2017 mini recap and future directions

It’s been an amazing year with so many new opportunities, directions and friends.  Super grateful for all the love and support I’ve received – gives me encouragement to focus on growing my practice.



In 2016, I began to practice again as a creative – finding time to create despite being super busy caring for 2 wee ones without any help.  My original direction was to grow a handmade stationery business – less scary than growing an art practice.  I applied for Artrepreneur, made new friends, learned new things and most importantly start believing in my talent again.  I did a few shows, taught a few workshops and introduced myself to the community as a creative.  The feedback I received was my art was desirable.  2016 was my year of firsts: sold my first paper art piece, did my first expo as a paper artist was in July, my first market was in August and organized my first community art event.

Fast forward 2017, I was given more chances to grow and develop my art practice.  I taught more, made more, played more and became more confident.    I also began to strategize a little better and learn to set up routines / organize my process better.  I took better pictures and tried new things.  It’s definitely been a journey and challenging at times.

My take away is don’t stop making.  Create for yourself, for love and things will eventually work out.

I’m currently finishing the commissions before Christmas, preparing for my last market, building an online store and planning new ways to play next year.


Thank you 2016, hello 2017

As my daughter returns to school, I finally have time to catch a break and reflect on how life changing 2016 has been.  I was faced with a few setbacks physically and time wise but still persevered.

It is a year of many firsts for me especially becoming a professional artist.  After years of hiatus, I started 2016 in the Artrepreneur program.  I can not say how thankful I am for the friendships, lessons, networks and opportunities this program has graced me.  I am fortunate to find wonderful artists to collaborate with for life.

It has been an exciting year and I am truly thankful for everyone who guided me and supported me.  I was able to start selling some of my new work in September and proud to say that I was able to make sales each month. I still have a lot of work ahead of me.  I hope that 2017 grants us a better year than the last.

Most of all, I’m just glad that I had the support and courage to take a step towards creating Treasured Paper memories.  There are many things I need to improve upon such as blogging.  May God bless me again this year with wonderful peers, friends and family.

Thank you and please continue to support me in 2017.  Let’s meet again this year.

Much love,


Mini workshop at PechaKucha

Elaine Joy Roach's mini workshop station included word cuts, hand cut leaves and acorns and postcard papers.

After a week of battling food poisoning, I still managed to deliver a fun-tactic paper workshop at PechaKucha Markham on Sep. 30 at Markham Village Library.

Thank you to our hosts Ange & Cheryl for organizing such a wonderful event.

Mini-Workshop Activity

I created a quick activity where they could create a postcard or note card using words cut out in Japanese linen paper (thanks, love, family, friends and fall) and hand cut leaves in various autumn shades of Japanese papers.  Beside me, Katie Argyle had a fantastic one page book making workshop.

Woot mini workshop sampler set up at Peckakucha Markham Vol 12 @pechakucha @katieargyle7

A photo posted by Elaine Joy Roach (@treasuredpaper) on

The 30 sets I had prepared went by in a flash.  I might have to prepare 60 sets next time.  During the rush, I grabbed another table to give guests more space.  I loved the energy and focus all the guests had.

Second wave of guests at my mini workshop to make their own paper painting postcards
Second wave of makers at mini workshop.  Can see Katie kindly showing how her one page books can be made.

At the end of it all, this is what my station looked like.

It was an amazing night engaging with the community.  I was also happy for Stacey MacNevin whose mixed media paintings were showcased in a speaker box competition.

Katie and I enjoying a celebratory after workshop pic.
A happy pair after the mini workshop turnout

Thank you Markham for joining us and making our night fun and inspiring.

Let’s keep creating.



My first craft fair

I did it.

Finally did my first craft fair.

I lucked out and got my feet wet at a local cafe.  Here are some images of my fair setups from the last two weeks.

My first ever craft fair:

It was a great experience and met some wonderful kind people.  Can’t wait to come back with more designs and products next time.  I’ve been invited to return on Oct. 15.  Main lesson:  my daughters’ patience only lasts for 2-3 hours.

My first downtown craft fair

Treasured Paper craft fair display of ornaments, paper stickers, planner stickers, envelope seals and sticker kits.
My display set up at Etsy Made In Canada with OCADU team

I was able to produce a lot more stock in the week in between the two craft fairs.  I also squeezed in a custom gift order in between the events.  Not much sleep but super glad for the feedback and love I received from downtown Toronto.  Got some great ideas and new directions to explore.  Thanks Toronto – I will come back with more art and requested designs.  Love the support and advice from the other vendors.  Main lesson – don’t panic about stock the night before.  Just sleep and accept what you have ready is great enough.  I’d love to hear any lessons you’ve learned from your craft fairs/show experience.

