Art World Tips: Why Should You Network?

by Monika Blichar, Producer & Owner Art World Expo


A shot of the Diamond Dolls Networking Group in 2013.


When I used to think of traditional networking, I used to think of early morning breakfast meetings, serious business suit types, and 60 second pitches with those little dingers to make sure you don’t go over your allotted time to talk about your business. 6:00am is not the best time for me to tell people about what I do, let alone try to condense my passion and creativity into 60 seconds! This is likely the case for many artists and creative types. (I’m also quite a recluse, believe it or not, and dread going to large events!) Instead of forcing myself to attend early morning meetings and go out to late night events, I dedicate my time to networking in different ways.

First, I focus on who I know already. My immediate circle of contacts are invaluable to me as I have known them the longest or have already had dealings with them. Who is in your network already? As an artist or creative entrepreneur, look at who you know already and see what they can help you with. Do you need places to post content, locations to show your work, or introductions to business professionals? Ask people you already know to help you out and send you referrals or recommendations. I’ve discovered that this can be done on Facebook too and that people are quite helpful with their comments and recommendations.

Since I really enjoy working from home and my studio and rather not waste precious time driving and running around the city to events or meetings that may or may not be worthwhile, I scour my social media networks. If I am looking for specific businesses or people, I search on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I send message to people or businesses directly through these channels first, and if I really feel that there could be a good collaboration, I also proceed to send them emails. If I really think that we should meet, I call and try to book an appointment or invite them to come by our studio and gallery.

Last, what I really tried to focus on in terms of networking last year and what I will continue to do this year is fostering relationships with my existing clients and affiliates. I worked hard to stay in touch with people; either via phone or email. I invited artists to participate in other opportunities throughout the year including our first Artisan Holiday Sales Catalog and being featured at local markets in our exhibition stalls. I worked hard to create relationships that were meaningful to me and also that benefited both parties when assessing business strategies and long term goals.

This year, I challenge you to look at your networking goals and really find out what you are looking for in terms of what you want from your business and career. For me, I know that the best things in my life come from authentic relationships, concise planning and intuitive instincts. When I look at my business and my relationships, I see a network and community that I love. This, I truly believe, also helps me succeed! After all, if you aren’t doing what you love, no amount of networking will help you!

Have some thoughts about this article? We love to hear from artists in our community! Be sure to touch base with us at or comment on this post! Get in touch with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and join our conversation there too!

Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of MAB Art Studio & Boutique Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

Art World Expo-7th Annual Event May 12, 2017

January is an exciting time for us at Art World Expo. It means our annual event is just around the corner and with that, there are many preparations and planning underway! This year, our theme is ‘7 Wonders of the World’ in honor of our 7th annual event in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It has been a delight and journey creating and executing this event annually and we thought that this year, we should honor the wonder and magic of the world at the Art World.

The Classic Seven Wonders were:
  • Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
  • Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
  • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
  • Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
  • Colossus of Rhodes.
  • Lighthouse of Alexandria.


In 2001 an initiative was started by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose the New7Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments. Twenty-one finalists were announced January 1, 2006. The results were announced on July 7, 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal:

New Wonders of the World:

Great Wall of China; Since 7th century BC-China
Petra; c. 100 BC-Jordan
Christ the Redeemer; Opened October 12, 1931-Brazil
Machu Picchu; c. AD 1450-Peru
Chichen Itza; c. AD 600-Mexico
Colosseum Completed; AD 80-Italy
Taj Mahal Completed; c. AD 1648-India
Great Pyramid of Giza; (Honorary Candidate) Completed c. 2560 BC-Egypt

When we think of art and the Art World today, we must not forget the world in which we live and how it affects our culture, customs and traditions. Our goal for this year’s theme is to highlight the world’s wonders while reminding all of us that we are connected through our humanity.

We do look forward to seeing how our body paint contestants incorporate the theme of the seven wonders and also look forward to featuring international artists and designers this year.  Guests can anticipate viewing and acquiring work from artists such as painters, sculptors, designers, jewellers, and mixed media artists. There will also be live painting auctions, stage demonstrations, fashion shows, musical performances, food vendors, bars and a silent auction with proceeds to Make and Break Arts Foundation. MABAF annually supports the production costs of this event as well as helps subsidize a facility rental for arts programs, exhibitions, workshops and meetings in North Vancouver. Additional funds raised throughout the year benefit sponsoring kids arts camps as well as international opportunities for artists wishing to further their practice.

We invite you to become involved if you haven’t yet by either volunteering, donating a product to the auction, registering as a vendor, or sponsoring our event.



Looking for new ways to capture moments? Try this Mini Drone

Imagine the photos you could take with this mini drone!

