2018 was an incredible year for Art Pays Me. My best year to date actually. I say that, not because I made more money than I ever have, but because I've made more impact than I ever have. This brand has allowed me to connect with so many incredible people and I'm excited to see what will come from those relationships.
As I sit here on the last day of 2018, I want to take some time to acknowledge some of my favourite moments from the year. A lot of people have been posting their top 9 most liked photos on Instagram but I'm going to skip that because what was most liked didn't always reflect a key moment for me. Instead, I'll share my top moments In no particular order here.
Changing the Narrative On Breakfast Television
In the very early stages of our podcast, Changing the Narrative we were featured on Breakfast Television to talk about the podcast and why we started it. View the segment here.
Best Of Halifax Readers' Choice Awards Nominations
Another example of visualizing a goal and taking the steps to make it happen was getting nominated for a Coast Best Of Halifax Readers' Choice Award. One of my goals for 2018 was to dramatically increase awareness of the Art Pays Me brand and the Changing the Narrative Podcast in Halifax. A lot of our target market reads The Coast so winning a Best Of Halifax Award would be a great way to establish credibility in this market. Unfortunately we didn't win but making it to the final round of nominations for Best Fashion Designer and Best Podcast for was an incredible feeling.
Moments In Culture
In 2017 I told my friend Solitha that I would like to host a fashion and art event some day and she challenged me to stop talking about it and make it happen. With her her help, I hosted, Moments In Culture, a fashion and art event that took place at the Halifax Central Library on May 19th of this year.
This was an important moment for many reasons. It forced me to jump back into my art bag and produce paintings which is something that I wanted to do but hadn't done consistently for a long time. It was also the first time that I got to collaborate with my daughters on a real product. They designed a t-shirt for the collection with a social goal to raise money for an animal shelter called Bide Awhile. You can find the t-shirt here.
Moments In Culture was my first time hosting an event, and it's large turnout and positive reception gave me a level of confidence that I didn't have before. I had to consider every detail including, budget, entertainment, marketing, ticket sales, the venue and its restrictions and a host of other things like arriving late because the Blue Nose Marathon was on the same day and made traffic a mess!
One side people also didn't see was the amount of financial and personal strain the event put on my family. I learned a lot of life and business lessons from that process and am proud of myself for taking it on and thankful that my family was able to support me through it. View images from Moments In Culture Here.
Speaking At Podcamp Halifax
Speaking at Podcamp Halifax was an amazing experience. I shared the Art Pays Me origin story and we did our first recording of Changing the Narrative in front of a live audience. I was extremely humbled to see how many people connected with what I was saying. It opened my eyes to the potential impact that Art Pays Me can have.
Atlantic Fashion Week 12
This year I presented during Atlantic Fashion Week for the 3rd time. This moment stands out because I was going through a tough time personally while designing the collection, right up until after Atlantic Fashion Week ended. I was proud of myself for pushing through those challenges and received a lot of positive feedback from people in attendance.
The title of my collection, Purpose was inspired by people who risk their careers and or safety in order to make society better for all of us. Check out my post with some runway photos from the event taken by Brent McCombs. Makeup by Elle Munster and Kiara Ardelli. Hair by HDC.
Art Pays Eman
Brooklyn based comedian Eman El-Husseini is a Palestinian Muslim comedian who’s married to Jewish comedian Jess Salomon. Eman exemplifies so much of what I stand for as an artist and what Art Pays Me stands for as a brand. I was thrilled when footage of her wearing my Art Pays Tank on CBCs The National was forwarded to me!