Painting in his father’s footsteps

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A discipline that usually starts as silly stick figures, and childish scribbles during developmental years, art has grown to become not only a passion, but also a business for freshman Dustin Richardson, an artist and entrepreneur.

It’s a journey that began at home.

“My dad is someone that I look up to and he’s a wonderful artist,” Dustin said via email. “I always tried to follow in his footsteps, and that’s how I found my passion.”

Sharing an artistic passion helps strengthens the bond between Dustin and dad.

artwork by Dustin Richardson
Art is more than a hobby for freshman Dustin Richardson. Selling his art on the site Lovely, Richardson has sold more than 30 original pieces.

“What I enjoy most is being able to pass down my talents to my child and being able to connect over a very beautiful art,” dad Richard Richardson said via text message. “I also get to show him different art forms and really get to help grow his passion.”

Creating art since kindergarten, Dustin has been recognized for his work on several occasions, and prides himself on being an owner of two Junior UIL Art medals, scoring four out of four on each of his paintings.

“Dustin is a hard worker, he is motivated and super talented and he’s able to completely put a beautiful idea on paper,” art teacher Taryn Baker said. “I noticed that as he was constantly creating artwork, that his artwork is very free spirited, you can tell that Dustin has his own design techniques and his own style. A lot of time working with students you’re trying to pull out that style, but he just already naturally has it. ”

Although he enjoys creating artwork recreationally, Dustin has taken his art to a new level by creating a business surrounding it.

Dustin operates Lovely, an online art store, with people who have come to know him noticing his personality traits that could help him succeed in creating a successful business.

“Dustin is motivated and obviously extremely talented,” Baker said. “So whenever you put those together anything that he creates or wants to do is going to be successful.”

However, Dustin didn’t create his business without help.

“My mother was a huge help in making my dream come true,” Richardson said via email. ”She showed me how to manage customers and learn the up and downs in taxes, marketing, and professional development of this idea of having a business.”

Having sold 35 pieces via Lovely, Dustin’s mom can see his desire.  

“His ambition is inspiring. He knows what he wants to do and gets it done,” Joan Richardson said via text message. “I am just trying to keep up. He is both artistic and has a good head for business.”

While Dustin runs the website and the artist team of himself, Mason Richardson and Jasper, his friend of five years, freshman Sidney Hayes, operates the social media account.

artwork by Dustin Richardson
From the first time since he began creating original artwork, such as the painting above, freshman Dustin Richardson didn’t have to go far to find his inspiration.
“My dad is someone that I look up to and he’s a wonderful artist,” Dustin said. “I always tried to follow in his footsteps, and that’s how I found my passion.”

“It was over the summer, when he called me one day and started talking about his business idea,” Sidney Hayes said via email. “I said is there any way I could help? He said yeah, I actually need someone to manage the social media, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a lot of fun, I just love seeing him get so excited every time he paints or makes a sale, it’s really just great.”

For friends and family, it isn’t hard to see Dustin’s passion for his business. “He just has a lot of heart,” Hayes said. “Dustin is a guy who just puts his all into everything he does and I can definitely see him keep up all the love he has for art through this business,”

Dustin is determined to maintain a growing and prosperous business with Lovely. He encourages people to support with donations and by purchasing artwork on the website.

“I hope to inspire some people as my business grows,” Dustin said. “Show people that if you put your mind to it you can do incredible things.”