We had the good fortune of connecting with Veronika Latawiec and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Veronika, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had always been an artistic person, but I was usually pretty shy about it. I was definitely the kind of kid who was doodling instead of paying attention in class, but I never actually had any artistic training. Although I loved design and all things creative, I never really thought that it was a viable career option. So back in September, I was in a pretty rough place in my life. I was not enjoying what I was doing, and I needed something to help express my creativity, and share it with others. I was seeing a ton of people starting “hobbies” during the Pandemic, so I decided to give it a go as well. That’s when I decided to start my social media: Ronns Art. It was always about spreading positivity and joy through my work, I just wanted to help make people a little happier. I think that was especially relevant during the current global situation, and so a lot of people really resonated with what I was trying to say. Eventually, after sharing my art for a while, people actually started to ask if they could get custom works, or even buy things I made. This came as a surprise to me in all honesty, when I started everything, I never really thought I could turn it into a small business. But eventually things grew, and now I’m selling handmade works, as well as digital commissions on a daily basis! Now I spend all day creating, I make pins, magnets, tote bags, coasters, you name it! This whole experience has really helped me to come out of my shell as an artist, and I’ve grown much more comfortable with sharing my work with others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
An archetype that I see a lot of is this idea of the “tortured artist” and I think what helps to set me apart is that I actively try not to be that stereotype. A lot of people have an elitist idea that art must be sad, and deep in order to be valued. I however, think that art is really just something nice to look at, and I want my art to make people happy. After all, I don’t see why art cant just be something cute, simple or positive. People have enough sadness in their lives already so I want my art to be a bit of an escape for them. Obviously no ones happy all the time, but I think that being happy is part of what’s truly beautiful about being human. So while I do love to experiment with different colours, themes or moods, I mostly just try to keep it positive, or fun. It’s taken me a while to decide on what I wanted to say as an artist. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come creatively, but mainly, I’m impressed by how far I’ve come as a person. I used to never share my art with anyone. I was so scared of judgement, and how people would see me, that I just figured it was easier to never reveal any of it. This art journey has helped me to realize that no one’s perfect, and art is all subjective anyways. All I, or any creative really, can do is keep posting what they want to make, and maybe some people will follow in their journey. Other people’s support is great, but it’s so important as a creative to not let it define your self worth. Especially when using tools like social media, artists can become obsessed with likes and followers, and begin to determine their entire worth based solely on those numbers. You can still be a valuable artist, even if you feel that your work is underappreciated, or you’re not where you’d like to be in the future. I’ve learned not to take things so seriously, and to just always keep improving. As a creative you have to enjoy what you do, and just create for the sake of creating things that you enjoy, not things that you think will please others. Growing into this outlook really helped to change the way I work on everything! It also took me a while to get where I am professionally, I had a ton of self doubt, and since I was never formally trained, a lot of people didn’t see the initial value in my work. I had to work harder to develop my style and decide what I really wanted to say with my art, in order to prove that I was meant to be a creative. Ultimately I just stuck with it. Even now, some days are definitely harder than others, but you just have to be devoted to your craft, and keep working hard. It’ll all work out in the end. Even now, my style is always changing, but the reason why I’m creating stays the same, and for me It’s all about giving people another thing to be happy about. Finding my motivation is what really allowed me to find my niche and really start to take off creatively. I’ve learned that while you should be your hardest critic (since that keeps you on top of things), you also need to learn when to shut up and just let yourself work. Critiquing can be helpful and result in better work, but there also reaches a point where if you do nothing but judge yourself, and what you’re doing, you’ll never grow as a creative. You need to be open to trying new techniques or styles or things, even if you can’t guarantee that they’ll go perfectly the first try. My brand is all about keeping art accessible. I want to have fun, affordable products that people will see and enjoy on a daily basis. I’m tired of all art being reserved for galleries or costing an arm and a leg. I just want to make things that make people smile when they look at them. Every piece of art I sell is straight from the heart. I put tons of effort into everything from the piece, to the packaging, to the thank you notes! I want each piece to be unique and special to whoever it ends up going to. That way it’s your own little work of art. Whether that’s a full canvas painting, or just a little fridge magnet, I want to help people fill their space with things that they love!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Toronto has some amazing entertainment spots but my personal favorite would have to be the Royal Ontario Museum! I cannot even count the number of times I’ve gone there and yet I keep going back. The exhibits cover everything from arts and culture to dinosaurs and mummies, and there are always special, limited time exhibits available to visit. I personally love to just wander around the museum all day, grab a bite at the in-house café, and hit up the gift shop afterwards. I’d also definitely recommend visiting Ripley’s Aquarium at least once (even if just to take some aesthetic photos). It’s a stunning and calming way to spend an afternoon, and unlike the zoo, it’s great for a rainy day. Toronto also has some great outdoor options like picnicking in High Park or taking a long waterfront bicycle ride along one of the many paths. Oh and you definitely can’t forget about visiting the Toronto Islands. As far as food goes there are so many amazing spots downtown, but there are two spots in southern Etobicoke that have a certain unbeatable nostalgia for me. Firstly, Egglicious Café is a casual diner with huge portions, and just some good, hearty brunch options. I’ve gone to this place since I was a kid and honestly it’s still one of my local go-to’s for breakfast. I also have a huge sweet tooth, and therefore have to recommend a local gem, Sweet Olenka’s. They have handmade confections, chocolate and ice-cream that are simply to die for. They are always coming out with new flavours and all of their products are small batch so there is always something new to try. Honestly, there’s so much to do in Toronto that I’m sure you could easily fill up a few weeks worth of itinerary with amazing options!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to thank all of my friends for following me on this journey and supporting me through thick and thin. It’s been amazing to see my popularity grow, but I would have never been able to have done this without their support! I am also eternally grateful to all my followers, and customers who give me the opportunity to share what I love to do.
Other: More: https://linktr.ee/ronns.art