Gabrielle Burke is a graduate in Fine Arts from Edinboro University who has recently started her own commercial illustration business. Her passions are creating illustrations and graphic novels. Before starting her business, Gabrielle worked as a graphic illustrator for PureRed, who does illustrations for businesses in the Pittsburgh area. She also collaborated with a second artist to self-publish a comic book titled Watch Out. Her project was funded by a successful Kickstarter, and today she is working on book 2.
Gabrielle became serious about starting her own business in Fall 2018. She took some classes with the Duquesne University SBDC and she started working with SBDC Business Consultant Doug Harding in January 2019. The main challenge for Gabrielle was learning about the "business-side" of starting and leading her illustration business. She had the artistic expertise to succeed, but she was not sure how to run a business. The biggest hurdle was writing a business plan. While Gabrielle worked with Doug, she approached her business plan one section at a time, and what had initially seemed like a monumental task became a manageable challenge.
By completing her business plan, Gabrielle developed the skills in research, financial projection, and business planning she needed to run her business, and now she is the sole proprietor of her illustration company. She serves clients in her community by creating album covers, book covers, logos, and more, and she uses her newly developed skills to track the progress of her business and plan for its success.
Because of her hard work, Gabrielle has had the chance to create meaningful art pieces for her clients. Some of the pieces that her clients commission are given to others as gifts or used album covers for music made in Gabrielle's community. She said that she is especially thankful for her longer-term, repeat clients, whom she has developed artistic and professional relationships with. Having these connections, enhances the work she does for these clients and makes her art that much more meaningful.