Many jobs can use your people skills and creativity to create a fulfilling work environment. If you enjoy interacting with many different kinds of people, look into a career that includes a public-facing role, as you may find yourself looking forward to each day of work. Ben Weidner talks about his career working with people and paintings.

(Photo Courtesy of Ben Weidner)

(Photo Courtesy of Ben Weidner)

What does your current job entail? 

“I am a local owner and artist of Paint Nite in Houston. Paint Nite is the leader in the ‘social painting’ space; it’s a fun night out where you create art over cocktails at a local hot spot with a professional artist. I get to teach people how to accomplish a pretty easy painting in about two hours while they sip on drinks and eat hors d’oeuvres. It is much more of a party than a class – so I would say I am also an entertainer!”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“I love being in front of my crowds and being the showman I am, but I’d have to say that the next day, after the event, when I’m having my coffee and editing the pictures I took from the night before, that’s when that little dazzle hits me! I love looking at all of my customers’ paintings and seeing how great they all turn out. It makes me proud to show people who may not believe they have any talent, just how awesome of a job they really can do.”

Have you participated in any form of continuing education? 

“Out of the history of my education, spending [around] seven years on the Las Vegas Strip drawing caricatures had to be the training that had the biggest impact in my career path today. Cranking out endless goofy faces and airbrushing like a madman tends to hammer form, shape and the color wheel right into you!”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

“If you’re looking to get into the realm of teaching art in any form, my first piece of advice is to practice understanding how to break down what you see in the real world and transfer that to what you’re trying to teach. Also, make sure to be yourself!”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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