A WOMAN who hit rock bottom was able to rebuild her life and start an exciting new career as an online artist, earning an impressive £40,000 a month from her bedroom.
When her marriage broke down and her dog died within the same fortnight, Michaela Morgan was distraught and at one point couldn't get out of bed.
Speaking to Wales Online, she said: "We separated last year and within two weeks of that my dog Dougie died. He was only three years old and had been battling cancer. I was on the floor at that point, just devastated.
“I spent three weeks in bed," she recalled. "I just felt completely lost and without hope and hopelessness is the worst feeling in the world. It was a truly awful time but now I’m able to do something that makes me feel proud every day."
Devastated by the double blow of tragic events, Michaela stopped leaving the house and began worrying loved ones.
Turning to books in her time of need, Michaela read up on business, self-help and digital art, discovering the fascinating process of bringing artwork to life through a computer.
The Wales native had always been artistic but had never sold a single piece of artwork.
She said: "I had always wanted to sell my art, oil paintings, portraits, that kind of thing," she said. "I would do them for people I knew and for family members. But I never got anywhere with it in terms of starting up a business because I kept having to restart over and over again.
"By this point I had started painting as much as possible but then realised that it was going to be really difficult to get my work printed."
The initial costs of setting up as a business was 'a few thousand pounds' for software and equipment like an iPad Pro.
"Because I kept reading so much about digital art I decided to give it a shot and got myself the equipment I needed to start.
"To be honest it was one of the most scary things I’ve ever done but you’ve got to trust yourself sometimes and go for it.
"Once I got the equipment I found that luckily I took to it like a duck to water."
During the coronavirus lockdown, Michaela set her business up from the comfort of her own bedroom and was soon making an impressive turnover.
Between the end of April and the end of July this year Michaela sold £117,000-worth of orders through her business, Mimo Arts.
Her Instagram page also boasts 27,000 more followers gained in that time.
Michaela's contemporary art struck a chord with people and has quickly gained a cult following online.
Her designs wouldn't look out of place in a trendy boutique or fashion studio, as many pieces focus on iconic brands like Prada, Chanel, and Christian Dior.
"It’s really taken off – a company from Dubai have got in touch and asked me to create a design based around their perfume brand and I have a partnership with an American company which enables me to sell over there and elsewhere in the world," she said.
"This time last year I wasn’t really aware of digital art. I look back and think of all that time I spent wondering what to do with myself – I could have done this 10 years ago. It was just something I saw one day when someone said you can make a business for yourself from home and get another company to ship the items for you."
Though Michaela is now enjoying the lucrative success of her art, she warns that her job still requires lots of hard work.
"It’s not something that everyone can do I don’t think. I do work very hard. I would say over the last few months. I’ve been working about 12 hours a day most days a week.
"It obviously requires more work in the beginning as well because at that stage you’re not quite there. At the moment I have so many ideas that I seem to be working all the time."
"I think that the coronavirus lockdown actually helped me because people have been at home, looking at their homes and wanting to make changes or add pieces to them, and also being in lockdown kind of forced me to work all the time as there was nothing else to do.
“I would love it if anyone took inspiration from what happened to me. I don’t mean specifically with art, I mean in anything that they just haven’t done yet. Anyone can do what they put their minds to – it’s all out there, you’ve just got to do it.”
For more real life stories, read about the woman who discovered she was born without a womb during an ultrasound aged 16.
And one woman is thanking her lucky stars that hen parties are currently on hold – because she spends too much money and hates wearing fancy dress.
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