art news

Interview with Edmonton Artist Danyella Axani

by Monika Blichar
One of my favourite kinds of art is POP ART. It allows us to step into all things popular in our culture but also into new interpretations of them. What I love about POP ART is that it is bold, colorful, and full of life. I’ve been long inpsired by Warhol and Lichtenstein and can still remember the first time I saw a real Lichtenstein in person at the Seattle Art Museum. For me, POP ART says a lot about our current reality and as with any good art, it also moves you and inspires you to think about the message behind the work. 
Today, I caught up with Danyella Axani who attracted me to her work because she is using cultural phenomenons in her work to develop her style and platform. Her work as an illustrator and designer have proven to showcase talent and amusement but also depict pop culture and intertwine what is concrete and imaginary within her work. Ultimately, she allows the viewer to distinguish reality and imagination.  
 
1-When did you start making art? 
 
As far back as I can remember I have always had a need to create, draw or paint pictures. The need to be creative is such a large part of who I am. I have always loved drawing people. It is one childhood comfort I never out grew, like a ratty old comfort blanket, no one quite understands why this makes me happy. Never the less, it is a part of who I am and I will never let it go.  GWTW5x7 - Danyella Axani.jpg
2-You are obviously inspired by fairy tales and well known characters from stories and movies. Is there a reason you have such an affinity for this subject matter? 
 
What can I say…I’m a bit of a fan girl,  I love watching movies and briefly escaping into another world, identifying with the heroine. I also love steampunk fashion. I wanted my princesses to show strength, sassiness and confidence, so I thought Steampunk inspired princesses would be the way to go. 
3-What kinds of work will you have at the Art World Expo? 
I will be showing my series of Illustrated steampunk inspired fairy tale princess available in prints, stickers, bookmarks and buttons. I will also be showing my acrylic paintings.    Jasmine
4-What is your favourite thing about being a visual artist? 
 
There are two favourite things actually…I love seeing the joy it brings to the people around me. The recognition of someone’s face lighting up because they like something that I have created is amazing. Secondly, I love the inspiration I get from other artists. I can spend all day at Galleries, Art/craft expos and see all the amazing talent that flows out of people and talk to the artists about their technique and what inspires them. Repunzel
5-Where do you want to see your art business in five years time? 
 
Time will tell. All I know is I will continue to share my art with the world around me. 
 
6-Just for fun: What character would you be if you had to choose one? 
 
Princess Jasmine for sure. Having a pet tiger as your confidant, going on a trip around the world with your true love…not to mention being friends with Genie. That would be pretty fun.
For more information about Danyella, please visit www.danyellaaxani.com

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Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & 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.

Interview with Edmonton Artist Nitasha Costa

by Monika Blichar

Every so often, I find myself contemplating other realms, parrellel worlds and questionning what happens in the afterlife. What does it all mean really? Do dreams tell us something? Are there aliens or angels? What happens after we die? I’m sure many of us think about many of these mysteries-sometimes being drawn into Netflix series, fantasy novels or even stories our friends or family swear are true.

Today’s interview is with Nitasha Costa, also known as L0velydoodles. Her work forces her audience to analyze those very questions we all ask ourselves and close friends and family about what’s out there. Through her work, she inspires playful thoughts about the universe while being deeply rooted in the questions that lie inside all of us. Here’s what she had to say about her work, imagination, and stepping into other worlds.

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1-What is your style? You say that you are a surreal automatist?

My style is quite abstract fantasy in nature. I would say that it is the closest to Surreal Automatism because my drawings have no intention other than allowing my imagination to wander. Surreal Automatism is when the artists suppresses the conscious mind allowing an artist’s unconscious mind to connect to its own imagination and creativity. When I allow my mind to be still and focus on the lines and curves of drawing it displays creatures, alternate realms, and emotions. Through this process, I find myself often looking at my drawings with curiosity.

