From as early as Carmen can remember she processes things through art, her parents divorce and later living away from her family. Born in Vancouver she is now finding her voice an an illustrator in Toronto. Working freelance for client’s like the Grape Witches and featuring at markets including Stackt that launched just in time for the warmer weather. Carmen shares with us that there is still that sense of needing to validate herself to family and the comfort that can come from having a partner, even if he’s completely opposite to you creatively but is keen to understand. At the end of the day she works hard, and strives to make quality work that leaves client’s happy while challenging her. A goal that many creatives relate to but not all jobs meet.
Welcome back! It’s taken a minute to get back into the swing of podcasting but I am so excited to start it back up after a year hiatus. Our first guest is Ria Elciario, founder of the online platform She’s Got Wonder where creatives have a chance to display their work in a landscape that is often hard to enter. Ria was inspired by her own experience and struggles getting her work seen, to give voice to those talented individuals that found the barriers to display their work intimidating and impossible. The name was inspired by the David Bowie song She’s Got Medals and the rest is history.
Ria dabbled in the culinary arts, had an online magazine, from early she had a love for performance and music and her story meanders in this way of using her family and friends to inspire creating and pushing past mental blocks that she gets very vulnerable about. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.
The first solo episode of Framed with Love and season 1 finale!
Love, shame, self-respect and vulnerability can be such heated words. They are experiences we need to sit with and reflect on to truly see how they are impacting us in everyday life. There is beauty in not knowing how things will go and making mistakes along the way, but learn from it all and allow yourself to use this as fuel to create.
Photo by Justin Robinson
Career changes to changing alongside one's partner and working with entrepreneurs who give back to their community our guest this week is Felicia Baird. She host the podcast It's Not About You while working as a producer in Toronto.
Hearing about her relationships being at a slightly different tempo than many around her, how she deals with feedback that is tough to swallow but perseveres and also the value in having the courage to know when to leave something.
Let's talk anxiety, self love and maintaining integrity in a the rough patch of early adulthood when the ticker on our goals feels like it's constantly ringing in our ears. Interior designer Zoe Osborne get's real about coping with anxiety and self love trick and staying connected with family.
We touch on city design and island design and the importance of creating an environment that feels like home. This episode artfully shows how design, life and love all intersect.
Teyama and Andrew are a working team, it's strictly professional yet you can feel how their energy feeds off each other. They are currently working on a documentary film and they tell us a bit about how they get the people the film is focused on to feel comfortable and allow for an organic representation of life. At the end of the day they want to tell stories that relay universal experiences, this includes the struggle as well as the high points and they're honest about having an agenda.
With such passion for their careers it can be hard to make time for relationships and this is where prioritizing time is important. This episode shows that it isn't all rainbows and roses but that doesn't mean it won't be worth it.
Kotama Bouabane is a photographer who looks at photography with a critical eye questioning it's purpose. He's interested in the dialogue between the way we think about visual culture and what is that flat out goal we are trying to achieve with what we are doing. Ideas of place, representation and identity form the basis of many of his pieces where he disrupts traditional views and calls attention to the constant changing nature of identity.
He also presents an interesting view on wedding photography, including one crazy third date at a wedding exposition and gets vulnerable with us about the challenges of not always being understood by his family. All this life, all this experience and grappling with what triggers his own breakdowns has resulted in art that resonates.
A couple that works together, stays together. Sounds like an oxymoron huh, so many of us would dread the idea of working with our partners. Where's the space? Wouldn't it bleed into our relationship? How will we get past taking instruction from each other? Yet the wedding photography duo Erin and Mitch make it work.
Perhaps it was the pressure free scenario in which they met, although Mitch made a conscious decision to pursue Erin it was because he took a genuine interest in her work and from there it all evolved. The initial distance between cities allowing them to be intentional with their communication and fast forward three years and now they work together! Mitch's very first wedding, like ever, was as Erin's assistant. Their romance is almost magical in an I wish it would just rub off on me kind of way and somehow it translates so well to them working as a team.
They take us through their meet cute (cliché was necessary), first I love you and eventual transition to being creatives that produce quality work together.
Marc Marquez is a Houston based, Trini born, financial advisor. How is that an artist you may ask, well it isn't in the traditional sense but we're attempting to debunk that. Creating a name for yourself out of nothing in the business world, being honest to himself and his heart. That's art.
