artworldexpo

Ryan McGee-Weird Art & Lowbrow Charm

by Monika Blichar

I have long admired artists who push boundaries and when selecting artists to participate in our events, I always strive to reach artists who are different, fresh and new in their work. When I came across Ryan McGee’s work, I noticed something ‘je ne sais’ quoi about it. It’s dark but delightful. It’s strange and sublime. He examines life through a distorted lens. I loved it the moment I saw it and knew that we had to feature him in our Toronto event on November 17. I caught up with Ryan to ask him about his art. Enjoy!

 

1-When did you start making art?

I can’t pin point exactly when I started making art, for me it was something that just had to happen, I always had a need to express myself visually. When I was younger this took the form of drawing on walls and filling up sketchbooks with crude doodles. It wasn’t until my time in College that I started to really to think critically about what my art was, and what I wanted to put out into the world.

2-What inspires you to create?

I have always had a very strong interest in the weird, and this fuels me in everything I create. I pull from everything that strikes a cord with me on a personal level, and things that capture the underground culture I love. I often find myself collecting outdated horror and sci-fi comics, saving images of early surfer, and hot rod culture, and tuning in to a new band that connect with me. All of these elements get archived in somewhat of a nexus of inspiration for me to draw from.


3-How do you think art can change society?

I believe that art is extensive, and reaches just about everyone through various outlets. In my case I always wanted to create art but I never truly felt comfortable in the fine art culture, so I sought out sub art groups to get into. I think that’s the truly amazing thing about art is that there really is something out there for everyone to connect with. There will always be a steady flow of talented people who want to create, and express themselves. As long as art continues to have various outlets for these people to grow creatively then there will always be potential to change society by pushing new ideas, and concepts through their works.

4-Do you try to convey messages through your illustrations?

There is a certain charm I believe in lowbrow art, and this is something a try and capture in my pieces. I like to play with the imagination of the viewer through my strange, and sometimes-goofy pieces, I think this connects with the onlooker reminding them that art can fun. If my work has any type of message I would say it’s for people to take a step back, and not take themselves so seriously.


5-Where do you see yourself in your art business in the next five years?

I would love to have really established myself at least within the Toronto art community in the coming years. My dream would be to sustain myself entirely on my art, and that is something that I am really working on accomplishing. I think it is important especially for artists to set goals set for themselves and their art, and to always be striving to grow creatively, and professionally.

6-What kinds of works will you have for sale at Art World Toronto? Will you be offering attendees any show specials?

I will have a variety of pieces available for sale at Art World Toronto from patches to stickers to prints. In terms of special offers I really value meeting, and networking with new people at these events. Chances are if you come and say hi you’ll end up with a discount on some pieces, or maybe some stickers for free.

To order tickets to the Toronto Art World Expo, please visit This Link

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Surf Art? Yes Please! 

By Monika Blichar 

I always love meeting new artists and sharing them in our network. This time, I catch up with Lindsay who has a daring sense of adventure in her art and life! 


Lindsay graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Television Film and New Media then proceeded to get her MAED at University of Phoenix. Lindsay is from the Hollywood area where she worked at DreamWorks as well as other film companies and eventually took on her own clients. Some clients include Marriott, US Hanger Company, Hilton, San Diego Rescue Mission, Pussers and many more!

“My work is shows the compliments of coastal living and the carefree lifestyle of surfing. I like to do work with passion that shows the beauty of the sport of surfing becoming one with nature. I like to show how creative nature’s beauty can be. I live outside of the DC area and was born and raised in southern California which I am constantly coming back to. I create ocean art, accessories and jewelry. www.BlueFusionSurfArt.com Paradise Found is a favorite spot in Kauai.” 

Outdoor Canvas Art

Outdoor Canvas Art is an easy way to add colour! 
For a quick and easy way to spruce up your yard or garden, consider adding canvas art to your outdoor space. The opportunities are nearly limitless, and you’ll be able to take advantage of a huge wealth of designs available. And, with printed artwork, you’ll find you can add a personal touch. Give visitors an impression of your own style, and compliment the design and aesthetic of your home with a tasteful assortment of hung and mounted pictures.

