Name: Katy VanNostrand
City: Carbondale, Colorado
Main Hustle: Acute Care Registered Nurse
Side Hustle: Watercolor and Linocut Artist
How did you get started?: My husband went to guide on Aconcagua in January of 2017. I needed to take up a constructive hobby to keep my mind on things other than illness and loneliness, and so I decided to start an Etsy business. Initially it really was just a kitchen hobby but has since progressed into a full-on obsession and passion.
I LOVE the duality of nursing and art. Both are so cathartic to my soul.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: Luckily a full-time bedside nursing schedule is three 12-13 hour shifts, so I have the flexibility of four days a week to paint and run my Etsy business. At the moment I paint in a spare bedroom at a tiny table with lots of sunny light.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Limited resources.
I live in a small, two stoplight town, where the closest art store is two hours away. You can’t just run to the craft store and buy paper, so things need to be planned. Also I don’t have any training in the arts. I am entirely self taught, and so I suffer from imposter syndrome all the time. My degrees are in religious studies and nursing, and so every day can be seen as either a challenge or as an opportunity to learn and better my craft.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I am free to be who I truly am as an artist, and as a nurse I get to satisfy my linear, virgo tendencies with deep care and empathy towards my patients.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband and my mother. My husband lets me scratch this deep urge for art, and my mother has always been my greatest advocate. In undergrad I really wanted a degree in art, and my parents encouraged me to get a degree in something else. They knew that my passion would always bubble to the top, despite the traditional 9-5.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: Oh man, honestly I LOVE Instagram. A friend from high school called it “the gallery for the mind.” I know it’s the source of deep insecurities for many people, but I find it so inspiring.
Have you received recognition for your work? I won the people’s choice award for the local Tiny Works show at our local gallery and was the top seller last year for our Local’s Tent at Mountain Fair (which in our any town is a BFD).
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I would love to work as a nurse part time and make art full time.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?: Work, work, create, create, learn, and learn. I really just try to make sure that I hustle hard and stay brave.
All images by Eyedrop Design