Author: monikablichar

Monika Anna Blichar was born in Latina, Italy in July, 1982. After immigrating to Canada in the early 1980’s, the family lived in Red Deer, where they bore a second daughter, and then moved west to B.C. in 1996. Monika has completed a B.A. in English and French from the University of Victoria and has also obtained a teaching credential with the B.C. College of Teachers. Primarily self taught, she has also studied art at Camosun College where she learnt various techniques and strategies in creating contemporary pieces. She continues to pursue creative projects and is exploring various professional opportunities in the arts which include body painting and events coordination. Her interests include the Humanities, writing, traveling, and being outdoors. Art has played a significant part of Monika’s life and continues to be an expression of her flowing imagination, appreciation for beauty, and a reflection of seeing beyond the obvious. Monika is currently living and working in Vancouver, B.C. She is the owner of MAB Ventures Inc., An Arts & Entertainment Agency, and is President of Make and Break Arts Foundation. Her notable projects and initiatives include founding Art World Expo, Diamond Dolls Women's Networking Group, MAB Arts Studio & Boutique Gallery and THE FAB Art Program.

Gayle Kohut takes Inspiration from LIFE

I always love to meet new artists and coordinating art shows in new cities is one way to meet a lot of artists across Canada. Today, I’ve interviewed Gayle Kohut from Didsbury, Alberta. She works in
acrylic, oils, gouache and watercolor. Her works features wildlife art, rural lifestyle and agriculture pieces. She demands attention to detail and the desire to create paintings that tell a story. Her works are sold internationally.




When did you start creating art and pursuing it as a career path?

I always have loved drawing and creating since a early age. Going to an evening art class was a treat when I was raising my family. It has taken 25 me years of art shows and sales to become known in the Art World.

What is it about creating that inspires you?

I love to tell the stories of LIFE. Whether it be wildlife, animals, nature people, or sports. My paintings show you something that you have never thought about. I farm together with my husband in the country east of Didsbury, Alberta Canada. I get most of my inspirations right in my backyard.

What are your favourite things to paint?

I love painting birds. The feathers are different on every bird. I am always changing my subject matter though. When you come to my booth at the Art World Expo in Edmonton, you will see the perfect painting made especially you for sure!

As far as a business owner of an arts company, what are your goals for your brand this year?

I have limited edition giclee prints of 50 of most of the originals. I have a brand new “Bottle Top” series that will be unveiled at the Edmonton show. I would like to have more passive income items also.

Will you have any show specials at this year’s Art World Expo in Edmonton?

I plan on having a lucky winner getting my door prize that will be in the Edmonton Art Expo. There could be specials at my booth too.

If you could do anything with your art business, no limits, what would it be?

My business is growing every year. More clients and teaching more classes, some private classes also. I would love to create even more and get more corporate customers.



Follow Gayle’s website for more information and be sure to get your tickets to the Edmonton Art World Expo today! www.gaylekohut 