I have one more art workshop this coming Friday at PechaKucha to launch Culture Days, Sep. 30 at Markham Village Library.  Don’t forget to stop by the Varley Art Gallery and try your hand at the various fun workshops we have every hour from 10:30 to 4:30.  Will share pics next Monday.



Wow It’s September, show time!

Sorry, I realized that I haven’t posted anything since my Artrepreneur graduation in late July.  If my intentions could have just typed their own posts.

Progress has been good but a bit slow.  I’ve done so much researching, testing, ideating, and fixing in the past few weeks.

5 Great news:

  1. I’ll be participating in at least one fair/show from September to January.  I’m awaiting for confirmations on the later ones.

Treasured Paper collection of golden knot stickers and sacred symbolsCome join me at Etsy Made in Canada at Artscape Youngplace on Sep. 24 and find the perfect gift for that paper lover in your life.  Treasured Paper is artisan made, authentic paper stickers without the plasticky feel.  Images are made through expert manipulation of various papers in their original colours – no printing or painting.  Feel the difference of quality paper goods.

I’m so intent on getting products ready for the show.  I haven’t finished their listings to my online shop.  I’m only making one of each design for the fair.  If you see something you love, contact me and I’ll create a listing for you.


2. I’ve started to test online marketplaces SaatchiArt for my art and prints.  As for my stationery, I started with Etsy but I think I need to try other shops as well.  I will probably test to see the best place for me after the bustle of September & October.

elainejoyroach_flowercollage3. October 1 – I’ll be hosting a paint with paper workshop at the Varley Art Gallery.  I’m proud to say that I organized this event with a group of graduates from Artrepreneurs.  I’m grateful that they were willing to join me in this crazy idea for Culture Days and that we found such a wonderful space.  There’s only two spots left for my workshop, so register here before space is all gone.

4. I’m working on a new art piece for a joint show at TAVES Jolt! Gallery.  Just three hints:

a. there will be gold

b. nature theme, of course

c. personal favourite

I will unveil my latest piece at the Consumer Electronic Show.  With a strict timeline to have this done right after two of my first major events in years, I may not be able to capture most of my process on video.  The layout, composition, colours, and papers have already been selected.  I just need to finalize one element or go with the knife’s flow.

5.  I found more new paper resources and information – which I hope to blog about soon.  Its so exciting to see how many people express themselves in paper.  I’d love to document my discovery of the paper art world, resources and techniques.  They all deserve their own post and will share soon.

I’m feeling productive, effective, more patient, tired but excited for the months ahead.  Don’t forget to sign up with my newsletter, so I can share more with you.

Much love,









Artrepreneur Journey

Table display of Elaine Joy Roach at Artrepreneur Expo

After completing a survey of my Artrepreneur journey, I reflected on how much I’ve grown under York Region’s Art Council’s Artrepreneur program.  I’m tremendously grateful for being a part of Artrepreneur.  The lessons I’ve learned, the confidence I’ve found and the friendships I’ve cultivated will remain with me throughout my creative practice.

First Half of My Artrepreneur Journey

If you are unsure about participating in Artrepreneur, here is a documentation of my thoughts through my Artrepreneur journey.

Week 0:

At first, I was hesitant to say anything about Artrepreneur – it still felt unreal.

Week 2:

I was very excited and tried to incorporate each lesson into my business practice.

Week 3-4: Artrepreneur & Other Updates

Week 5:

My favourite part of the workshop, I ended up writing a few posts as I searched for my creative ignition.  I was torn between pursuing an artistic practice or building my stationery business.  I eventually discovered that I could unify my various endeavours into one unified practice and website.

  1. Constantly Evolving
  2. Finding My Creative Ignition
  3. Diverging Paths & Synthesis
  4. Creative Ignition

Week 6:

After Raheela’s presentation, I worked on improving my website into something impressive. I’m still working on sharpening my website.

Second Half of My Artrepreneur Journey

The second half of Artrepreneur dealt with the practical side of business – finances, forecasting, legalities and etc.  I also began venturing out of my comfort zone, by attending local workshops and reaching out to various people.  Jane Gertner’s presentation planted a seed in my head and I envisioned that I could create social enterprise from the start.  I approached and joined Venture Lab for guidance.

