yeg art

Interview with Edmonton’s Soft Touch Photography

by Monika Blichar

Photography has to have an artistic eye behind it to stand out these days. After all, anyone with a smart phone can shoot and edit photos from their phones instantly today! When I saw Soft Touch Photography’s work come through on our submissions for our Edmonton show, I was excited because their photos not only capture the essence of a fleeting moment, but they are colourful, attractive and intriguing. Today, I caught up with Soft Touch Photography to learn more about their process.

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1-What is Soft Touch Photography?  When did you form your company?

Soft Touch Photography is a photography business runner by my husband and I, we formed our company in 2013, and had started as a dream, and now has developed into a reference only business and hopefully in the future more

2-You work with your husband. What are the best things about working together?

The best thing of working with my husband is that we compliment each other, we have fun, and keep each other focus and working towards something different that will take us outside the box, to create beautiful images and memories for our clients.

3-What kinds of things are your favourite to photograph and why?

This is a fun question because I love to photograph people and my husband loves outdoor photography.  This works great for us because he is the one that finds the spots to do those amazing images that we sometimes are fortunate to have.

4-What kinds of products will you be selling and promoting at the Art World Expo Edmonton on Friday night?

We are going to be selling some of our most favourite prints.

5-Where would you like to see your photography business in five years time?

We see our photography business growing and being able for one of us to be full time in a studio someday soon.

6-Just for fun: Who is your favourite photographer and why?

My favourite is BARON STUDIO https://youtu.be/VQVZhEBdTT4the reason why is because of their creativity.

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Learn more about Soft Touch Photography on their Facebook Page.

monikaheadshot

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 Artist Shivee Gupta

by Monika Blichar

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1-When did you start making art?

I always liked to draw and paint since age 5. But I seriously got into art in 2013.

2-Do you remember the first time you had an exhibition? What was it like to unveil your work publicly for the first time?

The first art exhibition I went to was in Wainwright at the Wainwright art show back in 2013. I was really nervous I did not think anything of it but the response from the community blew me away. I almost sold out.

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3-What kinds of things inspire you to make art?

Anything and everything. Sometimes it’s colours on furniture, shadows on walls, textures outside or the beautiful lady on the LRT staring out the window with the unique nose. It makes me want to capture that beauty and strength and put it on paper. I am highly influenced by social, racial, sexual injustices and much of my art reflects these themes.

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4-Will you have any special pieces, sale items or exclusive Art World Expo offers at this year’s Art World Expo Edmonton at the Muttart on March 16?

I have two exclusive pieces from a collection that is incomplete and I have not released for sale quite yet. These two pieces are very special to me as these are where I pushed comfort zone as an artist. This eclectic style of art is where I really want to be in the future.

5-Where do you see your business in 5 years time?

I think by putting more time and effort into my business I can promote it to build a brand where quite a few people will know who I am and can easily access my work.

6-Just for fun: If you could time travel, where would you go and why?

I don’t think I want to. I am happy with where I am right now, but I guess I wouldn’t mind getting chased by dinosaurs.

To learn more about Shivee, visit her Facebook Page. Thank you Edmonton for a SOLD OUT event! See you on March 16 at the Muttart Conservatory.

 

monikaheadshot

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’s Marley Blair

by Monika Blichar

Make up and Body Painting has fascinated me for years. When Marley Blair sent in her submission, I was beyond excited! Her work is creative, fun loving and beautiful and her experience is extensive in the industry. I caught up with her today to learn more about her work and her entry into this year’s Art World Expo Body Painting Competition!

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When did you start body painting?

In junior high, I started face painting for extra cash in the summer at small-town festivals and farmers markets. I was always the person doing makeup for my friends and family members before we went out. Makeup has always been a form of creative expression for me and I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t fascinated by it. I really got into body painting when I was about 14 when I started going to raves and music festivals.The smaller parties we attended always had themes, you did not show up in just jeans and a t-shirt. Getting ready was a production. My friends and I always made costumes and had the makeup to match. My looks were a great ice breaker, I made many friends over the years because people asked me “Who did your makeup?”. The summer of 2001 I met my dear friend Chantal, she was a traveling vendor, she invited me to come work for her the following summer. Her offer was to pay for my festival tickets and would feed me as payment. The summer I spent with her is really where I got my start… I painted out of the booth for tips and trades. I remember the first day I painted Chantal hoping it might generate some interest and by the end of the afternoon I had a line up out the door. I left home that summer with just a back full of paint and a couple bucks. I went home that fall with a backpack full of cash, a whole new wardrobe and a full-fledged passion for body painting.

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 2-You’ve worked at a lot of festivals and even attended Burning Man. How have these festival experiences influenced your body painting and makeup business?

