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Pivot & Pilot Conversations: Working Artists: Making Creative Your Full-time

On Thursday, 29th August we hosted a P&P Conversation Panel featuring entrepreneurs who have successfully grown their passions into fulfilling careers.

Our panelists walked us through their creative journeys, highlighting the challenges of developing a personal brand, the role of social media, and how they stay inventive in a competitive industry. They all agreed that starting your own business can be difficult and overwhelming at times, however the general consensus was that they feel inspired and fulfilled everyday and haven’t looked back since.

Meet Our Panelists!

Ben Barber – Founder of Ben Barber Studio

Object designer, Ben Barber, is the creative behind the highly focussed aesthetic language that can be experienced in all his designs, ranging from colourfully shaped dining tables to unique bowls. Trained in sculpture, Ben produces a range of retail-ready products in collaboration with local manufacturers of all mediums. In each design, Ben explores the character of shapes, and the emotional resonance in colour.

Michelle Walters, Marketing & Branding of Wolf Circus

Nine years and going strong, Wolf Circus changed from passion project to one of the most well-known jewelry brands of Vancouver. The brand focuses on keeping it local, ethical and affordable, while also appealing to both men and women by balancing their aesthetic between everyday wearable and uniquely memorable. Along with Fiona Morrison, the founder of Wolf Circus, Michelle is dedicated to growing the brand and they are now sold online, as well as in the US, Asia, Europe, Puerto Rico and Australia.

Yi Stropky, Founder of @chinatown_stropky

Yi is the tattoo artist behind @chinatown_stropky, a well-known name within the tattoo world. With animation as his roots, his minimal, black line work gained traction quickly through his unique approach to image making and storytelling. Yi’s work captures everything from whimsy, erotica, feminism, nature, and everything in between.

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