Category: Blog

Networking Effectively Online and Offline 101

Your network is your net worth.”

Networking is the art of developing professional and social contacts. Can you list yours?

Valuable and strategic contacts can play a key role in professional growth. However, it seems harder and harder to get someone’s attention, but it doesn’t have to be. 

In just one click, two creatives from two different countries can collaborate. But how can you make networking work for you instead of leaving it to chance?

Don’t be aimless.

 

 

Know Your Why

Firstly, know why you want to network. For example, is it to promote a show; find new leads (potential clients, but unsure) or clients (people who will pay); pitch an idea, service or product; collaborate, or seek mentorship or other advice? Networking does not and should not just be about taking – make sure there is a balance between getting inspired or just appreciating and sharing someone else’s work. Better yet, give them something of value, rather than take (this one’s important).

 

How to Network 101

1. Make a schedule – if you don’t have a plan how will you know where to start? If it’s social media, (we both know you’re on it a lot more than you admit) chances are you should be interacting at least once per week related to your ‘why’ (see above). Schedule yourself: X hrs per week on Sunday, or 1 event per month after work.

 

2. Professionalism – is your portfolio up-to-date and ready to go? There’s nothing worse than letting someone know, ‘it’s not all there, but…’ If you don’t have the time to showcase your own work, what message are you sending? Communicate professionally at all times because your reputation is forever – especially as a digital tattoo. I’ve seen messages that are aggressive, demanding, and don’t include a simple thank you. Make sure to start and end politely. No one has to freely give you their time and knowledge. They might be busy, uninterested, or receive a lot of requests. Don’t take it personally, and don’t give up (you know the story of J.K. Rowling’s rejections or unsuccessful American Idols).

 

3. Research – are events agonizing for you? If your aim is to get more clients, you attend more events to increase your chances (if you ace everything on this list). Use Facebook events or groups, Meetup, Eventbrite, or check out art listings in your city, such as galleries, music events, community gatherings connected to the art world. Above all, do not rely only on digital connections, meeting in person can pay off.

4. Research people – this is often overlooked. Know who will be at an event and why, so you can speak accordingly. If you have specific questions about finances or publishing, find the right person to speak with, or ask if anyone knows someone. If you like their work let them know you’re a fan. Don’t be poorly researched. If they have videos or a website go to that first. Tag them in your posts with something personal. Make it memorable.

 

5. Memorize your pitch – how do you want to start a conversation? If you're an introvert, you better be practising in front of a mirror or with a friend. Share what’s unique about you, and get passionate speaking about yourself. Understand how to make a pitch you’re comfortable making based on your ask. There are resources on, how not market yourself, on ‘creating the perfect pitch’ here, here and here. To sum, your ‘pitch’ should really make someone say, ‘tell me more!’ Make yourself positively memorable – vibes are key.

 

6. Psychological preparation – does the thought of networking make your stomach churn? Or does another networking event bore you to death? Finding, preparing, networking and pitching can sound like a lot, even if it’s informal, ‘feel free to check out my work, here’s my Instagram – no pressure if you don’t. Nice meeting you.’ But you do need to be okay with nerves or getting turned down. The solution: remain curious. You're learning and that means knocking on a few wrong doors. If you’re consistent enough, you refine, and keep pushing. The ‘no’ will clear the way for the ‘yes’ meant for you.

 

7. Think outside the box - Perhaps you hate an event, it’s too pink washed, or too happy, or it’s ‘not your style,’ or niche. I’ve had friends decide not to go to such events. While this is true on the surface, but what if somebody at the event wants your hand made designs at their next sponsored event in all of their gift bags? What if you can be the graphic designer for their next conference with over 1000 participants? Or what if that annoying looking person is interested and says the magic words, ‘let me make an introduction…’ – do not limit your networking imagination.

 

8. Follow-upBe sure to follow-up in one week with a kind message. Add each other on LinkedIn or Instagram. Send a note, Thanks for sharing X (something they said), I really appreciate your time. Please stay in touch, sincerely X. Include all of the links to your work. Be diligent, accessible, and open for communication. (Do not respond to their email one month later. Be courteous and respond within 48 hours).