Take a look here!


Artists of all kinds are recommended to try this product to develop their portfolios in a new and interesting way. Imagine how your photographs or videos would look from the top of a building downtown or above the sea. There are plenty of possibilities with this product.

The drone can be steered from the top, bottom, left, right. There are six axes that will help you with the theft anywhere! Perfect for an interesting or artistic project where you want to capture different photos. The best thing is that this product is small, we can hold it in our hand. We do not need large luggage or big bags to transport equipment as it fits in the palm of your hand! The world is in front of you with this product!

Top 3 Tips for Art Sales in 2017

By Monika Blichar 

Have you thought about what you need to do in order to prep for art sales in 2017? It’s never too early to start and we love to help artists and art dealers stay on top of their game especially in the sales department. Here are our top three tips to prepare for a successful year of art sales. 

1-Create a Monthly Calendar and Sales Plan 

Knowing your weekly and monthly goals as an artist or dealer is crucial to helping you stay on target throughout the year. We like to have a sales goal monthly and also break down our product sales goals. For example, when we have new cards or prints at our gallery, we try to find a number for sales of those products and meet them by month’s end. This can work with original pieces, accessories or even service packages and if you have staff or affiliates, can be motivating for them also -especially f you offer a sweet prize for top sales. We recommend a monthly goal sheet made in the last few days of December. Once you’re done, post each month goal in your studio and revisit each sheet at the end of the month to keep yourself and your team accountable. 

2-Partner Up 

Most artists and dealers work alone. This is hard! Who can you partner with? Can you find a local coffee shop or business and propose a month long exhibit in exchange for a commission on any sales? What about finding an intern or sales agent who would like to help by promoting your work in exchange for commissions on everything they sell? Get creative and find partners who are motivated to sell your product to help you. Two heads are always better than one! Not only will you increase your chances of sales, but you will also spread out your workload making more time for you to create! 

3-Register for Shows 

The best way to sell your work is to be part of a variety of events that are targeted to your market or demographic. Register for a variety of markets, trade shows and exhibitions throughout the year. Do your research and find out how many guests are anticipated, where they are marketing and how long the show has been running. The flip side of being in events is also being prepared. Always make sure you engage with guests, have cards and a draw to gather emails, and then follow up. Being present at the events is especially important if you are the artist because it is great way for local buyers to get to know you and gain access to you and your work. Maybe they have questions they would not otherwise ask unless they meet you in person. Perhaps they were too intimidated or too far to come to your studio to ask about a commission or buy products. Be sure to consider a sales agent at events only if you are absolutely sure they know your products inside and out and they know how to sell. As a business owner, you want to make it as easy and as pleasant as possible for customers to find, connect and buy from you. 

If you have any suggestions or ideas about you plan to do for 2017 art sales, leave a comment or send us a message! Remember to share this post with artists or dealers who could use these tips! 

Good luck in 2017 everyone! 

Holiday Shopping-Consider Our 2016 Holiday Artisan Catalog

Are you struggling to find unique gift giving ideas for the holidays this year? For many of us, shopping for the holidays has become an increasingly stressful experience. Not only is it difficult to find unique gifts, it is also a time of high pressure sales, visits to crowded malls, and driving in dreadful traffic! Where did we go wrong?


At our humble headquarters in North Vancouver, we are always on the look out for ways to help you be creative, access the arts, and have a great experience. During this holiday season, we didn’t forget about you and our team came up with something we know you will just love! We compiled an amazing array of unique items in our first ever “2016 Holiday Artisan Catalog” which will surely help you get over the holiday gift giving hump and send you ringing into the New Year as the Holiday Hero! Everything from jewellery, accessories, kids masks, cards, art, prints, beauty products, fashion and even hot sauce all made by Canadian and European artisans and designers is available for you this year! Best part is that you can browse and shop without even leaving your home!


The next deadline to order is December 10 and pick up or delivery will be available on December 15. Some fabulous gifts made with love by artists and designers who not only hope you will find pleasure in celebrating the act of giving this year, but who are also giving a portion of each sale in the catalog to Make and Break Arts Foundation. Proceeds from all sales in the catalog this year will be used to help support Art World Expo production costs. So when you order, you not only get something unique, you support an independent artist AND you help make our annual events possible. How cool is that?

We know. We are geniuses. That’s why you love us!

You can have a look at the catalog and order form HERE

Oh, and if you’re a non-profit and want to raise some funds for your cause this week, be sure to pass the catalog around your organization and contacts. We will give you 15% on all your sales to help support your non-profit too. Pretty amazing stuff!


Holiday Love from AWE!