Knitter Kritter at Art World Expo Edmonton

by Monika Blichar
I’ve always been interested in knitting. There’s something really special about; it brings back memories of childhood and adds a really warm touch whenever you get a pair of knitted gloves or a tuque. Today, I caught up with Kelsey Koon from The Knitter Kritter in Edmonton and chatted about her work, her inspiration and her process.
What is The Knitter Kritter?
The Knitter Kritter is kind of my business persona; I chose the name so the shop’s initials would match my own: KK. I like to think of it as the type of boutique storefront where you could find something really special and unique, knowing for sure that it was made by the person you’re buying it from. Everything I sell is handmade by me, and it is all limited-edition and one-of-a-kind! I try to rotate in a few new designs or products every few months or so, so there will always be something new and interesting on offer. I specialize in high-quality knitted accessories and embroidery art, though I am always experimenting with new techniques, new products, and new designs. I also try to use or reuse as much of my materials as possible: many of my items are made with remnants and remainders, since I just can’t bring myself to waste anything. Coming up with the perfect project for my little bits and pieces is kind of like a fun puzzle for me. I really take my tagline, “fine handmade gifts”, to heart!
What is it about creating that inspires you?
I am really inspired by seeing the item progress. I always have a picture in my head of what it will look like when it is finished, but seeing it take shape is always a magical experience. Sometimes my craft surprises me! It’s always very fulfilling to see the finished object at the end of the process, regardless of how well it matches up to that pre-imagined picture. I think anyone who has made something in their life will relate to the little warm-fuzzy feeling of accomplishment in the finished project, and no matter how many items I make, I still get that little thrill from seeing it come to life and being involved in that process.
What are your favourite things to make?
My favourite items would have to be my one-of-a-kind lacework knitted scarves. I really get a kick out of matching up the colorways of the hand-painted yarns to the intricate lace patterns I use, and seeing the color patterning complement the pattern. Blocking the lace (setting the pattern by dampening the finished product and allowing it to dry flat) is always the best part, because up until that point, it can be a little hard to get a full sense of how the finished piece will look. After blocking, though, you can really see the lacework open up and the yarn bloom and it makes the whole piece really pop!
As far as a business owner of a crafts company, what are your goals for your brand this year?
I’d really like to find some new selling venues (either in-person or online) to market my products in. It always makes me so happy to have one of my items go home with someone who loves it, and I would like to find opportunities for all of my products to connect with people who love them! I’ve also been enjoying making some more connections on social media, so I would like to continue to expand in that arena as well. Being able to spend more time on creating is also an aspiration of mine, so one goal is to set aside time to spend on crafting new, unique handmade products.
Will you have any show specials at this year’s Art World Expo in Edmonton?
I’m planning on bringing at least one surprise show-stopper for the Expo! This will be a brand new handmade product that I haven’t yet offered for sale on the shop, so the attendees at the Art World Expo will get first crack at it!
What would you tell an aspiring crafts person about starting a handmade business?
I think my biggest piece of advice would be to enjoy your process. When I started out, I was very worried about the end result of my crafting, i.e., whether or not the item would sell. But as things went on, I learned that the process of creating is really the most important thing. It’s nice if you are able to share your work with someone who appreciates it, but ultimately, your art and your process is a reflection of you, and it’s important to love that as well. Enjoy seeing your work take shape as you make it!

Edmonton-here we come!

Did you know that ART WORLD EXPO 2019-Edmonton Official Page is coming up on March 15, 2019? This will be our second production in Edmonton with Art World and this year is set to be amazing! The talent in Alberta is amazing!


We have tickets available here:

Vendor applications here:

Be an affiliate, sell tickets and make extra money! Sign up here:

In addition, if you are an Alberta business owner, we would love to get you involved as a sponsor! Auction item donation and sponsorship opportunities in exchange for marketing at the event or on social media are all options. Do you have a store in Edmonton, a business or a service you would like to promote to our guests, vendors and followers? Send us a message if you’re interested or if you have a recommendation of someone we should connect to! Check out:

Art World presents Two Carrots Studio

by Monika Blichar

5D00D46B-A3B0-4D8A-B96B-2924DF8D947C - Carrie Carbol-Ritcey (1).jpgIt’s always interesting to see new artists come to our Art World Expo family and when I saw Carrie Carbol-Ritcey work come through our submission, I was not only thrilled but really interested in what she is doing because she is really invested in her work and business. Not only is she a talented metalsmith, she is also teaching, exhibiting, partnering up with local merchants in her area and continually learning about her craft by pursuing higher education in her industry. She is really doing it all. I caught up with her today and here’s what she had to say about her work, inspiration and goals for her company Two Carrots Studio.

You are an accomplished designer and metalsmith. When did you know you wanted to pursue design as a career?

I’ve always been involved in the arts. Music, creative writing, mixed media collage, building, sewing, I am incredibly lucky to have a family that has always supported my artistic pursuits, whatever they might be. I had a conventional job for a long time, but my years in the corporate world left me wanting to do more. One silversmithing course led to another and another and I realized I had found my passion. My favourite line from my artist’s bio reads: I find silversmithing to be the perfect combination of right and left brain thinking: art and science, engineering and physics and just a little bit of alchemy that results in beautiful and accessible pieces of wearable art. That’s why I do what I do.