Approach as if you’re Ready

If you think it’s hard to communicate with a stranger, do you think potential clients or collaborators will reach out to you in a sea of other artists? It’s up to you to share your talents and voice with the world – there’s a reason why were given them.

Be self-aware, know why you’re networking and practice the skills – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Most importantly, your personal story is your brand, even if you’re unsure of exactly what that is at first. Start at one point and just go - do it scared.

A 3-Point Checklist for Analyzing a Business Opportunity

Every time we say yes to a new project, we’re saying no to other things – our own projects, our friends and family, our self-care. There may be pros to saying yes, but what if there’s a method to figuring out what to say yes to?

Instagram tips for business are good, but what do you do when you need to negotiate multiple business opportunities? Which one’s do you say no to?

You might be thinking, why would I want to say no to an opportunity? There are plenty of reasons. The most being, do you want to spend more time creating based on the visions of others over your own? Do you want to own your work, or give that license to others?

The least being, partnerships can go bad, bleed beyond what you originally agreed to, or they may contradict your values. Certainly chasing a cheque makes sense to ensure you have a roof and food, but if the work compromises your principles the deal might not be as sweet as it looks. Above all, don’t hit the nail on the wrong project just because you have a hammer.

Before you decide, know the three C’s of analyzing a business opportunity. Being in the thick of the moment – you’re sitting across a brand, or fun opportunity that might blind-side you. Also, negotiation from execs who spend and hire are not to be over looked. Or, they’re your friends, and you have a difficult time saying no. As a result, you need clarity, conviction and choice.

  1. Clarity – Understand what the business opportunity is very carefully. What’s the ask, the budget, scope, and who owns the work? Will more work be added later, how will that be billed? Are there additional expectations you need to know about?
  2. Conviction – understanding the opportunity might be simple , but does it align with your values, mission and where you see yourself in a few years? What are your principles and will this impact your reputation in any unforeseeable or irreversible ways? Will it help you, or will it exploit you?
  3. Choice – consider your options before anything. Negotiate terms you don’t like. Saying no might mean you’re putting yourself in a better position in the long-run to work on your ideas, your longevity, and not just the immediacy of an opportunity bait dangling in front of you like a carrot.

Say no, and focus on the attention your craft needs, such as quality and reputation. Say yes, and sacrifice time, and possibly creative vision and values – but above all, only you know what will work for you. You might have to go through some experiences to grasp your convictions. Or, speak with an established artist for mentorship.

Finally, think the opportunity through, and see with new eyes using the three C’s. If possible, negotiate the terms of the work to reach a middle ground. Perhaps you’re building your portfolio, but will it benefit you? You can’t say yes to everyone – your talents and vision won’t evolve that way.


 

 

Blog – Three Layers to Ourselves

Insight - The Abyss of Failing Someone

Cold Open

They say love flashes before our eyes when death stares us in the face.

That love is our life, it's an overwhelming amount of information stimulating our brains. It starts as a slow pulse, then hits 60 miles per hour, we enter the highway, then it's 1000s of miles per hour coupled with a roaring brightness; blinding to the eyes and fire to our minds. It's kind of like the time we use to snuggle in the back of our parent’s car, half asleep. Road trip to our next adventure.

Death is the only thing promised to us. Everything ever created must inevitably end, sand must return to glass. We are sand becoming glass, and because that evolution is constant, love is constant.

Because love is constant, our lives flashing before our eyes is constant. A million slides reflecting every second of our lives.

That's my mother.

I can still hear her cry at the thought of losing her son, something I selfishly wish I never experience.

She lost her mind, panicked and hysterical, and this moment in time happens so fast. That’s the crowd of onlookers around us, that’s the moment I gain consciousness. That’s that cough that pushes water out of my lungs. That’s the hand that grabs me out of the water. That’s my reflection, a mirror in the water before I crash through.

I remember getting pushed in a pool as an ending and beginning.

Those set of slides are my mother hugging me out of the cold open.

Three Layers to Ourselves

 

 

Submission.

Somewhere along the way we lost sight of the word: its beauty, its grace, and the freedom it offers from the trappings of living in a material world.