We talk about family, how one dream can shift into a whole new career path, using our character traits to our advantage, the hardships unexpected medical issues can bring on and how even after two failed marriages he never gave up on true love. It's a love that few people experience, accidentally slipping to 'we' when referring to his own decisions and calling his wife his best friend. It's a love I think we all aspire to, the closest thing to soul mates if that one person we are destined for idea is true and a reminder that our past is just that. Our past that shouldn't taint the new, the exciting and the chance for a wild incomparable love.
Sandi White is a skilled hairtsylist based in Toronto, and recently opened her own studio on Dundas West. She is also the mother of two young adult and we talk about how this shapes her idea of love. The challenges she has faced to get to where she is. The toxic elements of salon culture and how she is fighting back, most recently with her entrepreneurial move to create a space that was accepting of everyone and is about creating a connection that allows her clients to feel at ease.
The dating landscape is so unique to each person but we touch on challenges each generation faces and the struggle to not settle. How to handle transition and evolve as people and even polyamory and it's increasing visibility.
Zoe Hansen is a singer/songwriter who's sound is best describes and a folk/soul hybrid. She is the musician behind the podcast theme song Paper House and shares her own personal take on love and creating. Pinpointing what love is exactly is no easy task but can best be describes as leaving space for another person, in all their forms. As Zoe draws on her own experience, love in our youth is messy. We have a bunch of loose ends that if we don't deal with will only get tangled up with someone else's so taking care of yourself must come first. Not knowing who you are will only lead to downfall when it comes to a relationship. Another person cannot fill the holes we all have in ourself, eventually resentment will brew on either end as you demand too much of another person for a one man job.
Bethany Pile is a recognized realist painter who studied at the University of Toronto and is currently based in Barbados. She works primarily in oil and watercolour to paint her subjects in great detail.
Realizing one's talent at an early age is something that we are not all so lucky to experience but if you are, it is a masterpiece to watch that person grow and hack away at it each day. Talent alone only gets you so far and Bethany talks about her decision to study art in Toronto, how she finds art subjective and her hesitations to teach since she doesn't want to judge someone else's work. On finishing her degree she swiftly returned back to Barbados, a place that will always be home and somewhere she can translate the contemporary techniques she learned.
Relationships help push her to create but Bethany is skilled at keeping her private life and her art two distinct entities. Creating polarizing work without exposing too much of her own inner life.
Garrett Olson is an Edmonton based singer/songwriter. He initially found success in the high-energy rock scene with his band The Fallers and after this stint in Toronto has returned to his roots in Alberta. His solo endeavor has him crafting a new sound that shows his maturity with writing, melody, and life in general.
We talk about the importance of maintaining relationships, how our own taste can change with age and on that note how it's never too late to start again. With our own short lived romantic past it was easy to look at how social media allows us to keep tabs on people in a new way, and how this is potentially positive. Supporting others to succeed is rewarding, and as Garrett says perhaps you don't get your big break because it was that other person's chance. Most things in life are simultaneously sad and beautiful.
David Norsworth is a contemporary dancer, teacher and choreographer based in Toronto. Initially dipping his toe in the field of movement as a gymnast, to eventually be accepted into The Juilliard School for dance. He is passionate about improv seeing it as a way of figuring out how to move yourself into the future based on everything you're experiencing in that moment and have experienced in the past. And that doesn't mean it's always going to look beautiful or feel nice but it's also a commitment to process.
He shares that despite his relationship being over a year, he has never fought with his partner and how relationships with your art are much the same as good interpersonal relationships requiring trust and commitment.
Sofie Warren is the second photographer from Barbados that I interview and was one of the first figures in my own journey as a creative. She shares how reflecting and being intentional on your actions can help you get past barriers in putting work out to the world. Another starring role in her life is mother and wife and she touches on the challenges stay at home mums can face, how having a similar partner or kids growing up can change ones outlook.
You can find her these days doing more of the work she wants and not just what is expected, keeping her family near as the core support team to it all.
Even with an early start declaring yourself an artist doesn't guarantee a clear cut path. It's confusing to try and become self-aware when in your pre-teens you are being molded into a model and confined to that box. Julie was scouted at 13 and as rewarding as modeling was at times she refused to be pigeonholed. The Norwegian beauty talks about travel, shifting interest to photography and the tinder world that ultimately led her to love.
For the first episode I interview lifestyle and wedding photographer from Barbados, Aniya Lenegro. We allowed the conversation to just flow while staying along the lines of what inspires her, tips for other creatives and getting a bit vulnerable about family, finding love and fresh starts.