Learn more HERE

Being a Pirate and a Gypsy

By Monika Blichar 

When it comes to daydreaming and thinking up creative ideas, most artists can say that deep down, that’s all they ever really want to do. Being an artist is often like being a pirate and a gypsy; searching for that golden idea while striving to keep it secret until it is time to unveil. 

I caught up with Paula Godden owner and designer at The Pirate and the Gypsy and asked her to give us a few insights into her world of wonder. 


1-A lot of your inspiration to create a company came from your travels as a young girl. Do you have a favourite place that you have visited? 
Jerusalem, a place so rich in history and culture. As a young girl, I was wide eyed with wonder walking through the streets of the old city, visiting historic churches and sites, places I had heard about in stories and later read about in books. The lush greenery of the Mount of Olives, the beautiful beaches, floating on the Dead Sea, touching the spot where the Star of Bethlehem landed when it fell from the sky. The market places were always so filled with color and the hustle of merchants with their beautiful art work and jewelry. It was magical, like fantasy had come to life, especially after watching movies like Indiana Jones which romanticized the Middle East with all its natural treasures and mysteries. My imagination ran wild and it was at that time my writings and drawings really began to develop.

2-Is anyone else in your family creative? 
Yes, I have a lot of creative family members but the person that stands out the most for me is my Father, he was an amazing artist. I remember when I was little I would watch him, I was mesmerized by his drawings. I would constantly be bugging him to draw things for me and then as I got older he was the one I would go to when I wasn’t sure on how to draw something. He really helped me develop and hone my artistic skills.
3-Your work is made from many natural materials and stones. What is your favourite material to work with? 
I love working with all metals and stones but if I had to choose one of each I would have to say that copper and Larimar are my favourites. Some think of copper as a “poor man’s” metal, a dirty metal, but its not. Copper is such a wonderful easy metal to work with and has amazing healing and conductive properties. It has the ability enhance the properties of all other metals and stones that are in contact with it. Copper also has such a rich, vibrant colour it reminds me of the sun setting on the water; those deep reddy orange hues shimmering on the waves of the ocean. Turquoise is usually the favourite for natural blue stones, but Larimar has my heart. It reminds me of horizon where the ocean meets the sky, blue seas and white pillowy clouds. As you can probably tell I have my head in the clouds and my heart at the ocean.

4-What’s the most memorable design you have created? 
I’d have to choose the custom engagement/wedding ring remake I recently did. Working with a customer to bring their vision, their story to life was an amazing experience for me. This was definitely a challenging piece for me to do. I took on the project not just because of the story behind it, but for the opportunity to push my boundaries of creativity and increase my skill level. This customer hadn’t worn her wedding ring set for 15 years, saying the setting was too high and that it would get caught on things and scratch her children when carrying them. She gave me her vision and trusted me to take it and put my own creative twist on it and after 15 years she is now able to wear the expression of love and her family on her finger once again. The joy I experienced when I saw her face as she put her new ring on for the first time was overwhelming and I was even more moved but the testimonial she posted on my website. The process I went through on this custom piece brought my skill set to a whole new level and confirmed my love for the process of discovery, design and creation, this is why I hand pick all of my materials. My husband and I believe that in every piece of wood, glass, metal and stone there is a story and it is our joy to translate that story into the unique piece of art it becomes.

5-Where would you like to see your business and collection be in 5 years? 
I see my husband and I doing this full time. The Pirate & The Gypsy will have moved out of our home studio into a small local store front in New Westminster on Front Street with personal studio space for the two of us. Our online store will have expanded and flourished, going from a largely local audience to more expanded national audience. I see us growing and evolving. As the business grows so will our skills and possibly our creative direction. The Pirate & The Gypsy has grown so much in the past year with the addition of my husband’s woodworking and stained glass art. I am blessed to have him with me along for the ride, to be able to share our ideas, methods, and dreams for the future. I see some stained glass pendant collaborations in the future and maybe even some wood and metal pieces. In 5 years we will still be sailing the seas of our imaginations and creating form the heart. We want to create a culture where people come to us from all over the world when they want unique custom designed pieces that tell a story or that celebrate their life and their journey.  

