Ysabelle's Story

It all started with a career quiz; the results stated that she needed creativity, autonomy, and continuous learning to be happy in her work. Sadly the job she was doing didn’t put much emphasis on those qualities at all. 

Ysabelle was feeling a bit of the winter blues at the time, and she wanted to figure out a way to cultivate those qualities in her life somehow. So the former crisis intervenor started to learn more about art therapy, and she went down to the dollar store and bought a bunch of art supplies to see how it felt. Funny enough, she hated painting as a kid as she felt out of place being colour blind.

She told herself she would take on this challenge of doing art every day for a year. She enjoyed meeting other artists and learning about the different mediums. She decided to try any art-related activities like local art auctions, live painting competitions, art critique nights and even a Plein air festival.

By the end of the year, she managed to select her work in a juried art exhibition in the US. She was recruited to do an art talk for Artslink, interviewed by the CBC, taught art classes for Isaac’s Way, Serenity Wellness and CCNB Craft College Library. Much to her surprise, she was also accepted to have a solo exhibition in an art gallery the following year. Watch my elevator pitch video here

Why I make art

I make art because it offers a space for reflection and dialogue. Sometimes there is so much to say, but words aren’t there right away. It seems to be a conversation starter for others to approach me and talk about things that are important to them.

I love the sense of accomplishment when a piece turns out way better than I expected. The joy I get from flipping through a finished sketchbook I have made is like, wow, this is a visual reminder of where I have been and what my thoughts were.

I make art to shut down the self-doubt that I can’t do something. Judgement is often what stops people from creating.  I make art to feel connected, to cultivate courage, openness and a sense of wonder. Inspiration is contagious and is so energizing. I love the excitement of new ideas. It feels incredible when you can collaborate with others’ ideas to solve a problem.

Studio visits available upon request

About Creating Access

I believe accessibility needs innovation to thrive; therefore, I strive to cultivate and foster the creative process. I recognize the need to create anti-oppressive safe spaces. A space where we can imagine things. A space where laughter can be shared and our company can be enjoyed for who we really are. Where it is ok and encouraged to experiment. Let’s ask ourselves why things are set up the way they are and who is that benefiting.  My long-term goal is to create a new way of thinking about accessibility with art. I believe in disability lead spaces, nothing about us without us. I believe in the social model of disability. There a multiples ways of knowing and sharing space. We can collaborate and co-create solutions. We are here to help each other out. To build connections and networks that help people thrive. We need others to do great projects. I want people to have empathy for the various needs of others. To recognize there are differences between us that can be celebrated, appreciated and learned from. We can drop the narrative of competition and enter the world of collaboration.