NEW RICHMOND -- Some of Breanna Ellevold’s earliest memories are coloring with her sister. The two would draw flowers and people, making them talk and be friends.
“I’ve been creative and interested in art for as long as I can remember,” Ellevold said.
Now, after a career as an elementary teacher, Ellevold has transitioned her art into a thriving business.
While pursuing her teaching career, Ellevold said she moved away from her creativity for a while. After having her third child, she felt she needed something that was just for her.
‘I started to explore a little bit more back into my art,” she said.
Getting back into it was a process, something that took daily practice. She doesn’t always like looking back at her initial work, but Ellevold said she was able to grow and develop her skill set.
“It kind of was wonderful to just have something that was for me again, and to have an identity outside of being just a mom,” she said. “I started doing it daily, and it’s just grown from there.”
Ellevold started with floral paints, and her creativity progressed from there.
“I try a lot of new things,” she said.
Last spring she started making clay earrings and incorporating some of her floral artwork by hand painting the earring.
“It kind of married my two passions very well,” she said.
She’s also moved into making hair clips, and using her artwork in digital forms like greeting cards or mugs.
“It’s been a journey,” she said.
Balancing being a teacher and a mom was difficult, Ellevold said. Though art gave her a way to find peace and calm, it also pulled her away from the other two parts of her life. When COVID hit, Ellevold decided to leave teaching to stay home with her children.
“That kind of opened up the window for me to devote more time to my artwork and art business,” she said.
A course with artist Emily Jeffords taught her how to maximize her business, learning how to value work, create a website and more. Now Ellevold said she almost has been able to replace her teaching income.
“To move that far in a year, I’m just really humbled and happy,” she said.
Ellevold has made an effort to support other artists lately, too. The work on her walls brings her joy everytime she looks at them. Art can change your perspective, she said. That’s what she hopes her art does for other people.
“If I can help people feel pride in their homes and feel happy in their spaces and share beauty into their lives even just a little bit, that's the best goal, if my artwork was something that brought them joy everyday,” she said.
She hopes her jewelry can do the same thing when people wear it.
“Especially in the pandemic when people are living in loungewear and not leaving their houses and maybe not putting on makeup, and just to put on a pair of pretty earrings maybe makes you feel a little bit better about yourself,” she said.
She encouraged others to start creating, even a little bit every day.
“Don’t be afraid to pursue something that you’re interested in,” she said. “Keep showing up for yourself.”
Ellevold’s work is available online at breannaellevoldart.com or at stores including Covet and Doyle’s Split Endz in New Richmond and Our Shop Bridal in Woodbury, Minn.
She also takes part in local art festivals and said she is looking forward to the Park Art Fair in New Richmond.