We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Villavasso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I really didn’t see myself as a creative at first. It was April of 2020, a month into quarantine, and I found an old school project of mine. I absolutely hated the way it turned out, so, out of mere boredom, I painted over it. I actually quite liked how it turned out the second time, and I especially enjoyed the freedom I had to paint whatever. I put the painting on social media, and someone asked me to draw them. At that moment I realized I could make a profit simply doing something I love. That’s how it all started.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It definitely wasn’t easy. I think the hardest lesson to comprehend is how much you have to invest in yourself and your own business. Growing your contact list, branching out of your comfort zone to try new ideas, it can be difficult not only financially but mentally as well. I’m only 17, I started my business my sophomore year of high school, so I had to keep up with school, extracurriculars, and other jobs. Time managing and compartmentalizing your time is essential. I think in an art career, your mere presence can set you apart from others. Art is subjective, and people pay to see your perspective on certain ideas. You have creative control over what you paint/draw/create and how you do it. That’s what I love about my work— I work on my own time, own schedule.
I’m definitely most proud of my progress. I’ve grown so much, and I can tell just by looking back on paintings I’ve done a year ago or opportunities I lacked when I was first starting. I’m definitely excited about moving forward- I’m starting to branch out to different forms of art and I can’t wait to see what Ana Paints will look like a year or multiple years from now!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Definitely go to Atlantic Station, Six Flags, and downtown. I love Atlanta’s urbanism- I’m a city girl, so we would definitely have to explore the city. There are way too many restaurants to name them all, so I think we would just have to feel around for our favorites. There’s this restaurant in Kirkwood, I can’t remember the name, that I would definitely take them for breakfast though. Also, for breakfast, J. Christopher’s, specifically the one in Decatur.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Gigi Wilborn, owner of GWHarper Designs, my business “mentor”. She helped me through so much relating to starting my own business and managing my own financials at a young age. Also shoutout to my parents, my Uncle, my Grandma, and my friends for always supporting me, whether it’s buying a product or even just shouting out my Instagram.
Other: Tik Tok: @ana._paints