What inspires you when you create new pieces?

I always have a sketchbook with me, and have been known to rummage in my bag for something to sketch on while at the movie theatre! I find inspiration everywhere, in architecture, nature, books and music. My Stick Flower line was and is inspired by the
artwork of my youngest daughter. Kids draw the most fantastic things, in bold lines and vibrant colours. She’s been drawing amazing stick people lately, with impossibly long limbs and giant cartoon hands. I just love them, and one of them is going to have to become part of a piece soon. My oldest daughter is an artist, and I proudly frame and display her pieces around our house. I get inspiration from just watching her create, and I will support her Arts passion just like my parents did for me.

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Do you have a favourite piece you have made?

Usually my newest piece is my favourite! I love to tell my customers that my rings all come in ‘not my size’ or I would have to keep them all!

I think my current favourite is the piece I made in a week long workshop at the Red Deer College Series Summer Arts program last year. ACAD’s Linda Chow was my instructor and I learned so much that week! The piece is a two sided pendant featuring a huge labradorite stone with a hand fabricated water lily and carved lily pads on the front and back of the piece. Linda taught us that ‘sculpture has no front or back’ and to reflect that in our work when creating a sculptural piece of jewelry.

Another favourite would be the copper poppies seen in my logo. Like a lot of my projects, these started out as a simple idea on paper, probably a bit out of my current skill set. I love a challenge, and making the poppies pushed me to learn several new techniques. The first set was a gift for my amazing mom. After that, I made several more sets and still carry them as part of my line.

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You teach a variety of workshops in the area. Can you tell us more about any upcoming workshops you are hosting?

I am lucky to be part of the group of instructors at Bedrock Supply. I learned a lot of my skills in the Bedrock studio, and I am thrilled to be part of the teaching team. I have two classes left in my winter schedule. Both classes give students a chance to work with metals, learn about tools and gain some foundation techniques in metalsmithing. On March 22 I’m teaching a simple silver band ring class, and on April 2 I am teaching a roll printed earring class. I’ll have examples of both at the Art Expo show-come see me to learn more about the classes and the pieces we will be creating!

What are your goals for your business in the coming year?

I have a few things in the works. I just finished up a Valentine’s Day collaboration with the amazing local chocolatier Colleen Heidecker, and would love to do that again. I am working at making as much of the behind the scenes work as streamlined and automated as I can. The business of being a maker and an artist isn’t as fun as the creating!

There is nothing I would like more than to be a silversmith 100% of the time. Right now I’m balancing small scale production work with the creative pieces I love to do. Selling the ‘bread and butter’ pieces frees up time to create the really fun stuff, and also pays
the bills. Professionally I’m always looking to learn more about the craft. I’m headed back to Red Deer College Series Summer Arts in July. Being surrounded by artists and makers in the fantastic studio spaces at RDC is the best way to spend my summer vacation. In 2020 I plan to travel to Washington State to immerse myself in a week long workshop with one of my favourite silversmiths, Nicole Ringgold.
Will you have any show specials for Art World Expo guests at the show this year?

I just might! People will need to come see the Expo to find out!

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To learn more about Carrie and Two Carrots Studio, visit her website If you haven’t bought your ticket to the show yet, you can do so HERE.

Follow Two Carrots Studio on Social Media:


Decadent Delights will Delight Again at Art World Expo Edmonton

by Monika Blichar

If you have a sweetooth, you’ll be pleased to learn that Decadent Delights will be attending Art World Expo in Edmonton again this year on March 15, 2019 at the Muttart Conservatory. I caught up with Hasna the owner and here’s what she had to say about her company, the last year and what to expect at the show this March.