6-Will you have any specials for Art World Expo attendees this year?
I have a few surprises up my sleeve for Expo attendees. I will be debuting a new limited edition collection at a special Art World Expo pricing. We will be giving away a complementary gift to the first 25 customers who visit our booth and while they are there they can enter our draw to win one of our necklaces.


For more information, be sure to visit The Pirate & The Gypsy Facebook Page

Soulshine Yoga and Jewelry at Art World Expo

Interview with Jennifer Wosk for Soulshine Yoga and Jewelry
by Monika Blichar
1.What inspired you to start a yoga and jewellery busi ness?

I started practicing and studying yoga before I started making jewellery, and I knew I wanted to be a yoga guide once I decided to take my first teacher training. Through the amazing people that I met in the yoga community and the healing that the practice brought to me, I started to tap into my creativity. My grandmother, Frances Switzer, is the original inspiration behind the jewellery side. She had her own jewellery collection, Frances Switzer Original’s, which she created from antique and unique beads and pendants she collected while traveling the world with my grandpa. My grandpa is an interior designer and had a local Vancouver, furniture manufacturing business for over 50 years, William Switzer and Associates.The creativity and love for beautiful things runs in my blood.

2. What does Soulshine mean to you?

To me, Soulshine is basically exactly what it sounds like. Bringing my inner light, beauty, and healing capabilities out to the world through my creativity and art, and by creating sacred space for people to tap into their intuition for what their body, mind and soul needs.


3. What has been a highlight of having a business?
I feel very grateful that I have this platform from which I can share what is in my heart and soul with others, when sometimes there are no words only art and energy that can portray these things.4. A lot of your jewellery includes the use of natural stones and metal work with symbolism. How do you choose and do you have a favourite?

When creating my pieces, I usually go with my intuition. I try not to think too much, but choose beads and materials that feel right. My creations turn out beautifully and sometimes they surprise me, often the final product is very different from my original vision but I like to just go with the flow of creativity.

If I am creating a custom piece, I like to speak with the client before hand to learn about them, and find out what they are looking for from their special jewellery. Many people come to me with a healing energy that they would like their jewellery to exude for them. With that guidance, I can choose the beads and stones that have certain healing properties.

It is too hard to choose a favourite stone, they are all so beautiful and unique, and bring joy in different ways. I find that I am drawn to work with different materials or stones at certain times, and then I will be drawn to something else. It is all very intuitive.

5. Where do you see your work in 5 years?

I plan to continue to ride the flow of creativity throughout my lifetime. I am sure that as I change and grow, my style and creations will change and grow. I took an intro metal work course last year, and I would love to take more courses in various materials, and it that way my work will develop.

6. Will you have any specials for Art World Expo visitors?

I plan to have many new and exciting pieces for Art World Expo 2018!

 

Jennifer Wosk

Soulshine Yoga and Jewellery

Jennifer is a Jewellery Designer, Yogini, traveler, and Spiritual Wild Woman of the world, who has a thirst for knowledge of the healing arts and our connection to nature and the divine. She is passionate about creating beautiful pieces of art that both heal and bring beauty to the world and the wearer.

Soulshine Jewellery was originally inspired by Jennifer’s grandmother, Frances Switzer. Frances had a jewellery line, Frances Switzer Original’s which she created from antique beads and pendants that she collected on her world travels.  Frances was no longer able to continue her creative work and years later gifted her special collection to Jennifer.  Jennifer has had the joy and privilege to honor her grandmother by creating her own jewellery line with her unique style, and by adding to the collection through her travels around the globe. Jennifer loves to work with semi-precious stones, yarn, and beads made from various materials. When collecting beads, it is important to Jennifer to know where and how they are made. She also loves to learn about and share the unique healing qualities of the different semi-precious stones and crystals.

Jennifer is also a yoga and meditation guide, with a focus on the gentler practices like restorative yoga, guided meditation and breath work. She feels that it is important for yoga practitioners to tap into their intuition and practice in a way that suits their unique body, mind and spirit.

Jennifer also works in her family’s business, SwitzerCultCreative, a local Vancouver high-end home furnishings company, where they focus on quality, materials and helping artisans bring their art to the world.

You can find Soulshine Jewellery at www.soulshineyoga.ca and https://www.etsy.com/shop/SoulCollection, as well as various shops in Vancouver, BC.

