Two years ago, Shaylyn King was a client of Youth Ventures when she and her partner at the time, Ashlee Babb, decided to get a business up and running.
King was an artist, Babb a photographer, and they combined forces and travelled together, setting up booths and advertising.
Now King, 20, is the owner of Slash Studios in Grand Falls-Windsor. She’s not completely sure why she came up with the name.
“I guess it’s because I do ‘slash’ everything — drawing/painting/ crafts/sculptures — anything I can do,” King said.
She said the Youth Ventures co-ordinator started them off, showing them how to make business cards and getting them booths at events in town.
“Then we got the feel of it and we started going on and doing our own,” King said. “Then we created a photography club here. We made our own event. We had flyers around town, then I made my own website.”
King said she decided to get involved with Youth Ventures again this summer, after completing her first year of art school.
Andre Gill, the Youth Ventures central regional co-ordinator, was ready to help, she said, even though she only contacted him a week ago.
“They know a lot of connections and they really know how to help you,” she said. “They can set you up. … He just knows who to call, who to talk to and he gets back to you right on time. They help you out financially and get you stable for a small business.”
King offers prints of her paintings, as well as original artwork and crafts.
“The second time I was set up at a table, I would ask the kids, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” King said.
“And I would draw them like that. What I have been offering lately is sketches of a photo.”
King will head to Corner Brook in the fall for her second year of the four-year visual arts program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
“My business will come with me come September,” she said.
“I will move my studios elsewhere. It is a wonderful program and it taught me so much, not even just about art, but everything.”
King said her love of art began back in junior high school, when she started going to art clubs in Grade 8. She did a mural at Exploits Valley High and won an art contest in senior high.
“To me, anyone can draw if they practise,” she said. “I was drawing since I was young, and that’s why I have so much practice. It’s just how much time you put into it, I guess, like anything, really.”
In the future, King would like to become an illustrator of children’s books.
She said she’s always had an interest in business, as well.
“I will always have this business, no matter what I end up doing with it,” she said.
“I might go into marketing, I might go into illustrating, but I will always take requests, just because not everyone can have a freehand drawing of their baby, or a painting of their cabin, which I think is something (they) value.”
King can be reached by email at email@example.com, or via the web at slashstudios.webs.com.