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2-When did you start creating the female alien that is represented in your work?
The female character in the drawings became visual once I became more intensively invested into creating art. When she is present in the artwork it gives the art a more emotional feeling that individuals can connect to. I was unconsciously immersing myself into the realms, creatures, feelings and connecting in some fashion. I have only recently discovered that I created this female as an extension of myself. She was never pre meditated or planned, but I find myself drawing her in more and more pieces. I believe that she is a symbol of how our minds are able to create monsters, situations and certainties that we subconsciously make to exist in our current reality.
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3-What can guests expect to see at your exhibition? Will you have show specials or contests?

I have multiple prints of my artwork framed and ready to go. The collection I am showcasing will be a mixture of 2017 drawings and some new 2018 drawings. I have approximately 20 pieces I will be showcasing. On top of that, I always have a draw that allows guests to have a chance at winning a free print in frame of my choosing, so stop by the booth and ENTER! I always love receiving feedback and insight it when people give me their interpretations of the art I draw. I believe that all artists enjoy this aspect of showcasing their artwork.

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4-You say you are inspired by mythology and fantasy. Do you have a favourite tale? If so, what is the summary?

I am inspired by fantasy and mythology as it has been a gateway for individuals for years upon years in many cultures. Fantasy is a big hit in the gaming world, children’s books, artists, even in movies for all age groups. It is quite a large genre and can be found absolutely everywhere. In mythology there are often warriors and gods that take on tribulations that cause for the hero’s journey. Engaging in struggles with their environment, grotesque beings, the unknown, the known, temptation, and rebirth and life choices. I find that my artwork portrays this same idea, that all of us as individuals are on a journey that engages us on becoming our true powerful selves. My art is always fun, intriguing, unsettling and sensual to look at.

5-Where would you like to see your art business in the next five years? 26731192_1700187926710833_6544827843501329406_n - Nitasha Costa.jpg

In the next five years I would love to see my artwork on the walls of homes, businesses and high traffic buildings. The intention of my artwork is to make peoples imagination wander and go on adventures. My artwork being displayed in places where the everyday hussle and bussle is present would be ideal for the purpose of my art. I want people to look at my artwork and immerse themselves into imagination, everyone needs imagination and I feel my artwork opens that door. In that moment you become absorbed by the odd but lovely story, pondering and feeling the influences the drawing imprint.

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6-Just for fun: You are inspired by other realms and the possibility of other life forms. If you had the choice, would you leave this world to go live in another? What would that world look like?

 

For Fun, if I had a choice to leave this existence and travel to the next freely, yes, I would. I often find myself with my head in the clouds, imagining these foreign places and startling forms that I create. I truly do wish that I could physically immerse myself into my drawings, I think it would be incredible to experience. I do find myself having to ground myself, taking notice to what is currently and physically in front of me. I am not in that realm, but I can visit it unconsciously every once and awhile when I begin to draw.

To learn more about Nitasha’s work, visit her Facebook Page where you are sure to find inspiration, imagination and an opportunity to step into another world. Be sure to get your ticket to the March 16 Art World Expo Edmonton event at the Muttart Conservatory today!

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Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & 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.

5 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Art Sales

by Monika Blichar

Let’s face it-the world of painting and sitting back while an agent or gallery sells your art is over! With a large majority of galleries making the move to online sales and closing art houses, it is more important now than ever to become your own art agent and invest in your own sales and marketing strategies. Here are 5 things you can do to boost your art sales! If you enjoy or find these useful, please share and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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My exhibit at Art World Expo 2017 at Science World. I participate in about 15-20 exhibitions, markets, fairs, and trade shows annually.

1-Professional Branding

This means that you avoid slapping handwritten price tags on art that you want more than a few dollars for and you invest in proper branding! Logo, website, business cards, pamphlets, a portfolio and investing time into social media marketing with your branding. There is nothing worse than seeing gorgeous work without a price (or a handwritten scribble as a tag) out there! Serious collectors and buyers want to see you have taken the time to invest in proper branding and are representing yourself as a professional artist and business owner.

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My new logo for 2018! I have decided to do an entire overhaul for my own brand.

2-Instagram

Instagram is one of the most powerful tools for artists today. When posting, remember to post photos related to your brand-works of art in progress, completed works for sale with prices, art exhibitions, art sales and any contests or awards that you may have won. Instgram is a wonderful place to create your visual portfolio where collectors and buyers can see your work without distractions.  Be sure to remember to comment and connect with people on Instagram, the more you chat with people, the better your chances of building relationships and finding buyers.

