This is VIBE Spotlight: a weekly series that celebrates and shines a light on VIBE Arts’ roster of talented artists. Each Monday, our Instagram and website feature a different VIBE Artist and provide a look into their craft. Stay tuned and get to know the diverse talent that makes up our organization and community with #VIBESpotlight.
On this VIBE Spotlight, we’re shining a light on Serene Illustrations, a painter, digital designer, and a new member of the VIBE Artist roster. Serene is also the founder of Serene Creates, an online business venture where she transforms art into functional home goods.
VIBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that you would like to share?
Serene: I am currently painting a series inspired by the traditional Tarot cards and adding my touch of fantasy. I don’t practice Tarot reading myself, but I’m inspired by the multiple meanings that resonate with people in each individual card. I’m also a huge sucker for all fairy tales so it’s mandatory I sprinkle in a little bit of childhood nostalgia in all my paintings.
VIBE: What has been one of your greatest accomplishments to date?
Serene: My greatest accomplishment to date was displaying over 25 works of art in a solo exhibition at Artusiasm Art Gallery in 2018. It was the first time I was able to show my friends and family what I was capable of outside of the corporate world. It took a lot of courage to let so many people take a peek into my head, but I did it!
VIBE: What has been one of your favourite moments while being on the VIBE roster?
Serene: It’s only the beginning of my journey with the VIBE roster, so my favorite moment was meeting everyone for the first time via ZOOM call. It was so inspiring seeing the diversity in art forms that people participated in. I’m sure there will be more favorite moments to come.
VIBE: What are some of your future goals?
Serene: Help people realize that you don’t necessarily have to live a life as a “starving artist” to do art.
There are so many techniques I have yet to learn so my goal is to continuously improve my craft, whether it’s learning from others or taking lessons
To never lose sight of using art to stay curious, escape reality, or slip into a childhood memory
VIBE: What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned thus far?
Serene: All art fits somewhere. I used to think that galleries wouldn’t be interested in my artwork because it doesn’t fit the requirements they typically look for, or that every day people wouldn’t buy it because it’s too childish (and sometimes too scary) for the modern home. I’ve realized that there’s a place for every type of artwork; I just have to find the right one. And while I’m searching, my art fits perfectly in my bedroom, if I do say so myself.
VIBE: What changes would you like to see in Toronto’s Art community?
Serene: There are a lot of people who dream about acting on their creative passions but don’t know how, or think that they’ll only have the capacity to pursue it once their career is over. I’d love to see the Toronto Art community encourage more people to kick start their art dreams at any point in their life, whether it’s through education programs, relief funds, or connecting them with mentors.
Stay tuned for more VIBE Artists on VIBE Spotlight