Here is my uncle giving me another 1 hour lecture; it’s about a cup.

He tells me that I need to let go of my angst. He delves deeper and tells me if I’m holding a cup for too long and it becomes too heavy, I am going to let it fall on the floor, broken in a million pieces, water everywhere.

By accepting that we’re wasting time and energy holding a cup up, waiting for our needs to be met, we open ourselves up to solutions, we learn new things because we grew older: it’s wisdom. 

Wisdom, an ongoing process that helps us learn to see the world around us more clearer than before. Next time we choose a lighter cup, maybe fill it halfway up so we can hold it longer, or there, over there a table top. With foresight comes understanding, and though it’s a cup analogy it shows how simple the process of life can be.

Those slides eventually turn from black and white, to color screens, high definition then holograms.

 

The Power of Choice

We are given free will; all mankind has a right to free will and therefore the right to choose (within limits). We can’t fly (in the material world) but we can choose to react to things or be responsive.

That's what separates humans from wild animals; animals act on instinct, animals can be rabid and those animals can’t (necessarily) be held accountable for their actions. (purrrr)

We are every choice we have made and part of making these choices is by understanding who we are, and by extent what we want, something done through reflection.

One of my favorite comic books of all time is beautifully scripted by Brian Azarello, and his writing is breathtakingly illustrated by on of my favorite artists, Jim Lee.

It made me understand Superman as a person, that he goes through doubt and insecurity.

The comic beautifully illustrates why he has to wear this mask…

Why we all wear masks.

 

Kal El is a Mother’s Child

The 1st layer to ourselves is Kal El: the person only our parents know.

They were the ones that have known us from birth, they are the (early) architects of our lives. That’s me at the edge of a pool, my reflection staring back at me, surface of the water is a fear barrier, plunging through is the only way to overcome fear.

I am my mother’s child in more than a million ways. Her wisdom set the tone towards an ever-evolving study of self, and though I’m sure there are other key moments in my life, learning to swim was the best way to speak about self reflection.

 

Clark Kent is our 2nd layer

The 2nd layer is the mask we create to protect our vulnerabilities. In the age of social media we’re increasingly forced to wear many masks for different circles and situation. We can lose ourselves in the shuffle.

The danger of the second layer is the ego, a false sense of self, a self that feeds on the seven deadly sins only to tax us with more self-doubts and insecurity once the dopamine wears off.

In Superman’s story, Lex Luthor represents that side of humanity

Lex figures out who Superman is, though he’s brilliant in his own right, he’s conflicted. Because he can’t see clearly he dismisses the idea, he can't fathom that a person with the power of a god would disguise themselves as a feeble human being.

It takes letting go of the ego, to steps outside oneself and look oneself in the mirror with sober eyes. When we understand we know when to put the cup down.

Lex Luthor represents the half of humanity that doesn't understand, he’s always holding up his cup; his cup is jealousy.

Lois Lane can't see through the disguise; her cup is...

Insight - Hierarchy of Minds

The Third Layer To Ourselves

In Hierarchy of Minds I bring up the 4 mindsets and I would like to elaborate on that to close the third layer. The first 2 mindsets are at the bottom of that hierarchy because they are prisoners of their own minds, a situation all of us go through. But some of us become addicted to it, the victim of circumstance without holding ourselves accountable, we feel society owes us something, it's a slave mentality. The soldier stops complaining about their circumstance, they decide to do something about it, but a soldier will only go so far before they quit.

A step beyond a soldier is the 3rd layer to ourselves, it’s the warrior. A warrior is a soldier who makes the choices to become aligned with their passion. They made the tough choice to jump off the deep end through the fear barrier, because they are willing to die for whatever they are fighting for, what they believe in.

 

Podcast – Let’s Make Another Potluck/Meetup Happen on Saturday, May 26th at 720 Bathurst

Podcast - Let's Make Another Potluck/Meetup Happen.

