My name is Vena Carr and I am a graphic designer and illustrator practicing in Fredericton, NB. Specializing in branding and marketing design, prepress layout, and image creation, I hope to turn my freelance work into a full-time career.
In 2015, I began studying graphic design at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. I chose to pursue graphics because I simply thought it was the best solution between pursuing art and not becoming a starving artist (instead, I became a starving design student). My passion for graphics did not begin until I was hired by the Canadian Crafts Federation (CCF) as a summer intern in 2016. Already having a love for the arts, I felt at home working for a non-profit organization that envisions “Canadian culture which embraces and values the artistic, economic, contemporary, historical and social significance of craft.” One of my many tasks during my time there was to design a logo for their annual national crafts conference, and this sparked my interest in brand development.
Just before leaving the CCF, I founded the East Coast Artists Collective (ECAC) alongside some fellow creatives in an attempt to produce an incubator for emerging artists. The idea was to launch an organization that was both affordable, professional, innovative, community enriching, and catered to young people and emerging artists... This idea was well-intentioned but poorly executed. Later on, I would step away from this collective to pursue my own independent work. When asked how I could leave a project that I worked so hard to implement, I tell people that ideas are a dime a dozen. All entrepreneurs have ideas that get cultivated, tossed, or both in that order.
During my final year of studies, I began cultivating my own business, Veenah Studio (“veenah” being the phonetic spelling of Vena, which is constantly mispronounced). Nothing is more exciting and painful than starting your own business. You can put all of your time into creating your logo, polishing your pitch, assembling your website, and contacting people, but your business is invisible until you can prove that your services are valuable.
In May, I began a one-month internship at Planet Hatch as part of my Senior Practicum. This experience improved my skills and gave my work more reputable. After this, clients began to trickle in and my portfolio grew while my content marketing engaged more people. In June, I graduated from NBCCD with honours.
Now, I work part-time at Craft NB, one of the many crafts councils under the umbrella of the CCF, as their Marketing & Communications Manager while I continue refining Veenah Studio, “offering branding & marketing design and original artwork”. During the next few months as Planet Hatch’s Artrepreneur-in-Residence, I will be focusing on growing my clientele and online following, opening new revenue streams, improving my website, and offering lectures and workshops to the public.