FOLSOM (CBS13) — While small businesses are being forced to close their doors during the pandemic, one Folsom artist is taking a risk by starting something new.

Tony Herbst is 80 years old and after three years of practice, he’s decided to open his own art studio.

“My name is Tony and YNOT is Tony backwards,” Herbst said.

Nine weeks ago, in the middle of a pandemic, Herbst opened the brand new art studio, YNOT, with only a few painting lessons under his belt.

“I don’t think this is something that can be taught. I think this is something that you either have it in you or you don’t,” Mauro Scardina, a visitor at the studio, said.

Herbst says painting is his therapy in the middle of such uncertain times.

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“If I wasn’t painting I don’t know what I would be doing right now especially during COVID. Painting has really helped through all these times with COVID,” Herbst said.

Jeree Last is an art lover. She says she’s encouraged to see a new business doing so well.

“This is a tough time to be starting something and I’m really surprised that he is,” Last said. “We’ve already lost so many businesses here in Folsom and I don’t want to see any more losses.”

This new business is a big risk that’s worth taking for the small town artist.

“I think you have to love to paint and if you love to paint that’s the battle right there. I’ve sold a few paintings,” Herbst said.

Herbst said he has some advice for people his age or anyone else looking to take on a new adventure.

“Do it go for it while you’re still able to. I don’t know how much longer I can do this, but I got a few years left to paint,” he said.

He says the part he loves most about being an artist is selling his paintings all over the world. Some as far as Paris.