I gathered up a little courage and spoke with established stationery businesses at a the Paper Fair at the P.O.

At this point, I was overwhelmed with the lessons from Artpreneur.  My biggest personal challenge is pricing.  I avoided dealing with this topic as long as I could, until my assignments were due.  I’ve only priced about 10% of my product line.  I created new pieces of artwork to distract myself.

During the last few weeks of Artrepreneur, I spent preparing for my graduation and expo.  I needed everything – business cards,display materials and samples.  I also had a chance to share my story with the York Region Art Council board members.  Their kind words and encouragement helped me gain confidence for the graduation.


Lastly, here is my post on graduation.  I was glad to have my family with me during graduation.  It was important that I showed my girls another aspect of me.  I miss my fellows but I’m grateful for finding new ‘art squad’ friends.


Yes, I recommend Artrepreneur to anyone interested in being a professional creative, entrepreneur, etc.

After the graduation, I’ve :

  • finished reading business books
  • reorganized my studio
  • tweaked my target market
  • organized 5 Culture Days activities
  • applied to a few art fairs / shows
  • began building my online shops
  • reassess my website

The most important thing I’ve learned is to take action no matter how small or slow.  One step is better than standing still.  I’d love to hear if you found similar programs and how it has helped you grow your creative practice.

YRAC Artrepreneur Graduation

Talented and passionate members of Artrepreneur
York Region Arts Council Artrepreneur Cohort 2 Photo credit: Louis Li Photography

My thanks

Finally, I graduated from the YRAC Artrepreneur program.  I am so grateful for this program.  I learned so much and met such amazing creatives.  Thank you to everyone who joined us on our expo.

First of all, I would like to thank our teachers and advisors:

  • Samantha Rodin
  • Raphael Costa
  • Jenifer Benakis
  • David Cohen
  • Jane Gertner
  • Jason Theodor
  • Raheela Nanji
  • Eloise Pasianotto
  • Alex Karolyi
  • Brandon Vickerd
  • Eugene Jakubov
  • Sterling Dillinger

I will continue to implement your lessons and advice.

In addition, I give my  thanks to the hardworking Artrepreneur committee who created the program:

  • Robin Fribance
  • Karen Dubeau
  • Jenifer Benakis
  • Raphael Costa
  • Daniela Mazzaferro
  • Don De Los Santos
  • Samantha Rodin
  • Alex Karolyi
  • Ewa Chwojko-Srawley
  • Grazing Tonkiel
  • Jane Melrose

Why Artrepreneur

Artrepreneur is an amazing program.  I highly recommend it for  any creative undertaking any business endeavour or want to be more professional  in their practice.  My intent when I applied for Artrepreneur was to write a better business plan, meet York Region arts community, maybe find a mentor and make new friends.  I achieved those and also learned more about myself.

Receiving my Artrepreneur certificate
Photo Credit: Louis Li Photography

Takeaways from Artrepreneur

During the last 17 weeks, I actually found:

  1. Confidence
  2. Practical business skills
  3. Grit to contact potential buyers
  4. Courage to showcase my art & call myself an artist
  5. Participate in an exhibit & auction
  6. Find fans who aren’t family or friends
  7. Define my creative direction
  8. Gain clarity and take action on things I’ve been procrastinating on (hello website!)
  9. Meet future collaborators
  10. Plan and organize upcoming exhibits

In my case, Artrepreneur is not just a class.  Most importantly, it gave me confidence to take action.  After years away from practice, I felt unsure about re-entering the creative world.  During the last six years, I watched many of my peers build upon their skill-sets and experiences.  While I was busy nurturing my family, the world continued to change.  The impact of social media and the internet has dramatic implications to any practice.  Before Artrepreneur, creativity was the only thing I was confident about.

Consequently, I learned more through Artrepreneur than any online creative business courses or book.  My amazing cohorts always were open to share their life lessons and continued to push me to execute.  They appreciated the value of my work and all that I am trying to accomplish.  I was no longer alone in my studio, fighting the self doubts to create.  I now have their words, support and friendship to continue working.  Success will be the best thanks I can give to everyone.  Therefore, I’m off to work on putting my plan into action.  What I showed at the expo is just the beginning, I will continue to pursue my passions.  Thank you all for your guidance on my journey.

