Iowa’s West Coast Initiative Feature – Brutal Doodles

Short description of your business:

I’m an artist who specializes in painting murals and live performance painting.

What motivated you to start your business? What drives you each day? 

I’ve been an artist my whole life. I started painting murals in 2019 and never stopped! I enjoy the thrill of creating larger-than-life artwork, and I’m driven by the love and support of my community. I want to make Siouxland a more interesting and colorful place!

What’s unique about your business?

Every day is different, and each piece of art is unique. Creating public artwork has given me an opportunity to engage with my community in a unique way. From organizing events to leading crews of volunteers, I have enjoyed getting people involved with creative projects.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as you’ve grown your business? 

I am finding the balance between being an artist, and an entrepreneur has been tricky. I’ve learned to work with my inner critic to create art that I’m proud to share with the world.

What has been your greatest reward? 

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to leave my mark on Siouxland with public artwork. Meeting people, making friends, and getting the community involved in creative projects are the gifts that keep on giving.

How have you benefited from the startup community in Sioux City and the region? What resources did you use?

I attended Venture School in the spring of 2021. Afterward, I competed in the 2021 Innovation Market and took second place in the pitch competition. Since then, I have enjoyed the First Friday Coffee events and a monthly mastermind group!

Are there any experiences that were particularly influential in that regard?

Venture School was a game-changer for my business. It helped me step out of my comfort zone, talk to many new people, gather valuable feedback from the community, and solidify my business strategies.

Why is it essential for the community to support startups and small businesses? What more can be done to help them?

Small businesses are the core of our community. Supporting local businesses keeps the money circulating throughout Siouxland and helps our community thrive. We can help our favorite local businesses by spreading awareness, following social media, attending events, and sharing with our friends.

What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when starting your business?

The importance of organization and keeping track of time.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?

Talk to your customers, and ask them about their experiences, issues, and ideas. Then use your resources and figure out a way to help them.

How can the community continue to help your business?

Follow Brutal Doodles on social media, share my work, and visit my studio at the Art SUX Gallery! I have original artwork, prints, and merchandise for sale. You can also help support events by sharing flyers and showing up when you can. 

What are some future goals for your company?To start filming and capturing the process of each mural I paint and creating videos that tell the story of each project. These videos will showcase murals in the spaces where they live and promote the businesses, nonprofits, and people involved in the projects.

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