Interview with MJ Patterson-West Coast Hatters

by Monika Blichar

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1-When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

I never knew I wanted to be a designer, I always thought I wasn’t very creative until the passion for millinery entered my life. When I came to Vancouver from the UK eight years ago I started working for the hat store on Granville Island and felt shy selling hats as it was my first retail job. So I started cleaning and repairing hats as a way to keep in the background and fell in love with classic men’s hats, they are definitely my biggest passion. The lines, shapes and history sparked my interest and I undertook a short course to learn how to block hats traditionally.

2-What inspired you to become a hat designer?

After the millinery intro course I started looking at different styles and moved into free form hat making, this is more organic than blocking because its just me manipulating the felt or straw to create shapes, it’s like there is a hat inside the material waiting to come out. From here I started doing custom work and mixing free hand and traditional blocking techniques, I always custom free hand the crowns of the men’s hats I make. I also restore hats for people who have a well loved piece that needs cleaning and fixing up, I like the thought that I’m keeping a piece of history alive. I enjoy experimenting with new materials and pushing the boundaries of what is traditionally made using them. The feeling of completing a free-form crown that could never be made on a traditional block or draping fabrics to create organic headpieces that no-one else is making, that’s when I feel the buzz of actually creating something new. As an artisinal craft, millinery is little known and I love the idea that I am keeping a tradition alive.

3-What is your favourite material to work with?

Most definitely Abaca silk as its amazing to sculpt with, it’s a blend of silk and abaca fibre, which is banana palm fibre, you’ll see some pieces in my show.  I enjoy all of the mediums I work with and I like to try out new things (I knitted a top hat out of copper wire for a show a couple of years ago, I remember someone saying you couldn’t so I decided I would go ahead and give it a go!)

4-You have done quite a few shows and made hats and fascinators for events and galas. What would you tell an up and coming designer about the fashion industry and how to get noticed?

This is still quite new for me and I’m still working on trying to make people take notice, there’s always a lot of people who want something for nothing so you need to filter out what you want your business stance to be. Always wear a piece of your own work, I’m always wearing one of my hats, actually my husband is generally wearing one too! Its a hard industry to be noticed in, small designers generally don’t have a huge budget for marketing and events so it really is about getting out and being seen putting yourself out there. And don’t give up, your passion should always drive you, eventually if you shout loud enough people will hear.

5-Where do you see yourself in 5 years.

I want to have a store/ design studio in which people can have a hat made while they wait, it will also be a space to teach more people the craft. Eventually I want to have my hats sold all over Canada and America and have a reputation for excellence and innovation. I want to do more shows and become known as a Vancouver hat maker that makes amazing men’s hats and cool fascinators for hat connoisseurs.

6-This year, you are doing a hat show at the annual Art World Expo and you have been making pieces especially for this event. Can you describe a little of what guests can expect this year?

Expect to see a mixture of traditional pieces and free form sculptural head wear, some bold statement pieces and some more classic hats. You’ll have wait to see what the material wants to be.

About MJ

MJ immigrated from England nearly 8 years ago and found herself working in a hat store on Granville Island. She had no idea how to sell, so started watching how hats were cleaned and repaired. She caught the bug and started to research the whole process at home learning traditional techniques. She started making hats about 5 years ago again using traditional techniques. Her business has grown from there! She now has a studio on Commercial Drive and makes custom hats on original wooden blocks and also repairs vintage hats. She feels lucky enough to be one of those people who love their jobs! Visit her Facebook or Website

