Whew! It has been over a year since we last did an interview. The time sure goes by fast. Here it is 5 years, 6 months, 10 days, 16 hours and 48 minutes since we began our ArtsQuest journey. But hey, who’s counting. Gary and I are tremendously grateful to all of you who have stuck around with us for so long. It motivates us to keep doing what we do.
Most of the last year has been spent working and reworking the ArtsQuest marketplace. Many of our conversations and brainstorming have lead us to some great ideas. And once in a while when we came up for air the memory of how all this came about surfaced as well.
It was a sign!
In 2010, I saw a sign. Literally; it was a highway sign that read Artisan. Gary and I were on our way home from a financial convention in Los Angeles and we decided to take a different route through B.C. to check out an area we had always dreamed of moving to. I saw the sign and said to Gary, “I wonder what artists in these small communities do to sell their art once the tourist season is over?” And that is how it all began.
We talked and talked, all the way home to Calgary, about how we could build a website for artists in Canada that would give them a place to sell their art all year long and give us a business where we wouldn’t be tied to the economic constraints of the city.
So in 2011, at the ages of 45 and 47, we sold our house and quit our jobs and downsized. I decided I was smart enough to build a website. After all, how hard could it be? I got the Dummies guide from the library and went at it. I did learn a little html code but what I really learned was I wasn’t the gal for the job. We then decided to look for a web developer to help us with it and we chose someone who was in the area we eventually wanted to live.
Having had a bit of life experience, and being one of the last generations to bridge face-to-face style communication with technological style communication, we decided to employ both in our efforts to create our ArtsQuest business. To use the popular misquote from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”. We understood very well that in the web world you have to do more than just build a website in order to have people show up there. So after our former life was settled, we bought an iconic VW Westfalia Vanagon (many great businesses like MEC and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream got their start with one of these), convinced our 8 1/2 year old cat Marli to join us, and set out to interview artists from all around the country.
To date we have put 25,000 km on Arty (our van) and interviewed 130 + artists from B.C. to Newfoundland and up to the Yukon and back. We are still waiting for our website to be finished but we are cautiously optimistic it will be completed very soon. It has been a long journey both physically and mentally at times and we haven’t yet reached our destination. In the mean time we have learned so many different skills, had many “Ah Ha” moments, learned some hard lessons, and met and made friends with people all over Canada. Hopefully we will get to find out if the phrase “good things come to those who wait” (and of course work hard along the way), will in fact be true.
So now we are off to do at least 20 interviews in Saskatchewan and Manitoba with our first scheduled for August 20. Each time we head out our approach to things always seems to be a little different. Hmm, perhaps more creative? This time we have come up with a fun way for all of you to join us on our trip.
Each time we post an interview blog we will also include a question in our newsletter and on social media. The answer can be found within the written portion or the video portion of each interview. All you have to do is go find the answers and submit them to us via email email@example.com or through our contact form on our website. If you miss a question, don’t fret, we will keep a running list under the Treasure Hunt tab on our website.
For each set of questions you submit (see full details under the Treasure Hunt tab) you will receive one entry for a chance to win one of 3 pieces of art which we will pick up from the artists on this interview tour. The Treasure!
We hope you will join us on our 2016 Artist Interview Road Trip, meet the artists and have some fun along the way.
Corinne and Gary Funk