 

Saturday, May 26th

Hello Unicorns Karen Swyszcz here, part of Research and Development with Creative Unicorns of Toronto. I'm excited to be part of CUTO podcast and our monthly Meetups. I can't wait to cover more topics that can benefit you and your business at our next Potluck Meetup

 

These topics include:

  • How To Analyze A Business Opportunity
  • Networking Effectively/Strategically
  • Saving Money While Running A Business
  • Things Learned in the First Couple of Years of Business
  • How To Stay Motivated In Your Business

What are you working on?

  • Do you have any topics you'd like to discuss? Sell your art, workshops, services, exchange skills & information 

We record the conversation for our podcast

Potluck

  • What food are you bringing?
  • Let's connect, let's eat

Join CreativeUTO Marketplace on Meetup 
https://www.creativeuto.ca/creative-unicorns-of-toronto-who-we-are/

Meetup on last Sunday at 6:00 pm

  • Bring your own food/drinks
  • Free to RSVP

(RSVP through link below)
The next Meetup in on Sunday May 26th at 720 Bathurst St.

https://www.meetup.com/CodingUTO/events/259948869/

For more info about CreativeUTO
https://www.creativeuto.ca/community

Help Wanted – Looking To Add Copywriter & Video Host for Artist of the Week

Who we are?

  • A profit share-based incubator system that helps develop creative entrepreneurs through SMARTER Collaboration

What governs us?

  • Stagnant energy is negative energy
  • Still waters collect bacteria
  • We are Creative thinkers
  • Command a critical intellect
  • Articulate with clarity
  • Find the complex in simplicity
  • Are elevated by ambition
  • Grounded in humility
  • Susceptible to growth
  • Have a strong sense of integrity & honesty
  • While respecting flow & energy

More insight – Who We Are

Click here - to start the registration process

 

CreativeUTO.ca continues to evolve beyond one place

  • After many tests working with different contractors in the community we have used the feedback from our metrics to redesign our collaborative process. Contracts will be per project, they have been built in to CreativeUTO’s SMARTERai starting with the registration process.

 

The Annex Art Party and the Artists Social Innovators Expo 2020

The purpose of both events is to get us ready for an art fair in 2020. This project is project is designed to setup in phases

Phase 1

  • 100 artists against Isolation, Mental Health and homelessness
  • The Annex Art Party for August 24th

 

Phase 2

  • and then again in December 15 two 60 table events.
  • Unicorn Awards (where we tally up the 100 trending artists on CreativeUTO and award artists through several categories for having participated )

 

  • A portion of the proceeds go towards researching developing for isolation, mental health and homelessness in the creative community

Contract

  • The initial contract will be until August 24th
  • you’ll be first in line for the December event.
  • Every role we are looking for helps us reach our goal for 2020

 

What we are looking for?

  • Someone dependable and reliable
  • Consistency

 

  • Artist of the week interviews
  • A copywriter to continue our weekly top 5s

Tasks

  • includes scouting artists
  • Responding to E-mail and social media messages
     
  • R & D,
  • curating art,
  • editing,
  • publishing
  • and advertising the post on your network


Operation

  • We work out of
  • Zoom,
  • Slack
  • Facebook
  • and WordPress

 

Below is a list of skills from our collective:

  • Concept art, illustration, graphic design, French, networking, Marketing, Business Solutions, Events Management, Workshop Design, Public Speaking, editing, networking, sales, QA, Teaching, Music production, Advertising, Copy editing, copy writing, content creation, illustration, logo design, project management, Focused, organized strategy, marketing, negotiation, entrepreneurship, typography, Training, Mentoring, Profile Writing, Presentations, Business Networking, Branding, Photography, Web Design, SEO, Audio Production & Strategy Consulting, SEO and Strategy Consulting, Class/webinar/workshop creation and facilitation, Basics of SEO, Basics of Google Analytics, Illustration, Design, Art Direction, Curation, Creative Networking, Recruiting, Social Media Advertising, Data Analysis, Surveying, Event Planning


Our services are focused on: 

  • Project Management, research & development
  • Branding, logo design & art direction
  • Social Media marketing, advertisement & SEO 
  • WordPress UX web development and maintenance
  • Copy writing, value proposition & sales funnels
  • Customer service, business development, sales & training 

 

Payment

  • Base
  • Project commissions


Next Steps

  • Register below
  • If you fit what we’re looking, we’ll contact you
  • You can also join as an extended contractor
  • We contract extended contractors for upcoming project
  • We have a meeting in person or video
  • We register you on Slack, WordPress
  • We have a weekly editors meetup on video
  • We have a monthly potluck at 720 Bathurst St.