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Instagram also does great things like “Best Nine” where you can see which of your photos were the most popular in any given year.

3-Exhibit Your Work

If you haven’t done a show in a while-it’s time! (I recommend at least one show per quarter but of course, if you can manage more-then do it!) The more you are out with your work, the more your brand will be recognized, the more people you will meet and in turn, the more people will think of buying from your or asking for your assistance when they are looking for something. I also recommend opening your studio at peak times in the calendar year including Christmas as well as for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day Shopping events.

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My paintings and mixed media work as part of a display for a Fashion Show by Blushing Boutique in 2011.

4-Collaborate with Others

For some artists, this seems counter-intuitive. Why would I want to partner with my competition? Well-you don’t partner with someone who makes exactly what you do-you partner with someone who is different! Collaborate with another artisan and promote a special offer online. Find a business to work with and create a special. The possibilities are endless!

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A night to raise awareness for BC Salmon with artists and designers at Sheila Wong Fashion Studio in Vancouver, BC. This opportunity allowed me to work with Jay Peachy and acclaimed artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Collaborations like this have given me great networking opportunities but also life long friends in the arts industry.

5-Start Writing!

This is one of the biggest tools I have learned that helps business in a lot of ways! My recommendation is to first start a blog, offer resources, share ideas, vlogs, and interview artists or business people you admire. Second, create a newsletter and build your mailing list. Third, create a worksheet, EBook, or course about your industry or specific type of art you are making. Last, write for other publications. All of this will help boost your authority in your industry and  connect directly to fans, buyers and clients.

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“You’re Going to Make It-A Creativity Workbook to Help You Make Your Best Art!” was a creativity workbook that I created in 2016 to help my students. It has since sold almost 300 copies and has enabled me to generate passive and ongoing income from a piece of work that I created one time. Buy yours here: HERE

As with anything in business and life, your success depends on yourself. No one is going to do the work for you even if you pay someone! Today’s world is so limitless in possibilities for expansion, marketing, and overall success with the tools that we are given that it is so easy to get yourself out there! Never before have we had this option-what will you do with this possibility? I challenge you to take up your goals this year and kick it up a notch.

“Fortune comes to those who are prepared to work for it.”  

 

Monika Blichar, B.A. & B.C.C.T. University of Victoria

CEO & Founder-MAB Ventures Inc. An Arts & Entertainment Agency

MAB Art Studio & Boutique Gallery

Art World Expo-Vancouver, Edmonton & Toronto

www.monikablichar.com www.mabartstudio.com www.theartworldexpo.com

 

 

 

 

 

ART WORLD EXPO-CALL FOR ARTISTS-VANCOUVER, TORONTO, & EDMONTON

CALL FOR ARTISTS!

We are excited for another installment of Art World Expo in our home base of Vancouver but also two events in Toronto and Edmonton in 2017 and 2018! We are looking for artists who want to be part of the action and showcase their work, products, services and talent!

Sign up today! 

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Vendor Tips: Sell Your Art

by Monika Blichar, Art World Expo Owner and Producer

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Selling art can be tricky. I mean, lets be honest about buying art. It isn’t a necessity like food or shelter nor can it improve your employment skills via education or training. Investing in art doesn’t bring you a fancy certificate for a future job position, nor does it help you do your job better because its settings has better apps than your last device. It can’t help you put gas in your car or buy new running shoes for your kids, nor can it help you get dog food for your puppy. So, what is the motivation for people to buy art and how can you sell your art regularly despite these drawbacks?

Have a look at these vendor tips; be sure to send me your ideas and I might just post them in my next blog with credits to you-website and photos included of your art too!

1-Market to a Specific Audience

Whether you make wood sculptures or plaster casts is irrelevant. Who you are marketing to is what is important. Afterall, if you are targeting college or university students just because you’re currently in college or university, it may work for bumper sticker art, cards or prints, but once you decide you don’t want to sell 500 items at $5, your chances of selling a piece at even $100 to a student is slim. Before you continue your marketing today, think about who your audience is and then find ways to reach that audience.

