Business feature- transform art studio
This month we met with Arantza, the founder of Transform Art Studio to learn more about what her studio offers and how she got started!
1. What inspired you to open this art studio?
When I immigrated to Canada, I founded a wholesales company for Scrapbooking products called Kiki Art. I enjoyed designing, testing the products and especially teaching arts and crafts to promote them.
Then I experienced life-changing events, which included a painful divorce and the loss of a very close family member. Of course, my kids were affected, and I turned to art to improve our mental health. I looked for classes in the area and couldn't find one that fit our needs.
I decided to create the space I wanted for my family and believed our community needed.
While doing art for myself and my kids at home, I returned to university and complemented that education with other non-traditional training to be well-equipped to offer the service Transformart Studio offers today.
2. What kind of art do you specialize in?
The art we offer at the studio differs from other art classes because we focus on the art-making process and the emotional well-being of the students.
We aim to generate a welcoming atmosphere with coziness, music, essential oils, the occasional sweets, and a non-judgmental attitude at all times.
It has been proven that you learn better when you are happy with the experience and feel good about yourself. So instead of forcing a rigid schedule we let the student lead their own learning.
There are no expectations, so each person works at their own pace. There is a general guide for the classes, but the curriculum structure is centered around each individual.
We work with various types of paint, such as acrylics and watercolours, collages, pencils, markers, wax and clay, among other materials. Character design, Comic Strips, Semidirected Fine Arts, Mixed media and experimenting with new options is highly encouraged.
3. What kind of services do you offer at the studio?
We have art classes for children and teens, adults and special needs. Our regular sessions for youth and adults go with the seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall), and new workshops with guest artists are added each month.
We offer a Spring and Summer camp for kids and a unique art program in the Summer for teens.
All year round, we work with people who have special needs in the form of private classes or in groups. We are proud partners with Les Impatients in the West Island, who have experience offering Art Therapy in Canada for the last 30 years.
4. Can you tell us more about the intuitive wisdom art workshop?
This workshop is an option for those adults seeking to develop their intuition through imagery in the form of oracle cards, guided meditation, and their artistic skills. Working with cards is a journey into the higher self and how to connect with life.
Each month we explore new aspects of the self through a different art medium to welcome reflection, awareness and shifts while creating a unique art piece.
5. How do you support and mentor emerging artists?
Each person is different, so support and mentoring have various forms depending on your needs.
We invite anybody curious about art to come and try it at least once. And for those who have doubts about their skills or possible "impostor syndrome" (so familiar among fellow creatives) to come get "unstuck" and encouraged.
Transformart Studio is open for those eager to celebrate art as a way to make this a better world for themselves and others. We would love to hear how we can help!
6. What kind of atmosphere do you aim to create in your studio?
We aim to have a place that feels like a spa for your soul: inspiring music, light, fragrances, friendly faces, a warm welcome and no judgment. The idea is to liberate your mind of any anxiety or expectations so you can be free to create and express yourself.
7. How do you engage with the local community?
After the pandemic, there is a renovated need to connect and express ourselves, and we want to support and facilitate that connection.
We believe in the importance of community spirit and solidarity.
In addition to the service we provide to the community as a Mindful Art Studio, we also volunteer art therapy classes to a local women's shelter in Pointe Claire and we are involved with local organizations to fundraise with activities that include art as a form of self-care, promoting mental health and well-being.
8. Can you share any success stories of artists who have worked with your studio?
Many stories I witnessed in my studio could be considered successful, but one that has touched my heart the most is the story of one of my clients that comes weekly for his art classes.
When he was younger, he graduated with a Fine Arts diploma and worked as a successful professional artist selling his pieces worldwide. Now, he suffers from a degenerative disease that has become more prominent in recent years.
His new situation did not allow him to perform as he used to, making him anxious and upset. The classes at the studio have allowed him to let go of expectations, embrace what he can do and enjoy the art process. He is back to doing what he loves, enjoying it from a different perspective, and making sense of life again. I consider that successful.
9. What are your plans for the future of the studio?
Transformart Studio is looking forward to further embracing our ties with the community.
We want to become the place of reference on the West Island assisting people with their well-being through artistic expression.
We plan to continue offering workshops and events to reflect that sentiment, as well as special training for those who want to join us in spreading our message. And expanding from in person to online classes so we can reach other Canadians in the near future.
10. What type of workshops do you have in the coming months?
Added to our regular program, and now that the warm weather is upon us, we will enjoy "TAPAS and PAINT nights," offered once a month in the evenings until September.
We are ready with registrations for our Day Summer Camp for children from Monday through Friday and a unique Teen ART Program with a vernissage at the end of the season.
More workshops are added regularly, so it is always good to check back on the website or register for our newsletter to stay informed of our options and news.
11. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Everybody has the right to express their ideas and emotions without feeling judged, and art is the best way to do it.