 

Call To Artists – 100 Toronto Artists Talk Solutions: Isolation, Homelessness & Mental Health

100 Toronto Artist Talk Isolation, Mental Health & Homelessness

  • We're looking to ask 100 artists about #isolation, #homelessness, and #mentalhealth in the art community through our #ArtistoftheWeek interviews. The interviews will be published in our marketplace alongside your art and link backs.

    Our goal is to use the information from the interviews to research and develop for solutions in the creative community

Participate - Click this link to start publishing your interview (publishing is free)

Our goals for 2019

  • Interview + publish 100 artists, coders, creators and developers (in 2019)
  • Present 100 artists for #100artgiftideas for December 2019
  • Award all participating artists with the Unicorn Awards #UnicornAwards
  • Register 60 artists for The Annex Art Party on August 24th #TAAP6
  • Register 60 artists for The Annex Art Party on December 14th #TAAP7

 

The Artists of the Month

  • Artist of the Month is determined by the artist that generates the most volume (volume = sales, shares, comments, views & likes).
  • It ranks your popularity amongst 100s of other CreativeUTO published artists
  • Volume is the name of the currency built in to the CreativeUTO community
  • Volume is rewarded based on activity
  • We use data, metrics, analytics from Google, Facebook, and SMARTERai
  • Artist of the Month receives a free unicorn membership
  • Artist of the Month wins a Unicorn Award for that month

Publishing cycle

Artist of the Week will be announced and published between Monday and Tuesday.

  • All artists are notified of their publish date.
  • We publish 3 posts focused on the #AotW
  • We heavily promote it on Facebook and Instagram by paying for ads and sharing posts manually
  • We use videos and picture ads
  • Artist of the Week gets featured in our weekly art pop-up at CSI Annex (valued $60)
  • 2 month membership with CreativeUTO (valued at $60)
  • Business canvas model workshop, a sales funnel hierarchy (1 hour per class 4 hours) ($160)
  • A free table at the next Annex Art Party ($45 per table)
  • Gets automatically entered in our #100GiftIdeas 2019 edition for the holidays.

Our Network

  • We use our growing network of creative entrepreneurs which includes an E-mail list of 352 users, a Meetup group 500+ coders, a Facebook Group of 236 Unicorns with videos that have over 1,000 views (within a few days) each, and an Instagram page with over 1,700 followers and over 1,000 views in 7 days (as of March 24th 2019).

Demographics

Between March 5th and April 28th we had a 4,655 post reach on our Facebook fan page, about 155 views per day, up 56% from the previous month they consisted of

  • 52% women
  • 44% men
  • 71% between the ages of 25 and 54
  • 53% between the ages of 25 and 44

The FMiMBranding and CreativeUTO continues to grow daily with our posts consistently ranking on the first Google through our mastery of SEO automation.

Extended Network reach

  • We buy advertisement from social media to extend our reach
  • We use their engines to place your art in front of the people looking for it NOW

 

Blog – The Abyss Part 2: Transmuting Fires To Lasers

Blog - The Abyss part 2: Transmuting Fires To Lasers

I lost.

“Gone,” says the little voice in my head.

I’ve been sitting here in the early morning, before the night becomes the darkest and the morning sun paints the sky, fast forwarding and rewinding, asking myself what I did wrong.

My face is screwed up, eyes squinted, I'm blinking in little flickers, but the tears don’t stream.

Those ended as a result of too many Carlton smacks.

Like a street light hunched over in the lonely darkness, I'm looking down at my feet and my train of thought is splitting  like rain drops. The drops are filled with memories and a saxophone provides the soundscape, add drum rolls of thunder and water trickling to an electric rift. It’s a frequency.

There are several fears I contemplate in life. One such fear is to be the villain to my own story, and that’s what I’m trying to figure out in this moment,

“At what point did I become the villain in this story?”

