We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Ulla Grunewald and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen Ulla, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
“Risk.” What a great word! There can be no success without risk. I believe there are a number of us humans who are born with a creative curiosity and a thirst to try new, challenging and exciting things. We find that risk is inherent to being this type of personality and like myself, if I am afraid of heights (which I was), I took the risk to jump out of a perfectly good airplane (with a parachute of course), to face that fear and it changed my life. In fact I ended up loving to skydive and I am going for my AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) Certification. I would absolutely recommend this type of overcoming fears to anyone who does want to change their life and not be afraid of risk. If you want to be successful in any business you must overcome your fear of risk. I remember being afraid of speaking in front of a crowd so I took a public speaking course and I ended up being very good at it and enjoying it. I can walk into any room and talk to any person in that room. In business you must be able to communicate to people. If you are not naturally good at it you can learn to be good at it. As an artist and entrepreneur I need to be able to walk into an art gallery and present my art and/or as an entrepreneur I must be able to talk to people about my business. There is risk in doing this because you risk rejection. If I could give any kind of advice it would be to learn to love risk. Enjoy the risk and the rejections because with each “no” you hear you are that must closer to the “yes” and the success that you are driven to achieve.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being an Artist has been a long process for myself. I began drawing when I was very young probably around 5 years old. I started oil painting in my teens. My father did not push me into being an artist even though he himself was an oil painter. I did that on my own. He did encourage me when he could but I believe he wanted me to choose it myself. I also enjoyed writing and was an English major in college. I took acting classes and fell in love with that art for a number of years. I did get my SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild Card) when I did a little movie called “Pure Country” with George Strait the country singer and Leslie Ann Warren, however after getting married and having and raising a beautiful son I gave up my acting career. I worked so many different jobs and I was a Personal Fitness Trainer and had my own gym in Sunset Beach California for a number of years. It was successful but life took me elsewhere and I divorced my husband and found myself changing careers again. This last year I got my real estate license and actually received “Agent of the Year 2019” at my brokerage. I push myself hard at whatever I do. However, my love of painting has always been there. I have oil painted all throughout my career changes. I have gone from painting realistically to now painting emotionally. I have worked years at perfecting my skills so that I can be free enough to lose all thought and just paint. I let my instincts take control of my brush and I simply just paint. It is a wonderful place to be at and it has taken years to get here. It has not been easy. Painting can be so frustrating and as an artist you want to quit because it is so challenging but if you push through it you get to an incredible place where you are so free as a creative. That is where I am now and I could not be happier.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I recently moved to a rural area in Southern California. It is a little place called Rainbow in Fallbrook and my boyfriend and I adopted 6 feral cats (now all spayed and neutered by the Feral Cat Coalition), 2 dogs (One a gift from a neighbor and the other a rescue), and 4 goats. I have to bottle feed 2 of the baby goats that we got from the breeder. I also milk the doe (the mama). I live on 5 acres with a running stream and the land is wild with coyotes hunting and howling at night. I have an owl house on my property with two baby owls living inside of it. The mama and daddy come at night to feed the babies. There is so much going on here on my property that if I had a visitor they would be in wonderment at the nature just on this 5 acres. We are close to Temecula which has wonderful wineries and ranches and Fallbrook also has wineries with wine tasting. There are hundreds of restaurants to eat at and you have a choice of old town Fallbrook with it’s mom and pop shops or Temecula with it’s more modern appeal. Fallbrook also has an amazing number of plant nurseries. There is also Oceanside close by with it’s great surf spots and beaches if any visitor wants to enjoy the sand and ocean. If a visitor wants to go to the desert we have Palm Springs about an hour away where the consignment shops are amazing and the restaurants and bars abound. Where I live there are so many options of places to go and see my friends would not and do not get bored when they come and stay with me for a few days.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom and dad are my foundation for sure. My parents gave me the ethics and character that I own. They taught me to be kind and compassionate and honest. My father was an artist himself and so was his father. They handed me the talent to become an oil painter and to love the arts. My dad taught me to love nature and animals. When I was a child we would take care of baby birds that had fallen out of their nests. They usually died but that also taught me about death. It is the circle of life. My parents gave me my life skills that helped me to be a survivor and to not compromise my code of ethics. It is who I am and I don’t change no matter what the situation. My parents gave me a very strong foundation and taught me to stay true to myself always. When I was a teenager I came across a book called Illusions by Richard Bach. That little book about a modern day messiah changed my life. The message in the book is that life is what you make it. That each person is in charge of what they bring into their life. If I keep bringing toxic events and people into my life it is because I attract it. I can do the same with beautiful and positive things. I would come across that little book in the strangest places. It would be in the free section at the library or left on a bus bench and I would find another copy. That book took me on a journey of study of how to attract success and positivity (is that a word? It is now!) into my life. I re-read that book every few years because I enjoy it so much.