Being an outsider artist, I never really had an understanding of the conventions that professionally trained artists follow. What I did understand was what made me go into business: my love for art. I decided early on that if I was going to make a career in art, it had to sustain itself and it had to make financial sense for me to invest in the time and supplies needed without having to take on a nine-to-five job to make it work.

I knew that a single piece of my art was not likely to earn tens of thousands of dollars, so it was necessary for me to produce multiple prints of any given work. I had previously been interested in linocut, so that’s the direction in which I headed. All of my art is hand drawn, hand carved and hand printed. I loved carving, but learning as I went meant my rate of traditional linocut misprints was high. That’s when I taught myself to use a silk screen, and made a hybrid process.

Holdfast Ink is truly a mom and pop organization, a real life cottage craft. My husband and I bought an 80s era old silk screen shop equipment in Moncton and put a print studio in our basement, teaching ourselves how to use all the equipment as we went.
I started Holdfast Ink at a time when New Brunswick tourism was expanding and our area was looking to promote its local businesses. Instead of being a drive-through province, New Brunswick was becoming a destination. This meant new and burgeoning markets, boutiques, and stores across the province. I realized that stores would need quality handmade local goods to offer to our new tourists. I saw the opportunity to connect the growth of the tourist market to my love of making beautiful things. It is our goal at Holdfast Ink to make all of our products sustainable, practical and beautiful.

I have so much gratitude for the opportunities that New Brunswick gave my family. One thing I did not count on was how much love locals would have for my art and products, then again, our province is a very beautiful place, and we love it, so why wouldn’t anyone else?

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