It’s truly inspiring to see what really goes into the creative process of an artist. Naturally, when we think of art we envision the masterfully crafted finger paintings that hang on a fridge, courtesy of your fav nieces and nephews or your children. But after speaking with Sheila Kernan, 2008 Dream Home Artist Project winner, (formerly Calgary’s Next Top Artist) about her creative process, one will realize just how much dedication goes into becoming a successful artist.
“My career as an artist is multifaceted and forever changing— I’m constantly juggling different projects and creative ideas, while looking for new ways to explore and develop my artistic aesthetic,” Kernan explains. “Taking the time to obtain my Art Degree was invaluable to my role as a professional Artist. It allowed me the time to understand and learn about many different styles and techniques or art. More importantly it helped me find my voice as an artist.”
After her 2006 graduation from Alberta College of Art and Design, the painting major spent two years focused on developing her professional practice and artistic skill set. In 2008 Sheila was contacted by Homes by Avi designers inviting her to produce paintings for the Rotary Dream Home. “I said yes immediately and began working with the designers to understand their vision and concept. I spent every spare moment I had producing my Dream Home Collection—a fantastic experience, which I didn’t realize would be so valuable to launching my career.”
Sheila’s successful partnership with Homes by Avi resulted in the Dream Home Artist Project: an annual contest geared towards up-and-coming local artists of all mediums. The winners work is displayed in the Stampede Rotary Dream Home for the more than 100,000 visitors who walk through the home during the 10 day event, exhibited at Gibson Fine Art following the Stampede and the artist receives a promotional article in Swerve.
“There are no words!” Kernan exclaimed when asked how it felt seeing her 33 piece collection displayed in the Dream Home. “It was extremely rewarding and truly exceeded my expectations—one of the highlights of my career. Being a part of the Dream Home Artist Project provided me with an amazing launching point. I was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a full time artist a lot sooner than I had expected.”
Kernan adds that in every competition there are several ways to gain an advantage over your competition. “By having a consistent body of work, you show judges that you are able to continually produce quality work that speaks to your style. You should only submit work that is unique and high quality, and always take top quality photos to properly showcase it.”
When asked if she would recommend the contest to other artists the answer was simple: “Absolutely! Hands-down, it’s a great opportunity.”
For more information on Sheila visit www.sheilakernan.com
For contest guidelines visit www.homesbyavi.com/dreamhomeart