Interview with Boise Artworks-Body Painting Contestant

by Monika Blichar
Our roster of artists for this year’s body painting competition is amazing. Each year, I am humbled by the breadth of the talent that decides to participate in the Art World Expo, but also so proud of those who choose to compete. Being in a competition is hard work and can be nerve wracking. As an artist, it is also so very courageous to put your work, your ideas and yourself out there for people to judge.
Today, I interview one of the body painting contestants to learn a little more about her background and reason for making art!
1-What is your inspiration for doing make up?
I do not consider myself a make up artist. I am and was trained as a conceptual and fine artist and in fact as I enter the world of body painting, I realize how much I have to learn from, and of make up.
Though I do approach a body painting project differently than a traditional canvas painting, I still consider it painting, maybe even more so because I actually spend a lot of time preparing so that I get the best out of my model, not wasting her precious energy of being here, physically and mentally.  I love the ephemeral component and the fact that it is a near umbilical cooperation between an artist and model, a living breathing feeling canvas. And the possibilities for incredible art are boundless.
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2-You sold your business and have been working full time as an artist. How do you think owning a business has helped you become an artist today?
My former business was in the service industry, a service in high demand, I have a lot of experience in various service industries and I did not have to market myself, it was a residual effect of the service (janitorial). And I was able to create a word of mouth revenue stream which I find to be hard to reproduce in monetary terms when applied to the art world. However, Vancouver offers a lot of volunteering and cooperative opportunities for artist as it houses a vast number of gifted artists.
I am currently researching possibilities for being represented professionally.
3-Do you think that growing up in a different country gave you different perspective as an artist?
Absolutely. But maybe the biggest influence came not from the country but the setting. I had an unusual childhood cradled in two very different but both very alpine villages of the Alps. My family spent a lot of time each year in living conditions that did not include electricity, road, telephone, hot water, a bedroom which was not a family bedroom or much toys. But I had an entire alpine realm to explore and be as free as any child could dream of. And my imagination ran wild…
I was taught from a very early age to show utter respect to mother nature. It was a simple yet essential existence and I like to think that this simplicity and essential-ness is what I often bring to my fine art .
4-What is your favourite piece of work that you have made so far?
In body painting, I do not have a favorite piece of work, and I adore that about it. Each experience is so unique and beautiful and has brought me complete joy.
One of my latest favorite oil painting is visible on my website www.boiseartworks.com  and is called “Splash”.
5-Where do you see yourself in 5 years time with your artistry?
My dream is to be able to make a sustainable living doing what i love doing, body painting and art. I think my skills as a conceptual and applied artist and my experience in various service industries are an asset to work on long haul body painting conceptual projects for the advertisements, magazines and media.
6-If you had advice to aspiring make up artists, what would you tell them?
To quote my good friend Yana : ”  Keep an impressive wingspan, even when the cubicle shrinks..”

 

francoiseboise

Françoise Vèron Stamp a.k.a. Boise

My life has been a fortunate road with many horizons and possibilities. It has led me here, living in this Canadian land that has adopted me and that I have adopted. From my childhood in the highest inhabited region of the French Alps to the shores of Vancouver, I had the privilege to live in various countries and meet amazing individuals. Every time collecting new experiences, knowledge and perceptions along with a couple languages.I attended the French National Fine Art School in the 80’s and learned classic and conceptual arts. Until recent years, most of my artistic efforts were geared towards my children and my hobbies, awesome Halloween costumes, sculpted birthday cakes, flamenco dresses, custom made bead jewels etc. In 2011, after selling my small business, I decided to fulfill my dream of being a committed artist. I have produced, sold and exhibited number of pieces in shop settings, various artistic events and markets such as Lab Art, Vancouver Home and Design Show, and Commercial Street Café. I currently exhibit oil paintings at Float Sense in Burnaby. Eight months ago, I started to paint doodles on my friend’s bodies at the beach. I knew right away I wanted to realize complex body painting projects. And that is what I did! It has been so far, a rich and fulfilling endeavor and I wish to continue growing in that amazing medium that gives me great satisfaction. Ephemeral Art has always been one form I cherish and want to give my artistic soul to.

I am very excited to participate to the AWE 2017 body painting competition, which is my second competition so far.

Thank you to all who attend and participate!

AWE Interview-Jen Hiltz for GypsyTrunk Gourmet Fare Food Truck

By Monika Blichar 


1-What inspired you to start your GypsyTrunk Gourmet Fare Food Truck? 
I worked for a retail store for 12 years & just felt I had much more to share with the world so I quit my job, sold my belongings & went on a road trip in my smart car for around 5 months to do some “soul searching”. Food/cooking/veganism was a huge passion of mine so when I found myself house sitting on salt spring island, I began playing with recipes & posting them to a blog page on my website along with photos from my experiences on the island. I began making a menu with the intention of creating a catering Monday-Friday meal program but I found myself procrastinating due to all the details that I decided to go the food truck route instead and just concentrate on a more simple menu.

