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N.B. woman uses her talent as an artist to pay off her student debt

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WATCH ABOVE: A young woman from Dieppe who was drowning in student debt and looking for work decided to take matters into her own hands. She picked up a paint brush and put her artistic talents to work. Global’s Shelley Steeves reports – Jul 14, 2016

A young woman from Dieppe, N.B. who was drowning in student debt and looking for work decided to take matters into her own hands.

Motivated to pay off $8,000 of debt, Katie Doiron, picked up a paint brush and started selling her amateur artwork online and unexpectedly ended up realizing a childhood dream.

“May 4, I started to sell it on Facebook and I said I want to sell 30 paintings and pay off my student loan,” said Doiron.

Doiron says she studied to be a teaching assistant and making a career as an artist was a childhood dream.  She had studied art in school and knew she had some talent, but was nervous about putting her art out for the world to see.

Painting by Katie Doiron. Katie Doiron

“I remember feeling kind of embarrassed when I posted it — that maybe this will sell maybe it won’t. Every painting I posted, I was like I hope it sells.”

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Doiron says from that very first post, her works were a hit. In just three months, she has sold more than 50 custom paintings with 20 more people now waiting in line to buy her work.

“I was so so impressed, so proud of her to set a goal. And she focused and stayed on the goal of paying off her student loan by painting,” said her mother, Anne-Marie Doiron.

Within just a few weeks, Doiron says she was was out of debt and realizing her childhood dream of becoming an artist.

“There is always a doubt I think in many artists that they think they are not good enough, not talented enough and I kind of turned those voices off and just kept doing it.”

Her doting mother never had a doubt that someday her daughter would make a career at the easel.

“Career day, she didn’t think twice. She said, ”Mom, I am going to go as an artist.’ I said, ‘I think that is fantastic Katie.’ She was in Grade 3,” said Anne-Marie.

Doiron believes she’s not quite a professional artist just yet; she still plans to stay in New Brunswick and find a job as a teaching assistant.

But she is well on her way to making a name for herself in the art world — debt free.

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“You can’t always realize your childhood dream and the fact that I have a shot at it, I am pretty happy.”

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