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November Vendor Spotlight: Spll Girl

My name is Emcie Turineck and I’m an artist and illustrator here in Montréal. I create digital illustrations and handmade goods in my home studio. I am neurodivergent and much of my work is inspired by my inner world and what brings me comfort. I love to explore joy, and I hope to bring that feeling to people through my art.

What inspired you to start a business? A few years ago I attended an artisan market and spoke to one of the vendors. These vendors we’re artists and I asked them to have a meeting to review my portfolio. They told me that if I liked this market, I could do some with my own work and that I should peruse a career in art. I never really knew what kind of life I could have as an illustrator, but after that market, I felt that it was what I wanted to do. I’m so happy I did!

How did you come up with your business name? My business name is inspired by my creative process. I tend to spill myself into my life’s passions and I don’t limit my creativity to just visual arts. I love to dance and sing, play music and cook. When I bought my website domain, it was originally spilled girl, with an I, but I made a typo and by the time I noticed it was too late. I purchased spll girl and decided to keep it. I find the missing I to be quite fitting and funny.

What is your favorite thing that you make and why? My favorite thing I make currently is the felt projects. I really love creating home decor items out of nostalgic materials. It’s great because I get to work with the seasons and the creations always change.

Tell us about the progress you've made since you first started I’ve been working on my business for about three years, and so so much has changed. I started out doing only prints and greetings cards, printing from home, and using traditional art materials like pens and markers. Over the pandemic, I got an iPad and my business really changed. I started creating digital art, and then expanded my products from just prints to stickers, postcards, posters, and handmade things. I also take commissions now and work with businesses to create artwork. I’m really proud of myself for learning how to build a website, price my work, bookkeep and network. I’m really happy I’ve put myself out there.

Describe your creative process My creative process is very intuitive. I am inspired by home and everyday moments, and for that, I hardly run out of ideas for what to draw or make. Ideas and images come to me and I draw them, it’s a hard process to describe. I let mistakes happen and go with the flow, I’m all about the process.

What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? The best part would be the ability to create something from the ground up and watch yourself grow in the process. I really feel grateful to be doing this work and I’m excited for what’s next.

What is the hardest part of running your own business? Not having all the answers. It’s hard to be the artist as well as the business owner. Art comes easily to me, but the concepts of marketing and design as well as the organizational aspects of running a business are difficult and require a lot of focus. Having to learn how to market yourself when you’re an artist making things you love isn’t always easy. Make sure to reach out to friends for help and advice and don’t be afraid to try even when you don’t know all the answers.

What are your business goals for the future? My business goals for the future are to participate in more markets, create a new product, and apply to illustration agencies. I’d also love to share and sell my art at more stores in Montréal.

What are some of your upcoming projects? Some of my upcoming projects include collaborating on a graphic novel with my fiancée, tackling screen printing again, and continuing to create more sculptures and home decor!

What inspires your work? My work is inspired by joy and the small moments we experience in everyday life. I love drawing my favorite food, things from my childhood, and comforting images. Colour is a major focus for me and I find I am most myself around color.

If you could offer advice to someone who’d like to do what you do, what would you say? Be patient and stay focused on your work. It takes a long time to find exactly what your groove is, to find a balance between passion and logic, and to understand that there’s room for you in the field you want to peruse. It’s a marathon, take breaks, rest, and believe In yourself. Keep it fun and keep it flexible!

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