The Abyss of Failing 2: Transmuting Fires to Lasers

Like batteries, we are energy trapped in a body designed to attract, store, and conduct it.  We absorb everything around us whether we want to or not; our brains interpret the energy based on our own knowledge. Consumption goes far beyond the food we eat, it’s the environment we’re in, the media we take in, and the people around us, which sums up the things we think about.

What we think about is a self-fulfilling cycle, our own prophecies: the spells we weave together.

It makes us who we are.

It’s why we are.

Some of us absorb energy at a faster rate than others, and to some of us the overwhelming amount of energy can overcome us and cripple us. Some of us need beds to reset, others need asylums. To most people we are known as introverted, selfish; we have problems, and we have mental health issues. 

As empaths, we have to learn the hard way about absorbing people's energies; I know absorbing the wrong energies (not necessarily negative energy) can lead to negative outcomes when we least expect it to. In my world, where I work hard, I try not to put too much value in material things as I sometimes fear the energies embedded in them.

“To want” can be a distraction, and wanting the wrong things can make us suffer.

But she is my friend.

Insight – The Abyss of Failing Someone

It took me years to learn this.

I've said it before. I wanted reasons to be lifetimes and therefore made my life toxic; I sold myself short because I am toxic. It took years to overwrite and erase that toxic energy and it needed a key called accountability to unlock it.

I made all the choices that got me here!

Overwriting the toxic energy means we need to accept our faults within our story. We need to take heed to what we represented, even if it’s not our fault. When we clear all the stages of grief, we’ll need to find the neural pathways that govern us today and write over them. Doing this costs energy or better yet, it costs MANA.

There have been times I had to meditate for days, shifting through the raindrops, taking the pictures they contain and overwriting them.

And sometimes letting go of one person, one thing, or one happening, means having to let go of 10 others.

Gone.

I lost.

But she is my friend.

Insight – We Evolve Beyond One Place

 

Start My Project – Community Calendar

Start My Project - Community Calendar

Use this calendar to navigate through on going events, projects, programs, workshops & resources

Who we are?

  • A profit share-based incubator system that helps develop creative entrepreneurs through SMARTER Collaboration

Profit share + creative community

  • This community is designed for us to actively participate on projects; each project will be carefully mapped out on Trello and have a monetary value attached. The structure will be broken down into 4 milestones, each with its own tasks to reach there. These milestones are, Alpha phase (gather info),Beta phase (test it amongst close friends), Launch phase and Monitor. The largest portion of the compensation will always go back to the creator (up to 60%). A portion of the profit goes to participants who help along the project, and the rest goes to the community, overheads, or other projects. These percentages are determined before a project is launched during the Alpha phase. Community members can vote on which project to take on.

For more insight go to who we are

Start a project - this link will help you create a project outline

Publish your service/art/project/workshop (free)

Buy Membership - Participate in profit share

Log in into your account

Personalize Your Account (options) 

 

9 Best Art Supply Stores in Toronto

9 Best Art Supply Stores in Toronto


If you are looking for the best art supply stores in Toronto, you have a great variety to choose from!

From canvas and paint to easels and pens – you can be sure to find the resources you need for creativity and inspiration. Whether you are a novice artist or a seasoned professional, each location has something special to offer the inspired creators of our city.


Spread over 20+ locations, here are the best 9 art supply stores in Toronto:

1. ABOVE GROUND ART SUPPLIES

  • 74 McCaul St. | Downtown (OCADU/AGO)
  • 2868 Dundas St. W | The Junction
  • 1842 Queen St. E | The Beach

Serving artists for over 30 years, Above Ground Art Supplies offer 3 locations in the Beaches, Junction and OCADU areas. From painting supplies and brush pens to book binding and airbrush equipment, their staff are well-equipped to meet the needs of the average art-school student and more.

 

2. ARTICULATIONS

  • 2928 Dundas St. W | The Junction

With their own semi-enclosed gallery space, back studio and variety of educational workshops – ARTiculations has created a great platform for the Toronto Art community. Artists have the ability to network, learn and exhibit their work in a rotational fashion. Added perks? Eco-friendly materials!

