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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the end of it all, this is what my station looked like.
A photo posted by Elaine Joy Roach (@treasuredpaper) on
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
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.
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:
I’ll be participating in at least one fair/show from September to January. I’m awaiting for confirmations on the later ones.
Come 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.
3. 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.
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.
Feeling excited for #artrepreneur 2016! Acceptance letter received – my life changes every time I get one. Thanks for having me!
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.
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.
Grateful for the chance to share my Artrepreneur story tonight at Aurora’s cultural center with… https://t.co/YhqF7aYzXs
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.
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.
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:
I will continue to implement your lessons and advice.
In addition, I give my thanks to the hardworking Artrepreneur committee who created the program:
Don De Los Santos
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.
Takeaways from Artrepreneur
During the last 17 weeks, I actually found:
Practical business skills
Grit to contact potential buyers
Courage to showcase my art & call myself an artist
Participate in an exhibit & auction
Find fans who aren’t family or friends
Define my creative direction
Gain clarity and take action on things I’ve been procrastinating on (hello website!)
Meet future collaborators
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.
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
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.
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!
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.