Make Money With Your Dream Job: Art + Passion + Dog = Painting Success Story

Corinne Humphrey left her 25-year career as a Delta international flight attendant to pursue her passion: art. Inspired by her rescue dog from Furburbia, Rudy, she took a creative flight, picked up a brush and started painting. A year later her first book, The Tao of Rudy, was published. The book features inspirational and motivational paintings of Rudy and Humphrey. She says, “I would love to have a “do-over” and pursue art and writing in school instead of waiting until I was an adult.”

Thanks to Rudy, she’s painting now; but rescuing a shelter dog wasn’t always easy. Rudy struggled to overcome his fear of other dogs and humans caused by neglect and mistreatment. As Rudy acclimated to his new life, Humphrey realized that she could teach him many tricks, but the things he taught her were much more valuable, such as “Don’t be afraid to leave the path.” This insight inspired her most-popular painting.

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Each of her paintings features an inspirational message. These messages and vivid paintings appeal to both children and adults.

The Tao of Rudy won several awards, and two more books featuring Humphrey and Rudy followed: Shoot for the Moon: Lessons on Life From a Dog Named Rudy (another award-winner), and Wake Up to Love: Lessons on Friendship From A Dog Named Rudy.

tao rudy

Rudy keeps Humphey on task. She says, “When I procrastinate, lying on the couch watching senseless reruns, Rudy, my dog and muse; will come into the room and nudge me, then walk into the studio and sit by the easel. If I don’t follow him, he will come back and poke me again until I get to work.”

Humphrey paints with acrylics using a modern style. Her paintings are inspired by Canadian artist, Shelia Norgate, who paints only beaks and muzzles. Norgate told Humprey to let the wild woman inside out. Humphrey’s work is also, of course, inspired by life with Rudy.

Humphrey loved art as a child, and took several classes through grades K-12, but her parents were worried she couldn’t make a living as an artist. They encouraged her to find another career. She turned her back on her art dream and received a degree in sociology. Although Humphrey enjoyed her years as a flight attendant, she decided to use her career to visit France for two painting classes, and then reignited her childhood dream of painting. “If you feel passionate about something just do it,” she says.

Using Rudy’s brave attitude to never fear leaving the path, she took a leave of absence from her airline job in hopes of making a living as an artist. Humphrey enrolled in an advanced painting class in Park City. She had just adopted Rudy, and she started bringing his “lessons” to life via painting

After she had completed several paintings, she gathered them up and brought them to the Children’s Writing and Illustrator conference at Brigham Young University. She received a lot of encouragement from fellow artists, and met the publisher for her 1st book at the conference, Sage Press.  She loves working as an artist. “I enjoy my very flexible schedule and the pure joy of doing something that I love!”

Shortly after the conference she was given a show at the Kimball Art Center, in Park City, Utah; where critics called her work “bold” and “whimsical”.  Besides selling books, she offers originals and limited edition prints on-line, and at the Park Silly Market in the summer. One of Humphrey’s bestsellers is Focus inspired by Rudy’s ability to zero in on what is important.


In addition to painting, Humphrey’ resumed flying to gather research for her newest project: Roaming With Rudy, kids’-only travel guides that are filled with illustrations, photos, activity pages, fun facts and more. She just released Roaming With Rudy, Paris! and was recently at NYC at the Book Expo America promoting her books.  Humphrey is well on her way to achieving her pie-in-the-sky goal of publishing a travel series and would love to follow it up with board games and other products.

roaming with rudy

For others wanting to make money with a dream job she says, “Inspiration comes from weird unexpected places–overheard conversations, a headline or even taking a different route to work–be awake to people who cross your path and start noticing all those serendipitous moments that will help you achieve your goals, then focus, show up and follow up!”

When not painting and traveling, Humphrey creatively monetizes her passion with lectures about art and writing at schools and conferences. She also teaches art classes, such as “Pet Painting” for adults and kids and ArtsKids after-school painting classes and networks through Park City Art.

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Shellee Godfrey

Shellee Godfrey creates happiness for her clients as a Systems Analyst and writes comedy screenplays based on her smart and sassy 80’s diva background.

Tired of the Rat Race? Create Your Dream Job — They Did and So Can You

Make Money And Find Happiness With Your Dream Job

Do you wake up exhilarated for your day and thrilled for work? Many of us aren’t that lucky. We dream of making money doing work we love, but that’s not easy.

Or is it?  Use the success stories below to think creatively and monetize your passion.

Attorney Nicky Lecher enjoyed practicing law, but she really wanted to work for herself doing something creative. “It was a matter of finding the right product and following my dream,” she says.

She searched for an idea. Her brother told her about a paint-your-own-artwork studio in NYC, and when Nicky visited the business, it intrigued her.

After conducting a thorough due diligence process, she created a unique business model to fit her small community, which caters to local residents and tourists. The Paint Mixer Paint and Wine Studio offers a unique mix of art and fun. Guests follow a 2-hour step-by-step instruction process to create a featured painting, which they bring home.

Nicky encourages upcoming entrepreneurs to find a business idea that brings a smile. She says, “After choosing an idea, learn your business inside and out. From that you will know your strengths and weaknesses and you will know what to delegate to others.”  She also recommends getting sound advice from seasoned business owners who have already solved issues you might face.

Nicky loves the freedom of choice that The Paint Mixer provides. She thought managing people would be her biggest challenge, but she hired passionate workers, and found that keeping things simple is sometimes hard. “It’s easy to get caught up in offering more, but if your product is working don’t diversify too much and dilute it,” she says.

This formula works well for The Paint Mixer. Nicky has already painted her way into a second location.

Hockey Hat Trick

Rick Parisi skated away from a lucrative engineering career to start Weekend Warriors Hockey Adult Hockey Academy. He got the idea for his business while balancing his engineering job and MBA program. For a school project, Rick wrote a business plan for a hockey camp and thoroughly evaluated what worked and what didn’t. He started dreaming about opening his own camp.

He finished his MBA, and then founded Weekend Warriors, an adult ice-hockey experience offering fun, learning, and camaraderie. He spent the next three years juggling his corporate career with his new business.

It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. “I thought I would start this and immediately be successful and quit my job,” he said. Weekend Warriors brought him joy and happiness, and then he used hard work and patience to grow his dream.

After a layoff he decided not to search for a new engineering job and focus on hockey full time. He increased his earnings steadily, and last year he surpassed his engineering salary.

“My passion was wanting to make my own creation and be my own boss,” he says. He loves the lifestyle freedom and flexibility of self-employment. “I can work in the morning and ski in the afternoon,” he says. He can now live anywhere he chooses.  Rick relocated from suburban Chicago to Park City, Utah to ski and enjoy outdoor activities.

Living his dream makes Rick happy and others too. “We build a lot of camaraderie in camps and have fun, both on the ice and off with teambuilding events customized for each city,” says Rick.   He advises new entrepreneurs to focus on customer satisfaction. “This is what brings people back over and over,” he says.

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Kendeyl Johansen has a background as a Systems Analyst and B.S. degree in Behavioral Science and Health. She’s an award-winning journalist with 200+ published articles, including work in New York Times bestsellers. She serves as Webmaster for several volunteer websites and cherishes time with friends and family. Her hobbies include writing, reading and skiing both on water and snow.

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