7 samples of Treasured Paper artisan seals and stickers
Treasured Paper artisan seals and stickers Photo credit: Louis Li Photography

My fellows

Most importantly, a shoutout to my cohorts who are truly inspirations and great examples of people pursuing their passions.

Arts Organizers / Program leaders:

Dolly Bhatia-Frolick – a motivating personal trainer and dance instructor who cares about your health and fun

Erin Howley – empowering people with substance and mental issues through art

Veronica Abrenica – kind-hearted mixed media artist focused on connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy and explore art (I.AM-intergenerational arts movement)

Visual Artists & Artisans:

Anya Mielniczek – talented mixed media artist focused on art for a cause and elevating trash into art

Caterina Liberatore – plein air watercolor & acrylic artist from soothing nature to architecture

Cindy Scaife – witty and intelligent foody and mural artist

Claudia Zloteanu – sculptor and installation artist exploring found materials and nature

Deb Reilly – bold, strong and talented potter and avid Kingcrafts promoter

Dianne Green – first nations artist who explores her roots and relationship with nature

Farrah Marie Miranda – bringing an artistic voice to various causes

Katie Argyle – talented wood-block printmaker, carver and potter creating funny and quirky affordable gifts

Patricia Roncone – mindblowing detailed painter of landscapes and portraits

Sharon Kirsh –  mixed media artist who imbues the power of verse into her meditative paintings

Stacey MacNevin – powerful, strong and vibrant mixed media artist creating tactile paintings

Terri Mittelmann – witty master glass manipulator

Tracey Paul – stylish and talented ceramic flower artist


Jamak Hadiyan – classical graphic designer and home stager

Komal Rizvi – event and interior decorator of paper flowers, and lighted mobiles

Performing Artists:

Collette Murray –  talented dancer and dance instructor promoting the authentic African / Caribbean culture

Courtney Keir – energetic and hardworking actress and performing artist

Marcus Schwan – hilarious and kind musician brings the gift of music to the elderly

Patrizia Ferlisi – highly entertaining performing artist, dance instructor and choreographer

Photographer & Filmmaker:

Karen Merk – award-winning photographer who highlights selfless individuals throughout York region / organizer of Portraits of Giving

Kyoko Yokoma – insightful filmmaker which transcends race and borders

May our paths cross again in the future.

Much love,


SOLD! Just Love auction success!

Just Love a paper painting by Elaine Joy Roach as a tribute to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting.

I just wanted to share some great news.  “Just Love” auctioned successfully at the Big Hearts Small Art event at the end of June.  I hope that the owner thoroughly enjoys my work.  Thank you for Mark and Waddingtons for organizing such a wonderful event.

I was so honoured to have been featured on the back cover of the auction catalogue.  It was definitely motivating and energizing to be appreciated.

My super talented and witty friend, Cindy Scaife captured some photos for me.  She loves food and has created amazing iconic food inspired works.  If you are looking for some contemporary art for your home, she’s got an amazing collection.

Just Love paper painting by Elaine Joy Roach on display during the Big Hearts Small Art auction.
Just Love accompanied by other wonderful artists


Just Love paper painting featured on the back cover of the auction catalogue.
Honoured to be on the back cover of the auction catalogue


Close up of the back cover with Just Love being featured.
Better look at the back cover

Photo Credits: Cindy Scaife


Making Just Love

Close up image of Just Love

Making Just Love

Close up image of Just Love
Close up of Just Love

My first attempt to capture most of my work on video.  The footage was shot in a period of one week.  Yes it takes me that long to create 49 paperclip sized feathers when my family sleeps.  It’s crazy to think I had at least 49 papers of different colours to make it.  Let me know which feather paper is your favourite!

Thanks for watching.


Watch my process:

Making of Just Love from Elaine Joy Roach on Vimeo.




Making of Courage

Paper painting of a butterfly escaping the darkness into the light by Elaine Joy Roach

Making Courage

Courage is a paper painting by Elaine Joy Roach. It depicts a butterfly escaping the darkness into the light by Elaine Joy RoachProcess

The imagery is composed from several photos which I highlight on my pinterest (@treasured_paper).  I combined several images and altered them to match my concept.  I then chose papers for their colour and texture to evoke the image on my mind.  All elements were either cut or ripped by hand.  This paper painting was built up by layers of paper similar to my painting technique.

Here is a short slideshow/video:

Making of Courage from Elaine Joy Roach on Vimeo.

See the rest of the “In My Heart” collection or browse through all of my paper painting art.