You’re coming back for another event with Art World Expo in Edmonton. What have you been up to since last year with your dessert business? 
First and foremost  I am very excited to be back for another year with the Art World Expo !
The year has definitely passed by quick , Decadent Delights is growing and the dream is to have a business shop open in the near future. I am of Lebanese heritage, I so I have been introducing more Mediterranean desserts which have been a huge hit! We also are making more vegan friendly desserts and took a tour in Paris as well as visited the south of France. What an amazing trip I must say, to visit some famous pastry chefs and get inspired! Bringing a little bit of France to YEG!
What did you enjoy most about last year’s event? 
The Body painting was excellent!  It was a great turn out, a lot of wonderful talent, meeting new faces, and all the creativity.
What kinds of desserts will you be making this year and will you have any specials for guests? 
Definitely going to have a vegan friendly option, some of our famous cookies and repeat of last year’s tarts since they were a big hit!  I will be making a new forms or cupcake minis which are super cute and elegant. I don’t want to spoil too much 😉 but you don’t want to miss out on these!!!!
What are your goals for the next year with your business? 
The goal is to set up contracts with a few cafés who are interested in selling our products .
IMG_20181103_1744109 - Hasna Lessard
Do you have any tips for dessert makers who are starting out?   
Baking is a form of art, imagine it, then act on it. Start with making a cookbook with various recipes, looking at others’ work,  get inspired,(watching bake shows was one of my forms of inspiration! If this is something you truly want to do- there has to be passion! Keep working on your goals get excited about them and it will always be a positive turn out! Sometimes we fail but that’s just because we need to know what didn’t work and try something else, create creativity!
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Learn more about Decadent Delights on their INSTAGRAM account. Be sure to get your tickets to the show this year HERE. 

Cassie Zaccardo

by Hannah Johnson

When it comes to defining your art style and making a name for yourself, there are very few artists who have such a unique set of styles and stand out qualities in their art. Cassie Zaccardo is an artist who has built up a new and reputation for herself over the years due to her unique style and ability to move from medium to medium to ensure the best possible final result for the type of piece she is working on.

Most artists will usually work within one medium, say pencil, acrylic, charcoal etc, whereas Cassie works within all mediums across different types of projects at the same time. This brings a pop to her work that is hard to emulate and provides Cassie with an approach to her work that captures the true energy and artistic creativity of all of her pieces.

While working on her own personal work, Cassie also takes on commission pieces for anyone looking for custom portraits, pet portraits, abstract pieces and much more. There is a growing demand of portraits of family member’s and pets that people really want to capture in a creative and fun way, which is why Cassie is such an in demand painter and artist, her style really resonates with people and manages to capture their true emotions and love for the one that is getting immortalized in a painting or drawing.

If you would like to find out more about Cassie Zaccardo and her breathtaking art, you can visit her website or alternatively you can follow her Instagram account and be kept up to date with all the projects and art that she is working on.

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Early Bird Vendor Applications for Christmas Fairs in 2019

We are excited to be producing Christmas Fairs and want to thank each of you who participate in our events each year! Registration for the 2019 Christmas Fairs is now open!

As a perk, vendors who register before December 31 will receive $15 off their participation fee. If you’re an artist, local vendor or business person, we want to see you at our events next year! All types of vendors are welcome at our event and we encourage artisan products, young entrepreneurs and local businesses to participate. Fill in the registration form here:

Get the discount here:!/ART-WORLD-EXPO-CHRISTMAS-FAIR-2018-EARLY-BIRD-Vancouver-or-Victoria/p/98231727/category=0

See you in the 2019 Christmas Fairs!

If you have questions about the vendor form, please call 604 999 6177.

Interview with Nature and Wildlife Photographer GovindVijayakumar

Snow_Leopard2_Govind-Vijayakumar.jpgThere are different types of photography and wildlife photography is one of the genres amongst them. Today, let us meet GovindVijayakumar, a wildlife photographer based in India. He is also the owner of PhotographyAxis, through which he shares his photos, tips, and tutorials on photography. His photography works got published in many renowned magazines and books.

When did you get interested in Wildlife Photography?

I started developing an interest in photography after completing my graduation. I have completed my graduation in Electronics and Communication. I bought my first DSLR camera after getting into my first job as an Electronic Design Engineer. It was my initial days of photography, and my interest was on Architecture and people photography. I managed to learn more about photography within one year. Later, I became more interested in Nature. So, I slowly switched to Nature and Wildlife photography. For me, “Photography is All about Light and Colors.” I am doing Nature and Wildlife photography for the past seven years.