2-Being a culinary artist, what inspires you most about food? 

Experimenting & playing with the different colours, textures & cooking styles of simple plant based ingredients – Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, oils, vinegars & herbs.


3-What are your favourite vegan ingredients? 

I’d have to say for “treat” vegan items – I LOVE the cheesy flavour of nutritional yeast. On popcorn, in soups & sauces, eggless salad, etc.

Cashews because they are soooo versatile. Can used them blended up in pasta sauces, soups, vegan versions of sour cream, cheesecakes, mylks, dessert cream (to have with fresh fruit), yogurts, toasted as garnishes on meals, etc, etc.

4-What are your long term goals for your Food Truck business? 

To be honest, I don’t really have a long term plan for my food truck business. I would love to eventually have a base of operation in Abbotsford where I live, where I can have a cafe/retail storefront.


5-What advice would you have for other food truck or culinary artists looking to start a business? 

If you’re gonna do it, you’ve gotta give it your 110% for sure & you’ve gotta love what you’re doing. It’s a lot of physical/office work, long days, commuting to get to/from events & stock/supplies, a lot goes on behind the scenes just to be at one event. Make sure you choose a unique feature item that nobody else has & that people want. I always find Pinterest a great inspiration for ideas. 😉

Art World Expo Tips-Gaining Recognition for Your Art

By Monika Blichar

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Carolyn Bruce Designs at Art World Expo 2016

 

No matter what industry you are working in, the primary goal is to sell products and services that customers will keep returning for again and again. As artists, we must remember that this is our main goal-to sell art that people will want, again and again. As we near our annual Art World Expo in Vancouver, here are some vendor tips for gaining recognition for your brand as an exhibitor and well into the future of your art career.

1-BRANDING 101

Making sure that your exhibition looks good is crucial. No one wants to buy art or products from a shabby stall that is disorganized, lacking presentation, nor one that is ill managed. Some of the simplest things to be sure you have when you are displaying your work and business publicly include:

-business cards with your logo, contact information and website

-a banner behind or in front of your booth with your name

-links to social media accounts with the same logo and banners

-price tags, inventory sheet and receipt book

-a way to take payments

-a sales person working for you if you are not comfortable selling your own work

2-PRESS RELEASES & MEDIA

If you are doing the marketing for your brand, don’t forget that the media is your best friend! The more that you can gain media attention, the better! Draft a simple press release with your information, dates for an upcoming exhibition, and invite media such as newspaper journalists and bloggers in your industry to interview you in your studio prior to the event. There is a lot to be said about artists and businesses who are being talked about in the media and likely, they have sent their information to the press deliberately. A buzz from many websites is amazing, so be sure to send to many media outlets. After all, getting attention on varied sites and in publications just helps you get more visibility and brand awareness in new networks and social circles. Be creative too-consider creating good karma by helping raise money for local shelters, food banks or other worthy charities by donating proceeds of your sales.

3-MERCHANDISING

Many artists are shy or leery of merchandising their work. In my opinion, the best thing about being an artist is that you can work on something one time, and then sell it over and over. As an independent artist, this has been a very lucrative way to continually improve and add to my business model. You don’t have to go all out and purchase stock like you used to in the olden days either! There are many sites which help you design work and will even market it for you for a commission. Some of these sites include Zazzle.com and Society 6. I’ve heard mixed things about merchandising; some artists believe that selling prints or cards can be like selling out-while others make fortunes by selling prints, Iphone cases and home décor items. I tend to recommend that with more merchandise options, you are able to do more with your art and reach wider audiences: cards, books, ebooks, tshirts, IPhone cases, home décor throws and much more can get to the hands of people who normally couldn’t afford your work or perhaps are looking for unique designs on different items. Have a look at multi-million dollar artist Damien Hirst’s site and link to his online shop http://www.damienhirst.com/ A great site to start with if you haven’t yet is Society 6 https://society6.com/prints

As always, best of luck! If you found this useful, please share. If you have a comment to add, get in touch! artists@theartworldexpo.com