 

3. CURRY’S ARTISTS’ MATERIALS

  • 1153 Queen St. W | West Queen West
  • 283 Dundas St. W | Downtown Core

From how-to-paint manuals to elaborate loyalty programs – Curry’s has become an incredible staple for artists of all skill levels. Feel free to browse their vast variety of supplies, educational materials and studio furnishings to fit your personal needs. Into gift cards and sales? GREAT – Curry’s has you covered!


4. DESERRES

  • 130 Spadina Avenue | Downtown Core
  • 124 Eglinton Avenue W | Yonge and Eglinton
  • 1556 Danforth Avenue | East York

With 3 major locations across Toronto, Deserres has a great reputation for having a wide range of creative supplies including foam core, framing and screen printing materials! Recognized for its bright red sign in the shape of a palette, Deserres offers a wide range of children’s toys and games as well.


5. DOLLARAMA

  • 20+ Locations

Although not quite an “art supply store”, do not underestimate the power of Dollarama! From craft supplies to interesting odds-and-ends, there is no way a creative mind can leave this place empty-handed. With over 20 stores in Toronto, there is a great chance you can find a convenient location nearby! You may not be able to find your favourite brand of oil pastels here, but you can certainly feed your creativity with some fun and affordable supplies.


6.
GWARTZMAN’S ART SUPPLIES

  • 448 Spadina Avenue | Kensington Market

Stacked from floor to ceiling with stationary and supplies, Gwartzman’s has been a reliable resource to artists in the city for over 60 years. With worn, hardwood floors and huge slabs of canvas, this beloved shop offers great variety and deals on their supplies.


7. MICHAELS

  • 142 John St. | Scotiabank Theatre

Michael’s has become a major brand in the Arts and Crafts world. From home decor and framing to scrapbooking and fine arts supplies – you can find just about anything you could possibly need. With this three-storey location at John and Richmond (attached to the Scotiabank Theatre), you can also find a variety of creative classes to help keep you inspired.


8. MIDOCO ART AND OFFICE SUPPLIES

  • 555 Bloor Street W | Annex
  • 146 Danforth Avenue | The Danforth
  • 1964 Queen St E | The Beaches

Serving Toronto artists since 1977, Midoco Art and Office Supplies can be found in three different locations across the city. Although this may not be the first choice for fine art supplies, Midoco holds more than it’s fair share in whimsical items such as jewelry, board games, birthday cards, stackable wine glasses and adult colouring books. With a focus on general art supplies, you can be sure to find items such as stationary, pens and pencils as well.


9. TOOSE ART SUPPLIES

  • 229 College Street

Located across the street from U of T’s bookstore on College, Toose Art Supplies offers frequent specials catering to the needs of Toronto art students. Shoppers can find everything from canvas, easels and erasers to specialized equipment for model building, film studies and media art.

_   _   _

Are you interested in joining a collaborative community of like-minded individuals? Become a Creative Unicorn to participate in profit sharing projects, events and workshops within the city!

 

Blog – We Made the Potluck Meetup Happen

Insight – We Evolve Beyond One Place

The gauntlet.

The gauntlet is the business and all the intangibles that come with it. The gauntlet is a filter that is rewarding in the same way as working out; it prepares the foundation for all growth.

As a student of the gauntlet, studying the beast is a given. Through my studies I've come to understand that it’s an ongoing recruitment process, and that recruitment process is an ongoing trial by fire. You have to workout to keep up with the daily grind.

Success comes to those who try fast and fail faster, only to re up and learn faster. Cycles such as these are embedded in all existence, minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days. We sleep, we wake, we cycle in order to do everything, even something as simple as tying our shoe laces needs loops.

Creative Unicorns of Toronto use an agile based system to turn ideas into projects that serve the community.

Insight - Who We Are?

Creative Entrepreneurs, Unicorns

Success is 99% planning, 75% course correction, and 1% execution. Most business people have it backward, wasting 99% of their time executing and course correcting a plan that was only 1% of the project. The key to success is knowing that everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

Success is a filter that only a few get to because it requires so much self-reflection. Often you find yourself (an abstract identity) in a world designed to be linear. The largest component of success is crashing through the fear barrier; an experience we have to go through countless times in life. Every time it’s the same butterflies in our stomach.

