapy, but grad school is on hold right now. I get a sense of that in the paint and sip world. So many people tell me it’s so therapeutic for them,” she says. So Emma creates paintings that help her customers escape for a little while as they dive into the paint and sip experience. “I like to make something really beautiful that’s almost magical,” she says. “I use bright colors and paint mostly landscapes so they can relax and get out of their head for a while.”
While her customers appreciate Emma’s whimsical paintings, she enjoys unleashing her creativity. “I have the opportunity to be creative and make money being creative. That’s a big motivator and the number one thing about working at Pinot’s Palette,” she says. “I love that they treat us like we’re real artists.”