By: Tiara Chutkhan
Q: What inspired you to open an art gallery?
A: My background is advertising and graphic design, and I always thought I wanted to work in an ad agency. I was always very creative and going to art galleries was always a passion of mine from a very young age, but then I wanted to pursue advertising as well. After I worked in an ad agency, I just realized it wasn’t exactly what I wanted and there was always something missing. When I really thought about what made me happy, ut was my passion which was going to art galleries. That’s how the idea came to my head. I didn’t want it to be just any ordinary art gallery. I wanted it to be an art gallery and event space. A place where people felt very welcome. That’s what inspired me to open an art gallery.
Q: What were the biggest obstacles you faced when Twist first opened?
A: I would say building my artist data base, starting from scratch, getting to know everyone and getting to know the industry. That was my biggest obstacle.
Q: What do you think has made the gallery so successful?
A: I wanted it to be different and I think I have achieved that. It’s just a place where young artists that are breaking the scene are able to contact us and find out how they can display their artwork. even for people who are visiting art galleries, we make it very inviting by having seats for people. we even have colouring books for people to make it therapeutic and just inviting for people.
Q: What qualities do you think make you a successful gallery owner?
A: I would say being personable, being authentic and trying new things.
Q: Where do you see Twist by it’s 10th anniversary?
A: Being one of the top art galleries and event spaces in Toronto.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about owning an art gallery?
A: My favourite thing is meeting different artists, seeing their art work come to life, hearing their story, the behind the scenes and then actually seeing their artwork. Also celebrating memorable moments for people’s functions, for instance their weddings. That’s a very big part of their life that we’re part of. We get to meet the couple from the beginning to the end. Those would be my favourite things about the business.
Q: What is it about art that you personally love?
A: I love that everyone sees something completely different. Everyone can look at one painting and everyone has a completely different perspective of what that means to them.
Q: What advice or tips would you give to a young person looking to open their own gallery?
A: I would say you have to be willing to 100% commit and invest into it. It’ not a 9-5 type job, it’s all- around and you’re thinking about it from morning to night. As long as you’re having fun and also it has to just flow, don’t force it. if it’s going nicely and smoothly and of course there’s some bumps along the way. Overall it shouldn’t be a complete struggle, you should be having fun with it.