#9: Michelle Vala, Artist and Designer

Introducing Michelle Vella, artist and designer of the new line WIDE BIG EYES.

Michelle took the leap as a full time artist in 2016 who runs her own business as a jack of all trades, and will soon be launching the WIDE BIG EYES fashion line on Canada's TSC The Shopping Channel.

What do you consider your top 3 core values and how do they affect how you lead your business. 


Optimism and positivity are at the top of my list of core values. 
I believe thinking positive and being confident has been the main ingredient to my success. I learned long ago that the trick is to keep my eye (thoughts) on the end result, my dream, where I want to end up, and to dream bigger than ever imagined. Even through challenging times, you can’t focus on the negative, it’s a waist of energy, so you must keep your eye on the ball, keep creating, and make things happen. 
Productivity. You can create opportunities through action, and being productive, for instance, when I didn’t have bookings or sales, I created a painting series, a show or popup which resulted in sales and booking commissions, which in turn kept me on track to achieving my dream.
Appreciation and gratitude are key and absolutely the core of my values. Admittedly I’m not perfect and sometimes I have to remind myself to be grateful, especially when things didn’t go my way or when I am unsure of things. I find having gratitude everyday, being grateful for the people in my life, for the gifts that I have, and even the little things, helps my confidence, gives me appreciation for me, and gives me the power to accomplish anything.

Can you share a time you either thought you failed, or actually did fail? How did you react and move past it, and what impact did it have on business decisions?


In the summer/fall of 2015 I started as a fashion illustrator and having early success. By early 2016 I wasn’t booked for any live illustration events and had no cash flow, I felt I was failing as a fashion illustrator. I decided to branch out from fashion illustration and become a full on artist. I bought some canvases and started painting a “Lake Life Series” which opened a door to showing my art series at a 3 day luxury event in Muskoka (Canadian Cottage Haven) which launched my career as an artist and I haven’t looked back.

What types of projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to seeing in the future?


Today was very exciting as my art was featured on Cityline which is a Canadian morning show that airs on TV across Canada and 80 million households in the US. 
I have designed a new fashion line of WIDE BIG EYES that will debut on Jeanne Beker’s “Style Matters” on Canada’s TSC The Shopping Channel this March. 
I am currently looking for Popup retail opportunities in New York and Toronto to show my art, fashion and home collection. 
My goal is to have a show at Art Miami/Art Basel this year and explore more opportunities in the US.