2-Social Media

I harp on artists all the time about using social media to promote their art. What other free tools are there? Social media is definitely the number one tool to reach the maximum number of people for no monetary investment. Artists in our events will promote their work and use our #artworldexpo hashtag; you’re more than welcome to use it too and we’ll share and retweet your art. That’s the beauty of it really-you can reach so many people and if you use good hashtags, others will share your work too. Be sure to comment, like, and share other people’s posts, images and content in order to spread the love! In terms of social media, whatever you put in, you’ll get back.

3-Follow Up

Many artists sign up for markets, events, and trade shows; preparing everything correctly including draw boxes for contests, email marketing newsletter campaigns, and then; fail to follow up for numerous reasons. Whether you didn’t do as well as you thought at your event sales wise or you just didn’t get the number of people through your booth as you though, the biggest waste of time after an event is that you didn’t follow up with people you met or who entered your draw box. That is where the REAL fortune is. Adding people to your mailing list, inviting them to your Facebook Page, or keeping them in the loop for your next event is the KEY to creating relationships that will help you grow your business and sell more art.

I always love to try new things when selling art. I diversify my work and my workload; making adjustments all the time. What worked two months or two years ago, might not work today. The important thing is that you always experiment with your sales strategies and sales goals with the knowledge that there is something for everyone and someone out there is looking for exactly what you have.

If you liked these tips, be sure to SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER to get more tips like these plus special offers, industry news and notifications about our latest events and projects on a regular basis. Be sure to share these tips and send us your ideas for your chance to be featured in our next post! Email us at artists@theartworldexpo.com

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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.

 

Feature AWE Artist at MAB Art Studio-Marilyn McKee

by Monika Blichar, Owner and Producer Art World Expo

I first met Marilyn Mckee in 2010 when producing the first of a series of events; now known as Art World Expo produced in Vancouver and Toronto. Drawn to her talent in jewellery making back then, I knew that she was a treasure and kept my eyes on her.  I think back to all those phone calls I made to check in over the years and wonder at how she could stand me asking about her art and progress. I wasn’t a customer after all; just an agent and promoter keeping tabs on her. Through my eyes, I knew that she was something special.  I am really pleased that I kept in touch as today, she is the first feature artist of 2016 in my studio and gallery in North Vancouver.

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If you haven’t met Marilyn, I will tell you that behind the stunning pieces is a truly wonderful woman who is not only a talented artist but an accomplished professional, mother and community member. Marilyn McKee is a member of the Tsit Gitanee (Eagle) clan of the Haida Nation, whose roots are from the islands of Haida Gwaii; world famous for its natural beauty and talented artists. Aside from creating, Marilyn is an active mother and grandmother and contributes to the community regularly. She is currently the President of Raycam Community Centre; the only community center in the Lower Mainland to offer free programs for kids and adults. She has been with the organization for over 10 years and has done everything from leading art projects to sewing 50 Halloween costumes.

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Since a child, Marilyn has always had an artistic ability. Even when asking her about her work and photographing her for this article, her childlike joy and wonder shine through in her smile and in the way she talks about her work. She is at ease with her imagination and an innocence about her talent has stayed within her spirit. She is inspired by traditional stories and moulds them into her art with a modern twist, incorporating Celtic design, Fairies and mermaids amongst more traditional Northwest Coast elements. Her most popular are the Fairies; which are breathtaking in both jewellery and paintings to say the least.

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As an artist myself, I feel privileged to have seen her art evolve into an array of beautiful works ranging from jewellery, drums, and paintings. I look forward to sharing our space with her essence this month; not only because of the beauty of the works but also to see an another artist’s work through my eyes and through those of our visitors.

Unafraid and experimental with her work, MAB Art Studio & Boutique Gallery is pleased to have Marilyn McKee as the January 2016 feature artist. Her use of many unconventional methods in her artwork result in a fresh look at the knowledge and richness her Haida culture.

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For more information, please visit Mab Art Studio 

All pieces featured are listed in the Facebook.

 

Thank you to our sponsors BLUSH Vancouver Magzine and Twin Peaks Construction.

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