Owner Spotlight: Artistrophe
I’m Artistrophe, an LGBTQ visual artist in Toronto, Ontario.
I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.
I am an artist and a storyteller who loves listening to music, watching movies, exploring comics and zines when I have the time. I enjoy the creativity of Sci-fi and speculative fiction as well. However, with time I realized that there wasn’t much diversity in the mediums I loved.
For instance, I didn’t see that many people of color or LGBTQ characters depicted in my favorite movies and books, and women were portrayed stereotypically. These were my opinions based on my personal experience as a consumer of popular art forms. This realization motivated me to contribute to diversity in popular culture, one drawing at a time, and by exploring stories that were inclusive, in my perspective.
Belonging to a wide intersection of cultural minorities, I recognize the importance of representation and having relatable narratives and symbols in popular culture. I have been an artist for almost twenty years, operating primarily in the fine arts industry. However, about five years ago, my work began to develop elements of activism and advocacy, focusing mostly on gender and LGBTQ issues.
Soon, I grew frustrated that my ideas were limited to art galleries. It began to feel almost immoral that I was catering only to an exclusive club when there were whole communities out there that could benefit from my message.
This brought me to a period of soul-searching and educating myself in business.
To reach the communities I wanted to serve, I had to make a big shift from focusing on the fine arts industry to conceiving a social media-based business. That’s the short story of how I got into this business.
I have been in business for only a few days as I officially launched this business on January 3, 2019. Although I have operated as an independent artist for years, technically this is my first ever business, and I look forward to seeing where this journey takes me.
As I’m new to the business world, I can only offer you insights into my dreams, aspirations, and skills. As a creatives professional, I love producing art and bringing stories to life, that’s hands-down the most enjoyable part of my work. Once I get into that creative headspace, I get completely consumed and time simply does not exist!
I imagine that the freedom to express one’s self and having the time to do so is the most rewarding part of owning a business like mine. As it is, I find it very rewarding when I interact with someone who has related to my work. It motivates me to keep adding value in the best way I know how.
The business philosophy I plan to follow is, “Get the hell out of The System!”
It’s all about busting stereotypes and inspiring fans and clients alike to brazenly embrace their true nature. In a world where everyone seems to be living cookie-cutter lives in little boxes on the hillside, you’re likely to feel vulnerable when you exist on the fringes alone. But, you don’t have to fit the mold.
As an individual, I believe what sets me apart from the others is my authenticity, honesty, and accountability for my work and concepts.
At the same time, I consider myself a lifelong learner. I am constantly curious and always tinkering, experimenting, and exploring, and these qualities have given me the ability to reinvent myself while staying true at my core. Through almost twenty years of art practice, I have adapted to the times and kept going while artists with monolithic ideas that were grand yesteryear have fallen. I believe that adaptability is a crucial ingredient for success in business, and I think I have it.
My biggest accomplishment so far has been to single-handedly raise enough cash to migrate to Canada to navigate my business in a nurturing environment as well as live my life more authentically.
When I am not working, I love watching movies. Although I am not sure that you can strictly call this non-work time because in the back of my mind I am feeding my creativity every time I watch a movie. I love listening to music just as much for the same reasons.
When it comes to personal causes, you could say mine is all rolled up with my business philosophy. I grew up in a very polite yet conservative society, which forced me to misrepresent myself and hide the fact that I am gay. I wasted so much time trying to be someone I knew I could never be, and now, I hope that by telling my stories, I can spare someone out there who is experiencing the same self-doubt I did.
By embarking on my journey of truth, I plan to inspire others to seek their own truth and embrace their power.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.
If you or someone you know could benefit from my artistic expertise as an LGBTQ visual artist in Toronto, Ontario, I invite you to get in touch. Please visit our website at www.artistroverse.com.