Business Name: Josiah Galleries Website: https://josiahgalleries.ca/ Established: 2016 Questions answered by: Josiah Koppanyi
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
I create paintings with acrylic on canvas. I sell originals and duplications of original pieces. I have a variety of subject matter to my art from Manitoba prairie scapes to local neighbourhoods and even spiritual realities.
Much of my business comes from my customers requesting their cherished memories to be portrayed in my style.
My style is my main selling point which has been described as an “abstract use in colour, paired with deeply detailed illustrations.” (Brenlee Coates)
With the Winnipeg local maker community continuing to grow, what is the most important thing you’d like potential customers of your company to know?
I have a way of uniquely capturing the whimsical, playful nature of life. I want people to experience joy when they experience art and that’s what I bring to all my paintings.
I’ve seen people brought to tears when they receive their commissioned piece and nothing makes me happier than to know that my art can connect with someone on that level. I pour my heart into each piece that I create. In fact, sometimes it can be hard to hold myself back when I get going on a project! I can guarantee you that every piece that I create will have all of my heart in it.
What inspired you to start your business?
Art has always been a way of expressing myself throughout my whole life. When I was in University to become a teacher, however, I found it suffocating as an artist to be there. Oftentimes, I would come home from a stressful day at school and have a creative explosion on a canvas. More and more, I started to realize that art is where I come alive. So, in 2015, I started small with a few art shows which turned out to be very successful. In 2016, I quit University and went all-in with art because I knew that this is what I was meant to do.
What was the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome?
In 2016, I lost the use of my dominant hand due to overuse. At the time, I was working on an 8′ x 4′ canvas and pushed myself to complete it in a very short time frame. Shortly after, my right arm would become sore and weak with even the smallest movements. Around this time, I hit a rock bottom in my career and my personal life; I had doubts about ever-continuing with art.
This is where I found faith in Jesus and He became a real anchor; I found new strength and motivation. Since then, I’ve had to train my left hand to become my dominant hand to write, draw, and paint. It took a couple of painful years, but now I’m proficient again with art. To this day, I still paint with my left hand!
What has been your biggest success as a maker?
In 2017, I had the opportunity to be commissioned by Streetside Developments to use my art for all of their marketing. It was surreal to see my art in Facebook ads, on bus benches/busses, and in vinyl on their Market Avenue building. This was probably the biggest splash I’ve made in my career!
Another huge success that I attribute is seeing the look on people’s faces when they connect with the art that I’ve made. There is nothing more satisfying than impacting a life through art.
Do you have any advice that you would pass on to someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
Be honest and listen to the feelings that you get when you do your craft, whatever it is. Every person is made special and has something special inside of them to give to the world. If you are honest with what you experience, then the feelings that you get when you get excited about your craft will guide you to create something truly unique to share with the world!
Please share any upcoming events as well as the best place(s) for people to purchase your product!
When First Fridays in the Exchange District open again, I will definitely be throwing art shows every month and will post about it on social media!