European Festival and Barriers as a Young Artist

Yikes…..I realized officially there has been no blog posts since 2015, despite swearing I had made one not that long ago. Either way, I’m finally more active here again, right now re-doing the look of the website, some of it seemingly a simple, easy thing, yet refuses to do what I want it too…..(I’m no coder or web developer but like to think I’m at least intermediate at computers).


me with gerdra

On May 28th & 29th I attended the European Festival 2016 here in Metro Vancouver as an artist, which was exciting. Unfortunately on the first day, it was raining like mad, literally, it was the hardest raining day of the entire year so far, the sky decided to just drop it all. I actually did make one sale that day, and thanks to some cheery accordion makers playing their instruments in the next tent, it wasn’t all so down for most of us. The next day it stopped raining with some sunlight yet, and all considering I think I did better than I do at the geek conventions. Possibly because a wider set of audience, but either way, who at a Euro culture fest doesn’t appreciate dragons? ya?


Besides finding a resemblance to dragons and Europe, I have grandparents from Norway so it is quite relevant to me….and it is so hard to find anything of real European nature in Vancouver.

Since my last update, I’ve been plugging a lot of older and recent art into being die-cut stickers on my new Redbubble shop:

Also I gave in to Instagram, not a place I feel I ‘fit in’, but suppose I ought to at least get my art presence there.

More notably, I have a Patreon account, which I seem to update more than my website lately…


(Above) Me wearing a German-inspired top I bought in Taiwan last year (2015), and my shoulder dragon buddy I haven’t named. Speaking of shoulder buddy, I have the cutest little pet bird who loves to sit on my head. Because I’m either weird, have too much time on my hands or clever, I made him his own Facebook page called “Finchy Life” (it’s really for all 3 of them, but the other 2 are camera-phobic and basically untamed, so getting good photos is almost impossible), because why not? how many girls got a hand-tamed little finches that likes to chase string? not many :D. Do note they are Society Finches, I did not steal them from the park. Anyway, so off topic…












Aside my usual prints, I had  a few test stickers and also some samples of other items from my online Redbubble shop, such as the t-shirt. I was situated in what seemed the Hungary-representative tent next to my table, so I constantly had people asking me for country stamps, much more than those interested in buying artwork really, but I guess it did bring people not looking for artwork by my table as they waited. I’m not exactly an addict of it, but I wanted to get it over with and say “Westeros” and draw some silly stamp thing resembling something in GoT. I do however wish I was Khaleesi with three dragons and my own personal costume maker, but that’s besides the point.



Some new artwork:


Wolf's Paradise














“Wolf’s Paradise” done with watercolours and ink. 11×14 inches.









Making the most out of things in my home and seeing trends, decided to try out some new mini-projects with my acrylics.













This here is my first project following the adult colouring trend, but sticking closer to home with a Canadian postcard design. I got several printed, but have to finish a set before some shops will take them. So far I do have one local store testing them out in downtown Vancouver at Kim’s Prints. Finding out the hard way that most tourist shops around the area don’t support local work nor help promote local artists…a shame. Because I’m still new in name to the art scene I guess, it is really tough to get past the barriers. Some think I’m too young to have my work shown (I’m not talking about prestigious galleries, either).


Below is a link to a Indiegogo funding project to help me complete the postcards (planning for 4-5 more to call it a set…featuring Canadian wildlife).





After talking around about making (and printing, of course) colouring book products, I realized how expensive it can be and wondering how one can compete with the influx of big names pushing them out at increasingly low costs. Since I’m currently working part-time min wage jobs, I have to find creative ways around it, or to just let it go and work on something else without a lot of upfront costs (especially since it is already so hard to get my stuff into shops as it is). Even if I do as much as possible at home without an official print shop, still again, will it actually sell as well as I hope or think it will? certainly as I go along, and have learned many times,  that things often don’t go as planned. Also, sometimes things go better, of course.


While I do have more art to show, I’ll hold off for future posts. Most of which are probably already on my Facebook, Patreon or Deviantart. I sound incredibly organized…….but really, it is so much simpler to update on those more regularly, especially since they were more designed for that purpose.




Update: Outdoor Painting 2015 Outcome + Photography



Last Sunday, I joined in the Opus Outdoor Painting Challenge 2015. It was said there were 130 adults in the downtown registry, but it didn’t quite look like 130 paintings—but no surprise, I don’t think there is any event where all individuals show. Anyway, it was fairly mellow there, but oh so hard to find the tents. They were on top of a parking garage, with a girl standing by a sign at the front of the entrance to the upstairs parkade on the sidewalk….but it would have helped to have a sign further off to guide folks—especially once the registration was over, as there was no signs out anymore.