Going to parties gave me a platform to body paint and it was, at the time, an environment that allowed for self-expression with no judgment. Attending music festivals really opened eyes to how makeup can empower people. It can let their alter egos out. It allows people to push boundaries and embrace what truly makes them individual. Makeup is self-expression and makeup is art, it’s not something that has to be specific or have rules. That time in my life seems like forever ago but I still keep the same ideas close to my heart. I think about these things even when I’m doing makeup for a Bride or a Mom or a Drag Queen… what makes this person in front of me unique, what do they want and need to put forth?  Makeup is not “one size fits all”.

3-What is your favorite part of being a makeup artist?

The ability to transform. Makeup is powerful, you can affect how people see themselves. If I can change someone’s mood or outlook on themselves for the positive that is pretty incredible.

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4-Can you give us a few hints about your body paint entry for this year’s Art World Expo Edmonton?

I am the world’s biggest procrastinator and my ideas tend to change and morph often. I can promise it will be colorful.

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5-Where would you like to see your makeup and body painting business in the next 5 years?

Body painting is something that I truly want to put my energy back into, it has taken a back burner to beauty makeup in my career over the years. I would love to work on more creative projects and collaborate with more people in the industry. I really want to focus more on my freelancing and teaching. Doing that full time would be my dream.

6-Just for fun: What kind of animal would you be if you could be any kind and why?

Is a mermaid an animal? You might say I’m a bit obsessed with mermaids. When I say my power color is teal it’s not an understatement. Breathing underwater, talking to fish and getting to wear a jazzy shell bra every day would be amazing!

To learn more about Marley, visit her Facebook Page. Be sure to check out her body painting competition entry at this Friday’s Art World Expo at the Muttart Conservatory. Limited tickets remain!

monikaheadshot

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 HumbleTara

by Monika Blichar

As we approach the Edmonton event, I find that the level of anticipation and stress increases for everyone involved in making this event happen! From all the little details to the final layouts and line ups, we are all getting ready for a great night! During the time where everything is busy and we are doing a million things at once, it is always great to remember to be “humble and kind” which brings me to my next artist interview with Tara Clelland, aka “Humble Tara”. I caught up with her and she’ll be telling us about what her brand stands for and some of her inspirations. Ford Cabover - Tara Clelland.JPG

1-When did you start making art and when did you know that you wanted to pursue it as a career?

I have been creating whimsical pieces of art for years, privately. I let the world know in the summer 2014. I felt it was too personal to share with anyone. I paint with my heart. It takes a great deal of vulnerability to show the world your soul. I wasn’t ready till 2014.

Making art is a passion for me. If I could do this as a career, I would be on top of the world!!! If I can pay bills and do what I love?? Bonus!!


2-Your art name is “Humble Tara”. What does this name represent to you and your art?

The common theme in my life has been “be humble and kind”. Treat others the way you want to be treated. This world needs kindness and it starts with us. Everyone has a story. Being humble is putting others ahead of yourself.

The intention of my work is to evoke a “reaction”, a “feeling”. The stories I hear from people are truly amazing and inspiring. If I can give that person a “moment”, then I am fulfilled.

Octopus - Tara Clelland.JPG3-You mention that you paint a lot for mental health. How has making art helped you? What would you recommend others to start with if they were looking to use art as therapy?

Yes I use art as my therapy. Like a form of meditation. When I paint I only think about painting. I am present in the moment. Sometimes my anxiety is overwhelming, I shut out the world while I paint what is going on in my head.

My recommendation for others to start their art journey is to JUST DO IT. Get a pad of paper (thick paper is better) and a acrylic palette (like paint by number containers)  and just let your mind flow to your fingers. Do not judge your thoughts or what you create..let it flow. Getting started can be very inexpensive.
Gnomes - Tara Clelland.JPG4-What can guests expect to see at your exhibit? Will you have show specials or contests?

I am bringing a variety of pieces to show the diversity in mixed media. Classic cars, animals and a few abstracts.

Yes I most definitely will have show specials!! Stay tuned to find out!

5-Where would you like to see your art business in five years time? Any big goals or dreams you would like to share?

What I would like my art business to be like in 5 years, is to attend/contribute to more exhibitions across Canada. To have a recognizable brand. Also receiving commissions from patrons looking to capture their beloved vehicles in canvas form.

A dream of mine is to do a VERY large canvas for a patron. The options are limitless.


6-If you could be a superhero, which one would you be and why?

If I was to be a superhero I would most likely be Rogue. She is strong and has the amazing ability to absorb people’s memories via touch. For the people who are suffering, I would take away the pain for them. And of course she can fly!!!

To learn more about Tara’s work, visit her website.

