Emily Bauman is an artist, author, serial entrepreneur, and bohemian-living expert. Raised in Haiti by Canadian parents, she’s a lover of salt water, strong coffee and laughing so hard it kinda hurts. When she’s not painting and creating in her Caribbean studio, Emily works to spark other people’s creativity so they can lead happier, wealthier lives too. Amanacer.ca offers tutorial videos, apparel, divine dry oils, and a line of journals that give back. For every lux Amanacer Journal bought, one Rèv Dream Journal will be supplied to an underprivileged student near her home in Haiti.
Hey Emily, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Emily, also known to friends by my artist name “Amanacer” which means “the soul that loves to be born” in Spanish. I’m an artist, author, serial entrepreneur, and bohemian-living expert thanks to a super unorthodox childhood. I was raised in Haiti by Canadian parents so I have one foot in both worlds. I love salt water, strong coffee and laughing so hard it kinda hurts. When I’m not painting and creating in my Caribbean studio, I work to spark other people’s creativity, so they can lead happier, wealthier lives too. My website offers tutorial videos, apparel, divine dry oils, and a line of journals that give back. For every Amanacer Journal bought, one Rèv Dream Journal will be supplied to an underprivileged student near her home in Haiti.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I was born in small-town Canada then moved to Port-au-Prince Haiti with my family when I was just 7 years old. I grew up like a maple tree transplanted into the Caribbean – speaking English at home, Creole in the streets and French in formal settings. Making art was a way for me to process the massive cultural transition to my new home in Haiti.
I’ve always had an equal balance between my left and right brain – the analytical and imaginative. So when I went to Canada for a university at age 17, I kept painting full time. I lived in a few countries overseas like Ethiopia, Brazil, and Argentina finally settled in Ottawa, did an MA in International Affairs and worked for the Federal Government of Canada in resettling refugees. Then in 2015 I burned that life down to the ground, broke up with my fiancé, and moved back to Haiti to start totally over in the sun. Life became more about creation, art, connection and living with meaning on my own terms. Amanacer Art is a business I launched in 2012, but it took on a whole new life these past few years being Caribbean based. Let’s just say, I never looked back!
What is a day in the life of you like?
I arrange my days into Magical mornings and CEO afternoons. My left brain and right brain take the lead at different points.
I’m up skipping rope at 5:30am at dawn when the stars are still out and the music in my headphones is deep base AF. Then tea, lots of water, journaling at my kitchen table, coffee and some breathing exercises. The cats get fed, and I’ll start some rituals I like to do before painting (think yummy dry oils and amazing music). There’s room for visioning. Breakfast.
Then my driver shows up and by 9am we’re out the door. Traffic in Haiti can be brutal. Instead of fighting for 2 hours I maintain my flow, sit in the back seat doing Instagram posts and if the internet permits, I’ll make some calls with lovely business associates or friends overseas.
CEO afternoons at my desk at home working ON and IN my business. I won’t touch an excel spreadsheet before noon but in the pm. I don’t mind at all.
Evenings are social, finding connection and extroverted, usually on a restaurant patio or a friend’s garden.
What or who inspires and motivates you to create artwork?
The sea. The feminine spirit radiating from a beautiful face. The colours and textures of raw life we are exposed to every day here in Haiti.
As a self-taught artist, can you tell us at what point you realised you were able to turn your passion into a profitable business?
It was 2012, the first solo show in Canada sold out on opening night. I sat there after the DJ left thinking “huh” there may be something to this after all! I was working full time for the Canadian Government in refugee affairs back then, in a cubicle in Ottawa. Now I’m based in the Caribbean and only travel to Canada in the summer. Oh how long ago that feels now!
Can you highlight 3 tips to successfully establishing yourself as an artist?
- Find your voice and then shout it out as loud and as fearlessly as you can, everywhere, all the time. The right people will hear your unique perspective and listen, and people who don’t and won’t matter.
- Start with group shows, and saying yes to every opportunity for exposure you get, no matter how small the café or the restaurant.
- Make sure you know the importance of taking good photos of your work, but not making work just so you have something to post.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Bouncing between New York, Hispaniola (Haiti + DR), and Bali where I have family and business ventures. Designing, inspiring, creating, thriving and having a smooth, hilarious time doing it.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
- Instagram, to connect with my tribe, art collectors, and fellow creatives worldwide.
