Udoka Uju the ‘first lady painter’ as she fondly calls herself, is specialized in creative wall designing (interior and exterior painting). She is also the founder of the ‘Grab a brush, Color a Life’ Initiative,which targets poorly kept environments and beautifies them. She took a bold step in 2015 when she resigned from her banking career to pursue her passion as a painter.
[bctt tweet=”… I am an influence to all other creative women out there…” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]
What does it feel like to be a lady painter in a male dominated vocation?
Knowing that I am the first woman in Nigeria to come out boldly as a creative Painter, with a totally different painting concept and solution, does feel good. The idea of it being a male dominated field is because we allowed it to be so in this part of the world. I am glad I am an influence to all other creative women out there, now a lot women are coming out as Painters, even those who only called themselves “Artists” are now adding Painter to their profile.
[bctt tweet=”…my experience made me realize how some of us actually take people with blue-ollar jobs for granted.” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]
What gave you the push to walk away from your 9-5 job to
pursue your passion?
What motivated me to go pursue this business idea was the desire to find my own path in life, and to use it to inspire the lives around me. Up until late 2015, I had never thought of being a Painter. I had only always been fascinated with beautiful homes and spaces. I used to wonder what it took create beautiful spaces and I used to imagine myself creating spaces like that. So one day I just started calling myself The Lady Painter, and since then all I think of is how to create amazing spaces for people to live and work in.
How was your transition like from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur? What hurdles did you encounter?
My transition was a hard one, from paid employment to uncertainty. When I started off this business, my experience made me realize how some of us actually take people with blue-collar jobs for granted.
I used to have clients turn down signing an agreement with me, because they felt my job was not serious enough to have an agreement. I found myself spending even my profit on jobs I had concluded. To stop that from happening further, before I proceed on any job, my clients must sign my service request form, with my terms and conditions of service stated clearly, which saves me from being liable for defects on walls that I have no control over. This helps me do my job professionally.
[bctt tweet=” Start by taking a first step which is understanding that your life is purposeful.” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]
Tell us about your initiatives and how they are impacting lives,
As part of my desire to give back to society and really inspire lives around me, I founded an NGO ‘Grab a brush, Color a Life’ Initiative. This initiative is all about beautifying a poorly kept school or location- in any local community with colours and patterns.
The maiden project took place on October 1st, 2016 at Araromi Primary School Mushin, Lagos. What led to it was the desire to not only make money from my skills, but, to also touch lives positively using my painting. I believe that everyone deserves to live and learn in a beautiful environment and so my mission is to inspire people to live in their full potential- using colours and bold patterns. My next project is in Imo state, I choose my locations randomly.
Have you done jobs for male clients? Was their response positive or negative and how did you stand up to negative responses?
Yes I have done jobs for male clients and the response is always good, I have not received any negative response or feedback from male clients.
What message do you have for women who feel stuck in their jobs and would want to pursue their passion?Where do they start from?
I would give them the same advice I gave myself, which motivated me to be who I am right today, I curled it from a bible verse and gave it some twist. It says: whatever makes you happy, whatever gives you satisfaction, if it will make you a better person, if it will make your neighbor (in this case your customer) happy, and if it will earn you a decent income, then by all means go out there and do it! Start by taking a first step which is understanding that your life is purposeful.
How do you combine working as an entrepreneur and pursuing your other initiatives?
Thankfully, both my business and my initiative have the same offering – Painting, which makes it a little easy to manage. The only difference is that one brings in money and the other cost me money.
It’s quite a lot of work because both my initiative and job require me to travel to different states frequently. Also, I have a reliable team to handle my business when the initiative requires my attention. I can be reached on 08063275102 or email email@example.com and my website is www.theladypainterng.com.
I am also available on the major social media platforms.
Twitter – @LadyPainterNG
Facebook – @TheLadyPainter
Instagram – @theladypainterng
LinkedIn – The Lady Painter
Are you female painter or aspire to be one?
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