3D CreoPen For Your Artistic Creations

by CreoPop

creopop creopop2

The life of CreoPop began over a year ago as a Indiegogo project, it now however has moved up and is on Best Buy’s retail shelves where it encourages individuals to take on a single task which is three dimensional drawing.

Being able to draw in space is a one of a kind skill. Instead of placing pencil to paper and allowing for a two dimensional line flow, that line is being drawn into that third, Z-axis. This experience can be profound and at times even profoundly disturbing. A technology the is fairly rare, at least on the level of consumers, is what CreoPop uses to make it possible to draw in 3D. A photopolymer gel and a fat pen are combined by the device and it is equipped with the UV lights who as soon as the gel exits the tip of the pen, harden it. There are other 3D pens available too.maxresdefault-1

What You Get With Your Purchase

The package costs $129.99 and includes the very fat CreoPop pen, various rubber drawing tips with nozzles of different sizes, three photopolymer ink cartridges that are blue, red and orange, a USB charging cable, you are able to run it while plugged in or off a charge.  There is no need to assemble, all you do is twist open your CreoPop pen and the cartridge slot is revealed, the protective covering is then removed from the cartridge, it is inserted in the pen, the pen is then closed, a nozzle is added to the tip that is now sticking out of the business end of your pen, and you are just about set to go.

A four inch x four inch drawing pad is smartly shipped with the CreoPop, this can be placed on any surface. This little square is where you will create all of your brilliant 3D creations, it also makes moving your 3D art when you are done much easier. Although CreoPop is fat, the controls it has are few. There is the power button, close to the tip there is the operation button and the is a plunger speed setting, one light indicates low and it can go as far as five for high. Although its girth is wide, it is pleasantly light and the pen is comfortable to hold.

Bow To Start Drawing In Space

With my personal CreoPop setup, I turned my pen on, the plunger I set at one, this is the setting for beginners, and until the three blue LEDs turned on at the tip, I help the Operation button down, I could feel and hear the plunger motor working.

Some time passed and nothing came out. Then, all of a sudden, a fairly large blog of gel came squirting out of the nozzle, the tip that I selected literally got pushed off. Eventually I learned that there is a seal on new gel packs which has to be broken by the plungers pressure before any gel is able to flow out of the nozzle.

Once I cleaned up the mess, I started again. Only this time there was a steady stream of blue gel flowing from the tip. I moved along at a slower pace allowing for the gel to become instantly hardened by the blue light as I moved along. There I was, drawing in 3D space.

To be honest, it was painstakingly slow work. I later switched to a nozzle that was wider so I could quickly draw fatter lines. Cool ink drawing is what CreoPop promises, however I noticed a smoke like substance coming from the gel as it came out of the nozzle, and from my creations I couns that at least when it came to the thick lines, it felt pretty warm when I touched it.

Although fat, the CreoPop drawing pen was not uncomfortable to hold and was pretty light. After drawing a few things, I was completely out shown by a co-worker who expertly designed a tiny Christmas tree, although small, it was quite lovely.

Although the photopolymer is almost instantly hardened by the CreoPops lights, there will always be that small last bit of gel which oozes out after you have pressed the operation button to shut off the plunger and light. There is however a solution the CreoPop offers for this, to turn on only the blue light, you can double click the Operation button, this allows for any remaining soft gel to be hardened and also makes hardening and cleaning up and gel that may have been smudged around your workspace much easier.

Supply and Demand

After having poorly drawn a miniature Eiffel tower, the tree as well as tons of mistakes which ended in quite a large amount of wasted blue gel, it seemed as if the first cartridge was empty. However when I adjusted the strength of the plunger to five, the gel once again began exiting the pen.

When you are all out of photopolymer, you are able to for only $19.99, purchase another pack that contains three drawing cartridges. However to make it last, I would suggest that you practice drawing with the thinnest photopolymer line until you are good at it. By the way, you are able to switch between color cartridges at any point to design creations that are multi-colored.

The end product from drawing 3D with a CreoPop are things that are a bit wiggly looking and although hard, are not exactly tough. When I handed my Eiffel tower to someone, she immediately broke off a part of it. The creations however are still very cool looking and I could imagine that a crafty person would easily fall in love with it. It could be the ideal present for them.

2016 Christmas Arts & Craft Fair-CALL FOR ARTISANS

We are pleased to be co-producing the first Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair in partnership with the Belweder North Shore Polish Association. The wonderful Pipe Shop Building on North Vancouver’s waterfront is our venue!



We are looking for amazing vendors to participate in the event this year on November 20! Show runs from 12-7pm and we encourage all kinds of arts and crafters to join just in time for the holiday shopping season!


A spot is $60 and includes a table and chair! If you would like to participate, please send an email to for the submission form or call 604 999 6177.