How SCORE helped. 

The myth of the starving artist is a dogged one to debunk. The reality is that artists who choose a path to follow their passion as a career are also often holding down full-time jobs to support that commitment. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon client Keisha Finnie now pursues her art as a full-time career and must balance art and business as she follows her dream of creating meaningful works through Keisha Finnie Art.

Art as Part of the Journey

Keisha Finnie
Photo credit to Michele Johnsen Photography

Keisha Finnie has been creating art her entire life. In 2017 she completed a pivotal work titled "The Journey," inspired by a traumatic experience and the months of pain that followed it.

"The Journey is the single piece that is most meaningful to me. I created this after going through a very hard time that ultimately changed my life. After this, my journey as an artist kept growing. I feel anyone who views this piece can relate to it no matter where they are in their own life. The perspective is always different or takes them to a different place."
     - Keisha Finnie, artist and founder of Keisha Finnie Art

painting The Journey
Photo credit: Keisha Finnie Art

Finding the Balance of Business and Art

The creation of "The Journey" inspired Keisha to produce shirts and other merchandise featuring prints of the transformative work. It is not always simple to switch gears and move from right-brain creativity to left-brain analytical.

"This was definitely still a challenge for me as an artist, but I'm learning every day. I always try to learn to do what I can for myself. It takes discipline and organization, but I pick up on new information quickly and apply it to my needs - good habits."
     - Keisha Finnie, artist and founder of Keisha Finnie Art

Keisha worked part-time at Salon Enso, where the owner, Darcy Taylor, was a long-time SCORE client. Darcy always supported Keisha's art career and suggested that she reach out for the guidance of a SCORE mentor.

Keisha Finnie shirt
Photo credit: Keisha Finnie Art

The Artist as a Small Business

In July of 2019, SCORE mentor Beverley Doody began working with Keisha Finnie to help drive the success of her business.

"The focus of my work with Keisha Finnie Art was to provide practical business guidance on business entity registration in Pennsylvania and to secure a transient vendor license to set up a booth to sell at an Arts & Crafts Show."
     - Beverley Doody, SCORE volunteer mentor

Having a supportive and well-informed mentor can make a tremendous difference in the journeys of any small business owner, entrepreneur, or even an established business.

"Beverly was the sweetest woman from the day we met. I went into our meeting there not knowing anything. But Beverley reassured me that there were no "dumb questions." She found the proper help of a co-mentor to set me up with the tax credentials I needed at that time. Throughout the COVID pandemic crisis, Beverley would regularly check in with me to see me and would always take time to congratulate me on my success. I always recommend SCORE to anyone I know that needs help getting on track with their business."
          - Keisha Finnie, artist and founder of Keisha Finnie Art

Finding Expression in Public Art

During the height of the COVID quarantine shutdown Lancaster Public Art called artists to contribute temporary murals to convey vital healthcare information. Nearly 75 Lancaster artists answered the call, and Keisha was among the final ten who were selected. Keisha’s completed mural “Nurture Your Mind” is a reminder of the importance of healthcare during the pandemic.

Nurture Your Mind temporary mural
Photo credit: Keisha Finnie Art

The Crispus Attucks Community Center was proud and honored to kick off Black History Month with Keisha Finnie's "Say Their Names" Collaborative mural outside the Center at 407 Howard Avenue, Lancaster, PA. The piece will be on exhibit through Monday, February 28.

Say Their Names

Photo credit: Crispus Attucks Community Center

Beverly Doody and Keisha Finnie

My Mentors