Artist Name: Almoua

What do you consider yourself? Artist, illustrator, painter, designer, other?

We call ourselves designers.

What kinds of projects have you done in the past?

Before we settled on canvas being our main focus, we did a lot of wood working. Our first machine was our CNC machine and we did a lot of plaques to a little guitar building.

Could you talk about how you got into art or doing what you do today? What’s your story? What made you want to pursue this path? Were there any challenges you had along the way?

Our business started when I found myself walking down the aisles of Hobby Lobby trying to find something for my home to make it more “me,” and I thought to myself, ya know…you would NEVER see any Hmong names in big stores like these. This is what started the idea of making my own canvas with Hmong last names. Of course, with everything there are challenges, my first few canvases were not perfect, but through the past few years I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t.

Did you attended art school or majored/minored in Art or Design in college? If so, what were your experiences with it, and did you think it helped you become a better artist? If you did not attended college or attended but did not majored in anything art-related, what helped pushed you to pursue art or improve your craft?

I did not go to school for art or design, but I did go to school for culinary arts, I am certified in Pastries and baking. I do have to say that my perfectionist skills learned from piping has been a pro for my canvas painting.

How do you balance art with work and life? How do you make time for art?

I am still learning how to balance work and life. I work full time in the Roseville area schools, and I also have a family I love spending time with. It’s hard at times but my husband and I are good at putting deadlines for what needs to be done.

Do you think making money from your art is important to you? Do you make money from your art? If so, how?

I believe making money is important, it may seem selfish but when people buy from a small business like me, they are supporting my family, they are supporting my work in letting me explore what I can do to broaden my designer side to make more home décor many people love. Right now, we sell exclusively at the Hmong Arts and Craft Fair. We currently are not taking part of the spring event this year, but we will be back this coming winter for the holiday event.

Where do you get your ideas from?

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, looking at simple and minimal home designs. I love how simple is more.

What kinds of tools do you use to make your work or what is your typical artistic process like?

I use a lot of paint and go through a lot of paint brushes.

Is there any advice you would like to give to young artists or people just starting out?

Just do it! If you let your fear take control, you’ll go nowhere.

What is the best way to get a hold of you or view or purchase your work?

Currently we don’t ship our canvas, but if you are local in the Twin Cities I don’t mind meeting up if you are interested.

Facebook: Almoua