This is our journey; we get to stay who we are, maximize our skills and evolve.

On our way through our journey collecting experiences as Unicorns, some of us will evolve before the initial meetup, some of us do so throughout the work process. After this comes the profit, the eventual losses, the downtimes, and the good times when everything looks up. There will be buyouts, celebrations, losses, we will feel down from disappointments, acquisitions mergers, and other evolutions along our journeys.

Insight – 4 Kinds of Mindsets

Right now we made a potluck happen.

Chloe isn't there for the dinner but her spirit is felt through the community.
Her editing and copy writing skills have been key to the evolution of Creative Unicors of Toronto, helping out by crafting the narrative for CUTO and she also edits my writings. 

 

Chloe Heathers - Research, Development, Editor, Copywriting

Chloe Heathers is an illustrator, writer, and freelance copy editor living in Toronto. She has been a creative collaborator for a wide range of projects including contributing art and content for published anthologies and tabletop role-playing games. She is passionate about ending the stigma against mental illness and promoting diverse representation in art.

 

 

 

Also coming on board as a researcher, developer,
content creator is Karen Swyszcz. Karen will be creating weekly videos that help with business development
She is a Strategy Consultant at Makin' The Bacon with strengths in Photography, Web Design & SEO

Karen Swyszcz Copywriting, Photography, Web Design, SEO and Strategy Consulting

Karen Swyszcz, is the founder and owner of Makinthebacon. It began as a blog in 2012. She has partnered with brands such as Meridian Credit Union, minted.com, Camp Tech and Supperworks for influencer marketing campaigns.  In 2017, Makinthebacon evolved into a consulting/auditing/training services company for blogging, WordPress, and social media.

She has facilitated numerous business blogging strategy workshops within the Greater Toronto Area.

Karen Swyszcz Copywriting, Photography, Web Design, SEO and Strategy Consulting

You can connect with her on Facebook || Twitter || LinkedIn  II Instagram

 

 

Last but not least comes me,
the business development manager and with out powers combined!
I'm also the founder of Free Minds in Motion - FMiMBranding and Creative Unicorn of Toronto - CreativeUTO

 

Michael Bole has over 20 years research and development in marketing/sales. Michael has was worked for various companies in either sales, customer service and or advertisement. These include his projects including clothing lines, event management, talent management, as well as organizations such as Apple, Seagate, Honeywell, Air Miles, General Motors, Aimia Marketing, startups and social enterprises  like Center for Social Innovation (as a DECA) Free Geek Toronto. He launched FMiMBranding  in 2009 which focuses on business development from the foundation up  and out of that came CreativeUTO a think tank of creative entrepreneurs where we leverage our skills to helps develop creative unicorns, their ideas, and their projects.

Follow me on Instagram | go to my website | Or follow me on Facebook

 

Bellow is a list of skills from our collective

  • Concept art, illustration, graphic design, french, networking, Marketing, Business Solutions, Events Management, Workshop Design, Public Speaking, editing, networking, sales, QA, Teaching, Music production, Advertising, Copy editing, copy writing, content creation, illustration, logo design, project management, Focused, organized strategy, marketing, negotiation, entrepreneurship, typography, Training, Mentoring, Profile Writing, Presentations, Business Networking, Branding, Photography, Web Design, SEO, Audio Production & Strategy Consulting, SEO and Strategy Consulting, Class/webinar/workshop creation and facilitation, Basics of SEO, Basics of Google Analytics, Illustration, Design, Art Direction, Curation, Creative Networking, Recruiting, Social Media Advertising, Data Analysis, Surveying, Event Planning
Our services are focused on: 

  • Project Management, research & development
  • Branding, logo design & art direction
  • Social Media marketing, advertisement & SEO 
  • WordPress UX web development and maintenance
  • Copy writing, value proposition & sales funnels
  • Customer service, business development, sales & training 
Are you interested in joining a collaborative community of like-minded individuals? Become a Creative Unicorn to participate in profit sharing projects, events and workshops within the city! Community Memberships start at $30