Bring your creative vision to life with SamiDubzArt
May 31, 2022
By Katie Aldridge
Executing a creative idea and owning a piece of work that you put time and effort into is as enjoyable as it is fulfilling. Sami Walker-Baskin is artist and owner of SamiDubzArt, a business that creates custom artwork for people and hosts custom-art-fun or art-centric entertainment, such as face-painting, paint and sip parties, and live art.
Sami is a graduate of Early Risers Academy, a 10-week business-building bootcamp powered by Launch Dayton partner Parallax Advanced Research. We recently caught up with Sami to learn more about SamiDubzArt and her entrepreneurial journey.
Launch Dayton: How did your company start?
Sami: I went to art school in New York City. It was so hard to use my degree to make money there. I had to know somebody who knew somebody to get into an art gallery. After I moved, I started creating works for people’s homes and also murals. I focused on how I could help other artists who were in my same boat, like providing a space where other artists could have studio space to work and also have art gallery shows without having to know somebody who knows somebody.
Why this idea?
I’ve always been an artist. It’s always been something that has been innate for me. Obviously, I studied to improve the skills that I already had, but it’s something I’ve always been drawn to. I don’t want to say it’s easy for me because sometimes it’s not, but it’s something I do naturally – it was a no-brainer. Other artists need help the same way I needed help. I also want to help people who are not artists to enjoy art.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I don’t know. I always had to work odd jobs because I couldn’t make money off of my art and doing art things. It didn’t occur to me until I was living on my own after having worked all these jobs that didn’t align with who I am that I needed to work for me and do something I love.
How was your experience in an Early Risers Academy cohort?
It is the best program. I am so happy to have met everyone that I met through Early Risers. I have gained sisters from this. Ke Daniels, our mentor, was amazing. She has so much knowledge. We had so many speakers who came in that I learned so much from. And it was free! I gained so many things; I honed my business and became more confident in my business, all through a free program.
What identities do you bring to entrepreneurship that helped prepare you for this lifestyle?
I was a military kid. Being an entrepreneur is being able to use what you have and find a way to bloom where you’re planted. As a military kid, I had to move all the time, make new friends, learn new environments, and figure it all out. That has helped me a lot with my business. I’ve learned how to talk to people and figure out how to use what I have and go with it.
What is the biggest barrier you’ve faced in entrepreneurship?
Money. I have so many ideas that I wish I could do everything I want to do right now. You have to spend the money to earn the money, but I just don’t have it. I feel like that’s common for a lot of entrepreneurs but also artists; we’re known for being “starving artists!” I think that’s a common thing with artists, figuring out how to make the work make money.
Why do you love what do you?
I love helping people get their ideas out there. People who are not artists have great, creative ideas. They just don’t have the skills to execute their ideas. I love talking to people and figuring out what they would like to have. When I help them, go back and forth, then show them the finished work, and they cry, that is my favorite. I also love it for myself. I am a person who uses my art as an outlet. I like having that natural outlet; it’s helpful for me and my stability.
How can the Launch Dayton community support you?
If there is any way I can be guided to anything that will help me financially, such as co-ops, and ways to get my art community afloat, that would be amazing. If anyone has any ideas for that or directions to point me that would be fantastic. I’m looking for like-minded individuals, like artists, art-lovers, art teachers, or anyone who can contribute to our art community. When it is finally there, it would be nice to have connections to them.