Can you share some of your best wildlife experiences?

I had lots of good experience in wildlife. I would share a couple of my wildlife experiences. Recently, I had been to Papua New Guinea, which is known for the extraordinary Birds of Paradise. It was like a dream come true to see these beautiful birds. I was lucky to see the courtship display of the male Raggiana bird of Paradise. I am still getting goosebumps when I tell this. I managed to see around 10 Birds of paradise species.

Photographing the Snow leopard was another best experience in my wildlife career. It was the toughest of my wildlife trips at an altitude above 12,500 feet in bone-chilling weather. The terrain was tough. I managed to get some good snaps of Snow leopard in a close range. The male snow leopard, which I sighted was sitting on top of a kill.

What is your Photography advice to Amateur Photographers?

The most important quality required for a good wildlife photographer is patience. You need to be patient enough to wait for the action to happen. You don’t need costly equipment to get your best shots. You need to know your camera correctly. So, understand the strength and weakness of your camera and use it accordingly.

The best natural light for photography is during Sunset and Sunrise. You can get the best shots during this time. Photography is 80 percent capturing the scene in the camera, and 20 percent in post-processing. Don’t think post-processing as a high-end photo editing skill. It is just a basic photo retouching which involves necessary color correction, exposure adjustment, and image sharpening. To be a successful photographer, you need to have a good portfolio of your works.

If you are new into photography or if you want to improve your photography skills then it is worth checking out his photos and photography tips.

GovindVijayakumar’s Website:


Joan Reese Photographs-New York City Artist

MUSEUM QUALITY PRINTS OF JOAN REESE’S Photographs are available!
Joan Reese is a popular New York City artist and photographer. Ms. Reese’s new collection of photographs capture the energy of the city she loves the most; New York. She feels sitting in an outdoor East Village Cafe, watching the colorful people walk by is as interesting as going to the movies. Ms. Reese’s camera captures
“Coincidental Portraits, Travel, and Street Photography.” She has been creating art and photographs for many years, she has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. She has taught art and studied Chinese painting with a master painter in New York’s Chinatown. Fine Arts America produces Museum quality reproductions of her paintings and photographs on Canvas prints, framed prints, throw pillows, duvet covers, tote bags, shower curtains and household items.

Follow Joan Reese’s blog, “New York City Artist.” Each week you will receive a positive inspirational quote with a beautiful image to brighten up your week! Miss Reese’s blog is great for anyone that wants to know everything about New York’s entertainment scene, fine dining and the arts. A real plus: Ms. Reese shares her cost saving tips when visiting New York City.

HERBERT SIM “Adam & Eve: The Fall of Man”

by Francine Jansen

A digital illustration work entitled “Adam & Eve: The Fall of Man” by Herbert R. Sim, was seen making waves across photo and video-sharing social networking service – Instagram, amassing thousands of engagements, shares, likes and comments.
The illustration itself showcased the one of the most important stories in the Bible, or rather among the first stories in the first book ‘Genesis’ of the Bible – The story of ‘Adam and Eve’, being tempted by the serpent; and the orgin of mankind.
This illustration however is different from the hundreds if not thousands of other such artworks out there in the world. The artist himself had an unconventional theory, that the serpent which tempted the first humans Adam and Eve, had legs! And the serpent was drawn dragon-like, that similar to a Chinese dragon, but with a typical western dragon look
ing face, that similar to Game of Thrones’ dragons.
The Serpent is seen entwined around thetrunk of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”; who in the story itself tempted Eve to eat the fruit from the tree, who shared the fruit together with Adam.
Even more intriguing was the main characters were made to resemble that of famous celebrity couple, Ryan Reynolds, starring as Adam; and Blake Lively starring as Eve. And their naked bodies were perfectly sculptured in the illustration.
The artist, Herbert Rafael Sim, is a digital illustrator, writer, and philanthropist, entrepreneur, investor. Some might even know him as ‘The Bitcoin Man“.