Anyways, I showed up around 12:16 or so, and headed off to Crab Park. I was feeling unsure about the park after reading the area I’d have to walk through, but turns out there was nothing to worry about at the moment, hardly anybody around to attack me at the moment.


I saw a few other artists in the park, and plenty of dogs running around unleashed. Since I am more into animals than buildings as my own subjects, I decided catching the dog’s day was fit for my expression of “catching the day”. Also, the dog is catching a frisbee…

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Since I had about 2.5 hours, I worked at getting it finished instead of perfect, and all you can really do is hope the people chosen to judge the entries think your work goes with what they think fits the theme anyways.

Opus Outdoor Challenge 2015

Though I overall enjoyed the event (free snacks  included from PureBreads, yummy), my impressions based on the choices for the prizes would conclude that skill and small detail level was in fact more relevant than what I recall reading, as the folks who won were primarily working with painting the building structures downtown, with small details and less activity expression. Even the child’s category paid favors to buildings, regardless if another kid’s actually seemed more relevant to catching a live being in a moment.

There was also about 15-20 random draw prize winners for products or gift cards given out. I tried to ensure I was telling myself not to expect anything, but who wouldn’t want to win free good quality supplies?.

The thing that bothered me, since there were rules to be physically present during this name draw, was that 2 kids(both of them siblings) who were in fact sleeping in a car were considered valid winners of this random draw, simply because their other sibling or parent was present, in addition to another I believe. Can’t the kids share? What of the other people? either good luck, or it was set up to have duplicate entries, perhaps? Ah, what can I do?

I decided to visit the park again after dropping my things at home, but this time for photos (especially of dogs, I have no dog to take photos of), I later went back with my better camera. I realized I have biked past it before but never explored it.

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The overhead road to the park.

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Two of the dogs playing around.


That basically concludes the art part of my day. I had the unfortunate event of having a bird lay droppings on my sun hat as I walked back quickly, um….good thing for the hat. Somehow also got myself into a situation of being verbally bullied for being a Caucasian on my cell phone. They were very rowdy and the guy accuses me of being “unable” to handle them. Awkward.

Anyway, I left soon after that. Back to my other works.

The dog painting is up on my Etsy shop:




OPUS Outdoor Painting Challenge 2015

Uh…..well, I was browsing the Opus site regarding a little workshop I clicked on a couple days ago, and I saw a shiny banner advertising about this outdoor challenge. How could I not?
Anyway, so it will be taking place this Sunday, May 10th, 2015.

The locations vary depending on your town and area in which the store you sign up for is located. I went for downtown Vancouver since it should be less crowded than Granville Island (I think) and since it is easier to get to without the extra bus (who knows if it will be full?). If you ever been to Granville Island on Canada Day out of curiousity or another crazy weekend, you would know what I’m talking about.

Event page:

I have never taken part in one of these, since I certainly imagine a huge crowd and that seems like it wouldn’t allow me to concentrate (I also have social anxiety, so that doesn’t help). However, the rewards seem good enough to at least try for, and I have thought previously of this sort of thing before. There was one about an hour away from where I live I wanted to do before, but of course I didn’t make it that far. Even without the crowd I’m all nervous!

Gee….I haven’t even used my acrylic paint set for at least 1 year, if not 3 years, since I’ve moved around various times and really don’t want to stain anybody’s floors or walls by accident–an angry roommate doesn’t seem like a fun idea. I am not really sure there is a safe place to paint outside the parent’s home (uh, wait,…never mind…). Well, I certainly don’t have money for my own studio, so….this is the time to see what happens, I guess. No excuses for this one. It seems the theme simply is “mood of the day”, probably regarding weather and, I suppose the immediate environment.

If anything, I plan to run to the nearest park for a spot (what is this, hunger games?) and hope to find a bird-or maybe I’ll take some reference photos with me. Probably should get there early…it seems there is a “limited” supply of provided canvases….I sure hope all are given out to those who chose to use one…or else, I have to run back home and see if I even have a 9″x11″ canvas in my pile of dusty acrylic supplies I bought on discounts.

Other upcoming events of interest this week:
The Vancouver Public Library is hosting a few art and ecology related displays this week, so I’ll be taking a look at those. I am most interested in the Artists for Conservation display (eh? I had no notion they were showing here via the places I signed up with them..) and the Peace of Mind exhibit regarding mental health and art expression. As usual, I had not found this until it was to late to submit myself, so I am adding it to the list for next year and a possible September display they say will happen.

Stanley Park Ecology Society has an info session and visual panel for architects and designers to learn about working with using bird-friendly project designs to celebrate Bird Week (May2-9) (more windows kill birds than house cats, I recall). Even if I don’t attend simply to see how it goes, I am interested in how it turns out and if it will encourage change for the best.

Events at the lower mainland libraries: