Using art and social media to promote a business vision

I just came across a wonderful example of a young entrepreneurial woman using art and social media tools to build awareness for her business idea in her search for possible investors and sponsors.

Natasha Grau-Ensminger has a vision for a creative and communal local art and food lounge that supports the community of Victoria, B.C. and brings a new concept to the capital city of British Columbia, Canada.

What kind of art? “Non-traditional, colourful, imaginative”, says the founder of Lacey-Lou Tapas Lounge Inc.  “Victoria is home to countless talented artists who have limited opportunity to display their work. By combining an art gallery and lounge, our customers can take the time to enjoy and discuss the works in a relaxed environment.”

Students, cooks, servers, bartenders, artists, musicians, contractors, entrepreneurs and industry mentors have contributed to the Lacey-Lou business plan over the past year, explains Natasha. “Together we will continue to work on this project and set the plan in motion.”

Natasha reaches out to people who care about what she does.  She’s been expanding her social network over months, showing them her talent by posting photographs of her art work, talking about her business ideas and vision and then bringing it all together in a superb funding campaign on

Check out the video clip about her project that she filmed on her I phone and edited all by herself.  A job well done and a great example of how effectively social media tools can be used for promoting one’s art, business and vision.


The Vevey international photography Award 2013/2014 goes to Augustin Rebetez

Having lived in Switzerland for many years, I am pleased to hear that the young Swiss photographer Augustin Rebetez is the winner of the Vevey International Photography Award 2013/14.

After two days of deliberation around 750 applications from 63 countries, a jury of international professionals composed of  Florian Ebner, curator at Folkwang Museum in Essen (Germany), Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh & Rozenn Quéré, winners of the Vevey international photography award 2011/2012, Erik Kessels, curator and editor at KesselsKramer in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Kathy Ryan, photo editor at New York Times Magazine (USA) and presided by French photographer Bettina Rheims decided to award the young Swiss photographer Augustin Rebetez.

The jury states:
“The jury was unanimous in its decision for the Vevey international photography award 2013/2014. The winner Augustin Rebetez breathes energy in his works. He has developed a very ownable style over a very short period of time, even though this is not easy to put in a box. With a combination of free and staged photography using his immediate surroundings, he constantly surprises with his work. Augustin is not afraid to cross over with sculpture, film, photography and even drawings. He is one of the rare new and raw talents that the world of photography is waiting for. The fact that he studied in Vevey and lives in the region came as a pleasant surprise for the international jury. The proposed project will be a very welcome catalyst to further develop his creative madness.”

The project submitted to the Vevey international photography Award is more than strictly photographic: Augustin Rebetez plans an exhibition based on collaborations with artists and professionals from multiple fields, featuring photography and video, construction, projections and music. Starting from photographic portraits of people from the circassian community – acrobats, clowns, contortionist – he plans on recreating a magic and surprising universe.

About the project:

The Vevey international photography Award consists in providing crucial assistance for projects that have not been realised, in the form of a grant up to CHF 40,000 (around € 33,000), in order to bring a photography initiative to completion.

Art – more than instant gratification

Surrounded by beauty

“Surrounded by beauty” by D.S. Herold / Copyright 2013

The American Poet and Essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) once wrote

“Love of beauty is taste.  The creation of beauty is Art.”

About one hundred years later – in the 1960s – the German Artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) formulated his concepts regarding the social, cultural and political function and potential of art. Motivated by a belief in the power of universal human creativity and confident in the potential for art to bring about revolutionary change, Beuys said:

“I not only want to stimulate people,
I want to provoke them.” (1)

Beuys’ art works and performances are not about entertaining and amusing the audience. It is an awakening message from the tradition, a recognition of the whole based upon a new concept of beauty that extends beyond the instant gratification. It is a movement from the tradition, the expected, and the established for an inclusive openness. (2)

Why Art? What does it mean to you? Self-expression, a career path, big business, a mean for problem solving or a way of communicating? All of the above or none at all? My art not only motivates me and gives me focus, it somehow supports my emotional intelligence and helps me to discover my own self.


SOURCES: (1) Bastian, Heines and Jeannot Simmen, “Interview with Joseph Beuys,” in the catalog exhibition, Joseph Beuys, Drawings, Victoria and Albert Museum, Westerham Press, 1983, no folio;  (2)

Mixed media – no rules, but lots of fun

series of four

Mixed media is an interesting art, because …

… there are no rules.  When putting together an artwork which consists of more than one medium, you can use pieces of newspaper, magazines, stamps, cloth, sand, paint, leaves or whatever your heart desires.

Assembling your selection of pieces to a pleasing work of art not only trains the eye to form, composition, colour matches and shapes, it also functions as a stream of consciousness where you follow your intuition in the creation of beauty.

gaugeelephant  fatimashell

Noah Layne’s blog on art

Noah Layne  is a realist artist who works out of his studio in Victoria, BC, Canada. I have taken a couple of wonderful workshops with him in Fall and was more than impressed. Noah, who has been nominated for a Canadian Webblog Award, is a great teacher and keeps sharing his knowledge with his students in his classes and on his website:

He recently added a blog on “lemon painting – step by step” – check it out, it’s amazing.

Printing workshop


My friend Ludgera Mueller and I had the opportunity to explore simple means and methods for printmaking at the Graven Feather studio in Toronto at the beginning of this year. We were printing on already existing items using different and easy techniques without special or expensive equipment. What an inspiration and what fun to work with Pam Lobb!

The Graven Feather studio is an open and accessible destination dedicated to fostering creative output and artistic exchange. Geared towards both artists and the art-loving public, this bright and cheery environment is at its root a functioning studio for its members, as well as a workshop and gallery space.