Syracuse junior turns pastime into profit

SU junior turns pastime into profit

Chloe DeMarco channels her artistic nature into all aspects of her life, from running a small business to pursuing an architecture degree.
Published: January 4, 2021

Chloe DeMarco began creating art as a hobby and has turned it into a business called CMCD Art.

When Chloe DeMarco isn’t on call for Syracuse University Ambulance or spending hours in the studio for her latest architecture project, she can be found at her desk drawing.

DeMarco’s art, which began as a hobby, has turned into CMCD Art, a bustling small business. DeMarco accepts commissioned artworks through her website,, and @cmcd_art on Instagram. DeMarco works in charcoal, paint, pencil and chalk to create highly detailed portraits for her customers. She balances this work while studying architecture full-time at SU and working an on-campus job.

“Ever since I was a kid, I just I guess gravitated towards art. Especially like in school, I would always be like, Oh, art’s my favorite class,” DeMarco said. She began drawing at a young age, doodling dresses and houses for fun.

“My grandmother one time, she was like, Chloe, I swear to God, if you don’t get an art teacher before I die, I’m going to haunt you. So I was like, oh, grandma! Okay, I’ll go do that. So, I started to take art lessons for grandma,” DeMarco said. In her first art lessons, she desperately wanted to learn to draw a face.

“I thought that would be like the coolest thing. Like when I would see portraits of people, and they were done so extraordinarily well, I was like, I want to do that. Because I want people to be like, that’s really good,” DeMarco said. She created the CMCD Art brand, which is a combination of her initials, in 2016, which is when she first published her own website. DeMarco said she had always liked the idea of being an entrepreneur, of creating a product and developing it for distribution.

“I can draw. That’s a gift that I was given,” DeMarco said, “so I might as well capitalize on it.” At first, she sourced her commissions from family and friends. No longer working by word of mouth alone, many of her clients now message her over social media. DeMarco said the best part of doing commissions are the reactions of those who receive her pieces.

“I would say I’m a people pleaser. Like I don’t ever want to create something and give it to someone, and they’re like ‘meh,’” DeMarco said. “It’s kind of like when you get a bad haircut. And then like at the end of the haircut, the hairdressers like, ‘Do you like it?’ And you’re just sitting there – ‘Yeah, it’s great.’ But really, you hate it…So like, that’s kind of the whole process of it, to ensure that you get the best customer satisfaction, basically.” While DeMarco enjoys creating art, she no longer considers it her main passion as she did as a child. Her interests diversified as she grew older. DeMarco said she chose to major in architecture because you need to know artistry and the math and mechanics behind it.

“I’m interested in very different disciplines that don’t even touch art. And people are sometimes like, they don’t see the correlation between the different things that I do,” Demarco said. Currently, DeMarco is pursuing architecture and computer science, focusing on visual augmentation and virtual reality. She still plans to continue with CMCD Art for as long as she continues to enjoy both the process and the profits.

“That’s what I’m thinking right now, but give me a month and it could change,” she said with a laugh.