Unsatisfied with her career as a lawyer, Ann Nguyen found renewed fulfillment as an artist. She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and three children, who also help with her new career. As her website says, “It’s a family affair at Grimmer HQ.”
She named her business The Artful Grimmer, and she sells items such as pottery and artwork. Additionally, she teaches in-person workshops on painting terracotta pots, making felt creations, and painting tote bags. Being able to express herself creatively makes Ann excited for work, something she didn’t always experience as a lawyer. Here’s her story on how she found her calling and what gets her creative juices flowing.
“I’ve always loved arts and crafts. I was and still am the happiest when I am painting something, making something, or putting something together. I came to be an artist in a pretty unexpected and roundabout way,” Ann explained. “Although I loved art as a subject, I dropped it in high school because I thought that I had to focus on more academic electives in order to get into law school.”
Many times in life, the creatively inclined are discouraged from pursuing their true passions. Teachers and parents may tell them they have no future in the arts, and to choose something more realistic.
However, they never seem to consider a person’s happiness when giving that advice. Ann followed the safer path, but hernever diminished. Luckily, the stars eventually aligned and she found a way to turn her hobby into a career.
Former Lawyer Quit Law and Enjoys a New Career as an Artist
“During law school and for the next 13 years that I practiced as a lawyer, I did still paint, but usually in my spare time as a hobby. I eventually left my career in law and now I am grateful to be doing what I love everyday,” Ann said.
“Like a lot of people around the world, I discovered my green thumb during the pandemic when I was at home a lot. I started painting terracotta pots for myself and to house my growing indoor jungle. And then I started painting them for family and friends, and before long, I was painting them for plant lovers around Australia and the world.”
The silver lining to the lockdowns was the fact that it gave people time to rediscover themselves. Many people found new interests or, like Ann, delved deeper into their favorite hobbies. Little did the former lawyer know that her side business would become a hit with people worldwide. She loves being able to work on her terms and create art that people truly resonate with.
“The thing that keeps me motivated to keep creating is the love and support that is out there for makers like myself. There’s just no feeling better than having somebody really like the thing that you’ve made with your two hands, and like it enough to want it in their own homes,” Ann says.
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Her style combines natural elements like leaves and plants with various patterns, creating eye-popping designs. If you look on, the many pots and planters she’s crafted just draw you in with the fun, vibrant colors! It’s easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with the former lawyer’s artistry.
Creating Art Gives Ann a New Sense of Purpose
“I am really drawn to bright colors, bold shapes, and shiny metallics. So naturally, that’s where my art goes. I am inspired by nature, colors and patterns. I love traveling and exploring new places because it really sparks a lot of inspiration for me. It’s like the more I see, the more I am inspired,” Ann says.
It may seem like a drastic change to go from being a lawyer to an artist. But, it’s important to feel connected to your work, and Ann found that with creative outlets like art.taught her to go with the flow and follow her intuition, a stark contrast to working as a lawyer.
“I create because it makes me really happy; art is wonderful for perspective and for mental health. I think that it’s taught me not to be invested in the outcome of a particular project and to trust in my instincts when it comes to creatively problem solving,” Ann said.
“It makes me want to make more, experiment more and create more every day. The advice that I would give to people who want to start creating art is to just start. Try all of the mediums until you find the one that brings you a lot of joy and happiness, one that is really fun for you. Watch videos, scroll through socials, and find artists that inspire you, and most of all, just give it a go!” she advises.