- Lightroom, to give my photos a bohemian feel (on iPhone or Macbook.)
- Squarespace, to allow me to manage my own website when I want.
- Whatsaap, to connect with beautiful people around the world, like my coach Sammie in Australia even when I’m in Haiti or Canada.
- Art supplies, epoxy resin, oil paint, and anything you can imagine painting on, ill do it.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
I’ve struggled to trust my creativity to generate wealth. There were voices in my head that said “art is just for fun, it’s not a career”, or “you’re wasting your MA and your potential if you just pursue creativity.” Getting over those inner voices, finally not trying to have a humanitarian worker and full-time personal business at the same time has allowed me to unleash a whole new level of confidence and hence success in the past three years.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I’ve found a really great coach in Aussi-based Sammie Flemming who is a friend, strategist, and professional support system. She mentors me in living via my feminine power and following the magical flow that’s innate in all of us. Thanks to her, I can, in turn, help other humans unleash their creative birthright in small, practical ways every day and grow exponentially in my business.
What outlets do use to market Amanacer?
I use Instagram adds when I’m launching a new product, video, or event and sometimes I go back to good old-fashioned paper invitations. Nothing gets an Ambassador to your art show like a personally addressed monogram envelope and follow-up phone call.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
Hiring coaches, bravely reaching out to new potential mentors, and saying yes to media opportunities like #BEYOUROWN when they land in my inbox.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
Fewer women thinking they have to look like models to be successful or worthy of running their own business, given the omnipresence of social media as a business tool and the rise of personal branding.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
“Emily, you have to slow down to speed up.” Focus on the one next step for each area in your life no matter how small it is and silence the conversations you’re imagining having in scenarios 12 months or 12 weeks from now.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
80-90% of people who come to art shows are other artists, not buyers. So if you want to sell, you have to make sure you do the groundwork of connecting with buyers and helping them show up.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I don’t try to maintain a constant balance, instead, I follow my moon cycle every month. So I let the flow of my inner cycle guide my work and my personal life as much as possible. There are 4 seasons a woman experiences every month. That means booking social events, public engagement and launches on week 2 of my cycle (spring-summer), and working on solo studio time and regenerating when I’m on my period ( in a cocoon for my winter season as much as possible of course).
A seminal point in your career so far?
2017 I did 3 city show, Brooklyn, Cap Haitian, Port-au-Prince. Selling 80 pieces and wide acceptance that it was my best work yet; then seeing it published in Kreyol VWAYAJ book. It felt like a homecoming to myself, my art and the island here too. That felt major.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
The simple act of someone saying “yes I connect with this piece of art and want it in my space every day.” It still gets me every time. The happy dances are real.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
Supply chain, logistics, and inner challenges related to accepting I cannot grow to my full potential by being a solo-preneur.
Which other leading artists do you also admire and why?
Pascale Monnin, Haitian Swiss artist because she’s shown everywhere and still remains 100% authentic Pascale. The curly hair, no deodorant, brilliant woman who can touch any material and turn it into magic.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Conscious Capitalism, it takes a dirty, triggering word and makes it beautiful again with easily applicable lessons for everyone in business. It helped me conceptualise how I want to set up Amanacer Apparel with 100% organic Pima cotton, and embedded 1:1 giving in every Amanacer Journal that’s purchased.
How do you define success?
Overall, it means being wealthy enough to fund the beautiful experiences I desire to capture in this life, and lucky enough to experience them with people I love. Specific to art, success would mean making art that sparks a conversation that matters, and inspiring people to reconnect with their own creative birthright too.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Be your own muse means a lot to me. It means looking inward, rather than outward, for strength, guidance; and also it means you give yourself permission to be the boss, the guide, the best at whatever it is you’re put here in this lifetime to pursue.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
My top 5 projects for 2019 are:
- Launching n upgraded website – expect more art videos and creative tutorials on Amanacer.ca.
- Amanacer Apparel launches summer 2019 with T-shirts like ‘Creativity Is Sexy.’
- Handmade Velvet Beaded Journals coming this fall.
- Writing my first book ‘The Bohemian Way.’
- Offering exclusive resin art workshops in New York, Miami, and Montreal.