Bio:

I am a self taught artist. I have been doing art my entire life, privately, for my mental health. My first public show was the Edmonton Whyte Avenue Artwalk of 2015. My favourite medium is acrylic. Miscellaneous types of paper and adhesives are a few of my “go to” tools to use in my work. Making 3 dimensional objects into 2 dimensional objects is such a rewarding challenge for me.  I love animals, automobiles, landscapes and just about anything I can create into a whimsical collage of colour.

monikaheadshot

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 Maureen Donovan

by Monika Blichar
There are many artists in Edmonton but what drew me to Maureen was actually her Instagram account. She is active, robust and very engaging on her IG which is something very nice to see. Her work ranges from all sorts of subject matter but it is her eagerness to express herself creatively that is so conveyed in her work. I haven’t met her yet, but I know that from our interactions in the vortex of the online world, we will become great friends I am sure! I caught up to Maureen and here’s what she had to say about watercolour, life and super-powers.
1-Why did you choose watercolour as a medium?
It found me actually. I was so busy in my life that I needed something  to bring me back to calm, peace, my center and found advertised in our community paper of Onoway AB Adult Watercolour courses at the high school by artist Dave Ripley. That was it. I took one course and I was hooked.
2-You say that you had spent most of your life doing anything but art. How has art changed your life since discovering your passion for it?
Art enhanced my life! It takes me out of life’s whirlwind of busyness and captivates me. Art keeps me spellbound while creating in the moment. Mixing colours and transforming them into an art work is rewarding. It’s a positive, spiritual experience. It’s fun! It’s JOY!
3-You mention that you have taken inspiration from your travels for your art. Where is your favourite place you have visited and have you painted it?
I have been to so many countries.  I have just begun to paint series of paintings from those travels. I Love Africa, our ocean adventures, Asia…there are too many places to mention and so much to paint. It would take more than a life time to paint all my favourite places and wildlife. And we are still traveling.  It’s like I paint from my photographs and memories and people get to know who I am through my art.
4-Where would you like to see your art in the next five years?
Because there is so much to learn and so many people to learn from I hope my style becomes recognizable as my own. If in 5 years one person was to say ‘that looks like Maureen’s work’,  I would feel like I have achieved this goal.
5-What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Let your self resonate in your creations. Experience the love and joy in expression. Be confident in and trust your uniqueness. Let your passions guide you.
6-For fun. If you had a super power, what would it be?
I would love to be able to give others the ability to see their gifts and talents and the trust to develop them to acheive their dreams.

Words to share:  Never be afraid to try new things and take advantage of every opportunity – for you never know – you just might uncover a  passion that may change the way you dream, care for yourself and how you discover every moment in life that belongs to you – colour it proudly!

To learn more about Maureen, visit her famous Instagram account and check out her exhibit at the Muttart on March 16, 2018! Get your tickets today, we are running low with only 83 tickets left!

monikaheadshot

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 Pavel Kroupko

by Monika Blichar

I love meeting artists from other areas of the world who have immigrated to Canada. Being an immigrant from Poland myself has taught me a lot about appreciating culture, opportunities and about being patient with myself and others who experience being part of two worlds. When Pavel Krouppko submitted his application for our Art World Expo Edmonton event, I was intrigued not only by his diverse work, but also how his work is affected not only by his cultural background but also his welding profession. His work is a blend of cultural representation near and far while also reveling in hard and concrete materials. I caught up with Pavel to hear what he had to say about his work and art.

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1-When did you start making art and when did you know that you wanted to pursue art as a career?

Moving around a lot when I was young gave me more time to be creative. It takes time to make new friends in new place but Art was always there. I also seen many different places and things and that always bring some kind of inspiration even if long time passed since the time you saw them, you can always dig in your memories.

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2-You moved a lot when you were young. How do you think moving around has impacted your creativity?

No I have not been back to Russia since 1997. It’s something I want to do in near future. As far as art scene goes, I have been making art since 1997. I decided that I want to do it as a career about 3 or 4 years ago.

3-Originally, you are from Russia and moved to Canada when you were 15. Do you still visit? Do you think that the art scene in Russia is comparable to the one in Canada?

In Russia, it is very much like here. Russian people have always been influenced by the Western World. So many of the trends that are here are also there. I follow many Russian artists from Art teacher at Universities to Airbrush schools and Tattoo artists to Metal sculpture creators. Much inspiration all around the world.

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 4-You are a versatile artist but also a welder. How has welding influenced your art?

Welding and art. Been a pressure vessel welder everything must be clean meaning shiny ground metal before you can weld on it. So I seen lots of ground metal and welders love their shiny things. My ground metal work shows that. And fabrication skill can easily be applied to making sculptures.

 5-What can guests expect to see at your exhibit? Will you have any Art World Show Specials or contests running at your booth?

There will be lots of ground metal work, airbrush oil paintings and charcoal. I will have some discounted items.

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 6-Where would you like to see your art in the next five years? Do you have a big goal for your work you would like to share?

In 5 years, lol! I just want to be able to do it full time and make reasonable living on it. I will continue to grow as and artist and we will see where it takes me.

 7-Who is your favourite artist?

Bob Ross. I can watch that guy for hours. I learned oil painting from his videos.

To learn more about Pavel and his work, visit his Facebook Page. Be sure to get your ticket to the Art World Expo Edmonton at the Muttart Conservatory today! This event will be the best art show of the season in Edmonton-you don’t want to miss it!

monikaheadshot

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.