From Secure Job to Full-Time Artist with Carly Kuhn

jenna rainey

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From secure job to full-time artist

From Secure Job to Full-Time Artist with Carly Kuhn

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From secure job to full-time artist. Have you been thinking about leaving your 9-5 and starting your own thing lately? Or maybe asking when the right time would be to do that?

Today I have the brilliantly talented artist Carly Kuhn, aka The Cartorialist, on the show. Her story is so inspiring and her work is incredible. Think monochromatic fashion illustration type vibe. Seriously beautiful.

Carly is a former producer for Chelsea Lately and left a career in television to pursue art full time.

Her Instagram fame soared when Sarah Jessica Parker reposted one of her drawings. This exposure paved the way for collaborations with Dior, Oscar De La Renta, Capitol Records, Prada, Glossier, and Elle. And today, you can find her work in a wide variety of places—on everything from textiles to jewelry and prints.

Carly’s journey is not one without self-doubt and leaps of faith, which may resonate with some of you.

Whether you’re an artist, designer, photographer, or other creative, knowing when (and how) to take that step from a secure day job to pursuing art full time can be unclear and even scary.

Related post: Tips for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

So if you or someone you know may be at this point their career, I invite you to listen to Carly’s story for a healthy dose of inspiration.


Stellar insights

  • [03:47] Carly started her career in the entertainment industry. On the side, she starting exploring other creative expressions like a comedy food blog, sketch improv school, and illustrating.
  • [07:03] Carly almost accidentally fell into fashion illustration with pens, printer paper, and the power of Instagram.
  • [09:03] We relive the moment she learned that Sarah Jessica Parker reposted her illustration.
  • [14:29] 90% of Carly’s jobs have come via Instagram.
  • [22:38] Self doubt, compare and despair…it’s so common. It’s important to take a step back and check in with yourself.
  • [26:56] By constantly evolving and learning, you can become a more interesting, talented, and inspiring person.
  • [27:22] ABC = Always be curious. Ask questions and seek help when you need it.
  • [33:00] Carly explains how she has taken on a variety of jobs that came her way and realized that you don’t have to put yourself in one box. Explore!
  • [40:13] One of her hardest lessons learned is the importance of getting things in writing and collecting deposits because your time is valuable and is worth protecting.


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Related Episodes

Episode 3: My Story: From Side Hustle to Thriving Business
Episode 9: Tips for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Episode 4: Instagram Algorithm Got You Down?
Episode 15: Over 20 Million Coloring Books Sold?! Johanna Basford’s Story
Episode 17: From Angel Investor to Letterpress Guru: Being a Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur


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