We’re excited to introduce you to Liz Skelton from phatlizzardart (based in Waterloo, ON). Check out our interview with Liz and see more of her art below. 


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What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve been painting part time for many years while working full-time. In August 2021 I reached a point in my life where I needed soul food, be my own boss and felt the timing was right to quit the corporate IT world. 

How would you describe your business?

I’m a self taught abstract acrylic artist. I produce only original artwork.
I love the process of creating using form and colour, the freedom to paint without justifying a reason or purpose and leaving interpretation open to the viewer.
My artwork is deeply influenced by my past life, using brilliant tones of saturated colour that reflect the heat of South Africa as well as colours that reflects the softer hues of the ever changing Atlantic.

What do you love most about owning and running your business?

I absolutely love painting and creating art so to do something that lights up my world and to know someone else may feel the same way about something I produce is a very awe- inspiring feeling. I understand my strengths and weaknesses so can focus on areas I feel need attention to make my business successful. Although I spend a large portion of my day painting and creating new works of art, I need to also focus on the selling side of the business and to this end I am learning all about creating an online presence. I’m loving the challenge of social media and with each new follower I’m like a kid in a candy store!

What’s your bestselling product? Why do you think it’s so popular?

I think it’s my Floral series of paintings. They’re colourful, optimistic and joyful to look at and sizes range from small to large so my art is affordable for most folk.

Did you always know you’d follow this path or how has your journey as a maker/business owner progressed? 

I was self employed as a potter/ceramic artist in South Africa for many years so I really hoped that one day I would be able to get back into the arts on a full time basis.

What would you say is the #1 thing it takes to be successful with owning and running an online business?

For me it’s having the drive and passion to be innovative, to keep going even on low days.

What’s one book that’s contributed to your business success?

No specific book but lots and lots of YouTube videos, reading online articles, I’ve completed Instagram courses, learning about taxes and accounting, record keeping etc

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in business?

You need savings to dip into until you get established It’s worth putting in more hours, longer days than when you were self employed Think outside the box- no problem is insurmountable Have fun and love what you’re doing.

Do you have any favourite quotes?

“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Waterloo artist Liz Skelton a little more. To see more of her art, head to her Etsy shop.

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