From artist to entrepreneur: Alex turns his passion into a business
When Alex isn’t busy baking, you will likely find the 27 year old with a paint brush in his hand. A part time employee at Gabi & Jules bakery, Alex has turned his passion for art into a budding side business.
Most recently, Alex displayed his artwork at the Inclusion Art Show, held on October 12th at Heritage Hall in Vancouver. The show featured approximately 40 pieces of his work, and about half of them were purchased during the event.
Alex has enjoyed painting and drawing as long as he can remember, but it wasn’t until he was working at a large manufacturing business — shortly after high school — that he realized he could sell his art. Alex recalls sketching pictures during his coffee and lunch breaks, and his colleagues asking if his pieces were for sale.
Since then, Alex has created a website and Instagram account to share information about himself and his creations, which include paintings, drawings, clay sculptures, and wooden toys. His subjects range from locomotives and Beatrix Potter characters to the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the recent Coronation ceremony.
Jeanette Carriere, Kinsight’s Employment Facilitator, has worked with Alex for almost 10 years, including support when he started with Gabi & Jules, and more recently, helping him develop his art business. She is delighted to see him succeed.
“When we were at one of the art shows, you could see the joy in his face when he made a sale,” Jeanette recalls. “He was thrilled that people love his art as much as he does.”
“It is gratifying to see him create art and to have that feeling of pride, which is so self-rewarding,” Jeanette adds.
Alex is one of 14 individuals that Jeanette and the Employment Services team work with. The program supports youth and adults to obtain meaningful, paid employment and they work with employees and employers to support onsite training, job coaching, accessibility and effective workplace relationships.