What inspired the name of your business?
Art + Soul is a play on words of “heart and soul”. I put everything into my art and I wanted my company name to reflect that.
What's the story behind why you started your business?
I drew a lot as a young child but never really thought of art as a possible career. After graduating with a teaching degree, I taught English overseas for one year. But I felt like being a classroom teacher wasn’t my true calling and I was just going through the motions. So I took a risk and even though I didn’t have any formal art training, I landed a job at an art studio teaching kids and adults how to paint. After two years honing my skills at the studio I felt like I wanted to take a few months off to pursue an art career on my own. I started posting my art online, applying for different artist projects, and designing my first collection of greeting cards. Three years later, I am still creating cards, paintings, and murals full-time! It’s definitely been a crazy journey but I am so grateful for every experience that has led me to the dream job I have now.
What are you most proud of about your business?
I’m proud of all the amazing projects that I’ve had the honour of working on. For example, I recently got to design three operating rooms for the BC Children’s Hospital with illustrations full of mountains, dinosaurs, and narwhals! Using my art to bring happiness to others has always been my goal and is something I continually strive to do.
How have you grown as a person as a result of your business?
The administrative / business side of things does not come naturally to me at all - I’m pretty sure I’m missing that part of my brain. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years through my own (reluctant) research and connecting with other creative business owners. Since my business is currently a one-woman show, I’m usually working alone in my studio for hours on end. Working independently has definitely made me more self-reliant and responsible as a person (those taxes aren’t going to do themselves!). But I’ve also learned that it is important to have a supportive art community around me. I’ve met so many amazing creative people in the past few years and we all support one another and help each other grow.
What difference does your art make in your life?
Creating art is soooo exciting for me. I love working on a whole variety of different projects and it’s definitely made my life more colourful and vibrant!
If you could say something to the person who buy/enjoys your art, what would it be?
“I have so mushroom in my heart for you”. Thank you sooooo much for your support – it means the world to me that my art brings you joy!!
Why do you love being a part of Giving Gifts?
Well, my very first large outdoor mural was on the wall of Giving Gifts, so this shop will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve had the absolute pleasure to work with Lisa on other illustration projects for the store and I’m so grateful to her for supporting local artists like myself and creating a beautiful, positive space to showcase our work.