I’m so honored to be featured in Voyage this month!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Genie Mack.
Genie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was an art major at TCU, graduated and was working at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston when I was offered a teaching position at a small private school. I taught K-8th-grade art during the day and worked on my paintings at night. During my five years of teaching, I realized there was a serious demand for pet portraits in Houston.
My waiting list started growing until I was working two full-time jobs. As scary as it was, I decided to quit teaching and created Genie Mack Designs in 2015. Houston is a wonderful place for small businesses. The majority of my work is custom pet portrait commissions, but I like to sell and show my private collection of paintings from my studio.
I also sell my jewelry designs online through my website and enjoy showing my work in local stores and shops throughout the year. In 2017, I started a candle business, Genieology, with my aunt—Genie Renaudin. I opened my art studio in the Houston Art District in 2018. Business has been growing every year, I’ve sent paintings to three continents, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Early in my career, I was struggling with self-doubt as a professional, fearful my artistic style would not be appreciated by possible clients. Art is so personal, and everyone is a critic.
It’s important to be able to take negative criticism and decide if you can grow from it or decide you are steadfast in the art you are creating regardless of what people think. An additional complexity was navigating the ins and outs of customer satisfaction.
Starting out, I was fearful that the business world would not see my profession as legitimate. I had to learn how to become a businesswoman and how to value myself, my time, and my work.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am an artist and jewelry designer. My work is colorful and happy! I specialize in pet portraits, and that is the majority of my work. Though I work primarily from photos, realism is not something I’m trying to achieve in my pet portraits. I love to use colors that are bright and happy, and I try to capture what it is that people love about their pets.
Each animal has an imaginative personality, and it makes me so happy to interpret that individuality from brush to canvas. My favorite part of the whole process is seeing the reactions to my paintings. I also love painting other animals and illustrating my travels and love for nature. I recently have been working in abstracts as well. I think my use of color and brushwork is unique to me.
I am most proud of how far I’ve come as an artist. I’ve refined my style, I’m being discovered, and I’m reaching new clients. I’ve been able to contribute to some amazing charities and organizations. I am free from the self-doubt and worries that held me back. I am proud to call myself a professional artist.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I was included in a group of designers, builders, medical professionals, and artists who together created a Butterfly Bereavement Room at Texas Children’s Hospital. I am proud and humbled that my paintings may provide even the slightest comfort for grieving families.
- Website: www.geniemack.com
- Phone: (734) 224-3643
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @genie_mack