Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fine arts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Véronique Buist, Multidisciplinary Artist based in Montreal, QC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I sign every of my artwork with Buist; that is why my name is the best branding for my career as an artist! I create unique pieces of art, mostly embroidery on handmade paper, as I have a deep interest in fiber medium. Visual arts are for me, an endless opportunity to question our perception of our environment, our way to interpret and interact with nature, others, and ourselves.

I create various series of unique artworks, exploring different techniques and subjects. My work tends to be acquired by people and businesses who love abstract yet intriguing pieces that would highlight their space. Handmade and slowly created, the artworks appeal to contemplation and slow the pace. Acquiring artwork from an artist is an act, and I feel it creates a unique bond between the piece, the artist, and the customer.

Tell us about yourself

Although I graduated from art school, I am a self-taught artist in regard to embroidery and papermaking. I feel it brings a lot of intuitive and limitless exploration into my practice as an artist.

I started embroidering for fun, to reconnect with spontaneous creation. As I discovered the multiple possibilities of the thread - as an embroidered pattern, but also as a fabric to form a sheet of paper itself - I decided to dive into full-time creation using this medium. Exploring the various types of fibers and colors, the scale of the paper, and the patterns: embroidery has become a huge playground and opened myself to connect with other artists and communities.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Making a choice to create every day may sound corny, but it is still a big accomplishment. I also think I've gained a certain recognition from the public, artists, colleagues, and institutions, and that is another pride bit I hang on to.

I like to think that my art can inspire others, even in a non-creation way. If embroidery was at first a way to connect my mind and my hands into something tangible, it's good to know that this can affect others the same way.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Pace and time. I am not the most patient person, and my medium is solely handmade. You can imagine how challenging it can be! There are a lot of aspects of the classic business model that require efficiency and profitability, which are sometimes hard to fit with intuition and creation. I am grateful that my customers do understand the quality of my process and the time involved, as they value their acquisition as a commitment of the artist and themselves to the artwork. In a society where images travel fast, people get bored easily; it's a nice thing to be able to follow my own pace and be understood through the process.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. When in doubt, get a needle and thread (or whatever suits you) and have fun! Never underestimate the act of doing, physically creating something and getting it out.
  2. Better is something well done than something perfect that doesn't exist. As a detail-oriented person, I tend to aim for the perfect artwork made. Achieving that goal would be awesome, but it also means I can stop doing it since I have reached my full potential.
  3. Always follow your instinct, always. Be attentive to what surrounds you, listen to what people suggest, but keep in mind that in the end, it is your process.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I used to think I would be unable to be a full-time artist since I thought it would isolate me in my studio. On the contrary, I've learned through my artistic journey that making art is a unique way to connect, to create a bond with people and myself. Embroidering is, for me, like a pen on paper: it's a minimalistic medium with infinite possibilities. I now tend to see my art as an intertwined pattern that involves myself and others. Creating artworks is a sweet act, but being able to interact with people by having my art in their space is priceless.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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