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Welcome to our series “Ask A Founder,” where we tap into the great minds of female entrepreneurs making their big idea a reality. For the past two years, thousands of women have experienced our Selfmade virtual business coaching program, led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and sponsored by our friends at Office Depot OfficeMax. Here, we chat with Selfmade alum and Midnight Painter Founder Yengiang Nguyen about her artistic process, balancing the business and creative sides of entrepreneurship, and finding the patience to never give up on her dream.

1. How would you describe your brand in five words? Inner connectedness, meaningful, thought-provoking, real, and progressive.
2. What mood do you want your brand to evoke? Heartfelt and progressive.
midnight painter butterfly
3. What was your aha moment before starting Midnight Painter? I went through a couple of accidents and wound up in jobs that didn’t serve me. I realized life is too short to not do the things that I love and to give myself the opportunity to see what I can accomplish.
4. What’s one thing you wish you knew as an entrepreneur? That everything takes time. I realized my efforts will show through compounded progress and I just need to be patient and not give up.
5. What is usually prioritized on your to-do list? As an artist, I find that the number one thing to do consistently is to create artwork and post it to my social media accounts.

Midnight Painter Founder Yengiang Nguyen cannibis
6. What inspires your art? The hope of progressing toward a more compassionate, loving, understanding, and peaceful future. My work is crafted best when I feel passionate about a movement and feel the need to communicate a specific topic to the world. The topics I tend to cover would be: women empowerment, racial equality, cannabis support, self-awareness/spirituality, and disability awareness.
7. How do you get in the right headspace to start your day? I start off my morning listening to podcasts that help me adjust my mindset for the day. Whatever problems I am facing at the time, I find a podcast that could help me find a solution.
8. How do you balance the practical with the creative parts of your business? I try to dedicate at least 10 minutes to 3 hours a day for my creations (depending on the project I am working on and the schedule for the day). The practical I do after I am done creating.

Midnight Painter Founder Yengiang Nguyen turtle
9. How do you stay focused? Through meditation, I’ve learned to be mindful and focus on what I am doing in the present moment. Productivity naturally comes to me as I have always been an ambitious and driven individual. But when I fall out of the feeling of wanting to work, I remind myself why I am doing this in the first place.
10. What is the biggest risk you’ve taken? Building my art business! And that one time I jumped off a 40 ft. cliff into the ocean in Hawaii.
11. What is your favorite desk essential? A comfortable chair.
12. What is a motto/quote you live by on this journey? Be stronger than your fears.

Midnight Painter Founder Yengiang Nguyen hummingbird
13. What has receiving the Office Depot OfficeMax scholarship to Selfmade done to help you grow your business? It helped me create connections with other businesses that needed my services as a freelance artist.
14. How have Office Depot OfficeMax services/products helped you accomplish more in your business? They have helped me organize my thoughts and my workspace so that I can have more efficiency and productivity when building my business.
15. What does the word “selfmade” mean to you? Being in charge of your own life.

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