My path from corporate designer to abstract artist

My path from corporate designer to abstract artist

Leaving behind the security of my corporate graphic design career in a large marketing firm marked a defining moment – a deliberate choice to embrace the life of a full-time abstract artist. This transition has reshaped my existence, unveiling a realm of artistic freedom and personal evolution.

Abstract artist Claire Desjardins, with her color-filled paintings on wood panel.

Benefits of artistic liberation

  1. Unleashed creative potential
    Shifting from corporate structures to abstract art unshackled my creativity. Now, I paint with raw authenticity, infusing each creation with genuine emotions and thought-provoking abstractions.

  2. True self-expression
    Abstract art has become my voice, enabling me to articulate my innermost musings without reservation. Each brushstroke narrates a fragment of my story, inviting observers to forge deep, personal connections with my art.

  3. Empowerment through autonomy
    Fully embracing the role of a full-time abstract artist has granted me the autonomy to steer my journey. I dictate my artistic narrative, making audacious choices and immersing myself completely in the creative process.

  4. Thriving in uncertainty
    Transitioning from corporate certainty to artistic ambiguity has spurred remarkable growth. I embrace each blank canvas, fearlessly transforming the unknown into captivating beauty.

  5. Forging a legacy
    Through abstract artistry, I'm crafting a lasting legacy. My work possesses the capacity to touch hearts, evoke emotions, and ignite creative sparks within others, urging them to pursue their unique paths.

Abstract artist, Claire Desjardins, surrounded by her artwork.

Positive metamorphosis and enriched life

  1. Profound fulfillment
    Embracing abstract art infuses every day with profound purpose and satisfaction. Each sunrise paints a canvas of excitement and boundless creative potential.

  2. Elevated emotional intelligence
    Immersed in the world of abstract art, I've honed an acute emotional awareness, translating intricate feelings into captivating visual stories.

  3. Building connections and community
    Sharing my art has cultivated a vibrant community of kindred spirits. These connections enrich my life, offering unwavering support and boundless inspiration.

  4. Wholesome well-being
    Abstract art serves as my sanctuary, providing both solace and elation. It stands as a cornerstone of my mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

  5. Kindling inspiration
    My journey has ignited a spark in others, encouraging them to pursue their passions relentlessly. It stands testament to the transformative potency of embracing authenticity, propelling others to embark on their creative quests.

Cons... because everything has a down side at times, doesn't it?

I would be amiss if I didn't at least mention that there can be a down side to working as a full-time artist. While my own experience has, thankfully, been a pretty positive one, but on occasion, some of these less-than-glorious aspects can sneak up on you:

  1. Unpredictable income
    This is probably the biggest con of being an artist. It can be difficult to make a living from your art, especially if you're just starting out. There are no guarantees, and you have to be prepared to hustle.

  2. Rejection
    It's not uncommon for artists to face rejection from galleries, collectors, and even other artists. This can be tough to deal with, but it's important to remember that rejection is just a part of the process.

  3. Loneliness
    As an artist, you can often feel isolated from the rest of the world. You might spend a lot of time working alone in your studio, and it can be hard to find people who understand your work.

  4. Self-doubt
    It's easy to doubt yourself as an artist. There are so many talented people out there, and it can be hard to feel like you're good enough. It's important to remember that everyone starts somewhere, and you just have to keep creating and learning.


Abstract painting, In the Clear, by artist Claire Desjardins.


Despite the cons, I wouldn't trade being an artist for the world. It's a challenging but rewarding career, on many levels and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my work with the world.

My voyage from corporate designer to full-time abstract artist has unshackled limitless creativity, spurred personal growth, and fostered profound connections. This transition has enabled me to paint the canvas of my life, inspiring others to embark on their distinct journeys of self-discovery and creative exploration.

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I’d love to know more about how you transitioned from corporate to artist! I’m dying to do the same thing, but afraid to take the leap.

Kalyn Kepner

Loved this article, especially the Cons…because it was a good reminder that even the best artists still experience what we all experience. Thanks, Claire

Linda McDonough

Dear Claire,
so many parallels. I also come from advertising, built up my own small advertising agency while I was studying and often struggled with the limits that the orders demanded.
For me, it wasn’t my boss who brought about a change, but my then dean of the university. He said: you are very good at both graphic design and painting. But to be very great, to be very special and outstanding, you have to choose one thing. Either art, with all its imponderables (which you, dear Claire, also talk about here), or graphic design.

Like you, I chose fine art.
I don’t know if I regret it… yes, with graphic design and the advertising agency my path would have been different, perhaps financially easier, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been so free. But that was my path to free art and I am and have always been free. Ultimately, it is precisely this freedom that is priceless.
I am very happy that I got to know you along the way and I love your art.
Best wishes


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