Sunday, July 13, 2008

Running a small business from a relatively remote location has its challenges. We live and work just outside of Nelson - a lakeside community of about 10,000 people in a pretty, mountain setting in south east BC known as the West Kootenay. Nelson attracts a creative crowd - drawn here by the supportive arts community and the peaceful lifestyle. We love living here. We love the long hot summers and the deep powder skiing in the winter.

I know there must be loads of other artists out there who also live in a remote area - and we all face the same challenge - how to do business in the big world while being inspired in our small world.

One of the interesting things that comes from being isolated from major retailers and mainstream consumerism is the opportunity to develop as an artist/designer uninfluenced by current trends that may be sweeping through a city neighbouhood.

This week I am hoping to give you a sneak peek into our small world. I am going to start with some snapshots of life in our bustling little town and then, through the rest of the week, I am going to give you a glimpse of the people and places that inspire me everyday in my neck of the woods!

Nelson is built on a hill - with a lake at the bottom of the hill. It's an old silver mining town with loads of Victorian style houses. The population is quite young here with lots of young couples leaving the city and taking up a new life in the country - there is good creative energy here. 

The next few images are snapshots of street life in Nelson with a bit of window shopping thrown in.

After I took this monkey's portrait I rescued him and took him home.

I took this picture in a back alley - the red chandeliers looked amazing in the dimly lit salon with the blue wall paper, which apparently is original, not a modern addition - love this space.The Oxygen Art Centre is a multi-disciplinary arts center hosting theatre, art exhibits, events, lectures and workshops.

Below, everyone is fairly crafty in Nelson and we are lucky enough to have some great support from places like Abacus Beads. I love visiting Erin's store and chatting with other artists and browsing through her amazing selection of beads.

I was thinking about where I live and wondering and what I would like to show the Poppytalk readers. A lot of pretty hi-profile magazine articles have been written about Nelson and it always surprises me because it's in the middle of nowhere and we all just go about our daily routine here as you do in your home town. According to publications like The New York TImes, Esquire, and GQ, Nelson is famous for any or all of the following: being the pretty little location for an old Steve Martin movie, (Roxanne), being a favourite haunt for powder skiing celebs (not that I have ever seen any) and let's not forget our biggest claim to fame our population of authentic, peace lovin', draft dodging, goat cheese making hippies to whom we may owe our reputation for being one of the most laid back, colourful and craftiest little towns in Canada.

So, now that you have some insight into our little town, for the rest of the week I am going to take you to a few of my favourite places to meet some very talented people. See you tomorrow.

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