Robin Henry, Antler River Press
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Robin Henry and I am the founder of Antler River Press. I’m a multidisciplinary artist, printmaker, and illustrator of French and Anishinaabe background. My primary mediums of choice are silk screening, water colour, and large-scale blanket forts. My work focuses primarily on identity politics or gender, and relationship to the land. I studied Art at the Yukon School of Visual Arts in Dawson City.
Tell us about your business.
I’ve been screen printing as part of my art practice for 14 years, but only started thinking of it as a career in the last few years. Launching Antler River Press this past summer has led me through what I've been calling: a period of unprecedented growth. The past several years have been a struggle with mental illness, homelessness and depression. I never thought I would be capable of running a small business, let alone having my own employees. I can’t thank the community enough for their support and also the programs at the London Small Business Centre.
As a busy entrepreneur, what do you like to do to take a break?
Honestly, I don't often take breaks! My world revolves around making art. To unwind I usually draw or work on illustrations, which usually end up as shirts or prints. If I’m not working on art, I’m usually reading or in the woodshed building banjos.
What advice would you give to someone starting a small business today?
The best advice I can give is to ignore the naysayers. Building a career in the arts is a viable career path. Most people don't understand how the art world works or they undervalue creative trades. It’s a hard grind and the hours are long, but it's worth being able to make a living in the arts!
What is in the future for your business?
Now that the business is up and running, I’m teaming up with Out Of Sound to launch a paid youth arts residency by the name of REZonance. The program focusses on teaching indigenous youth the art of screen printing. You can find out more at https://www.rezonanceprinting.ca
See more of Robins art on his Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/antlerriverpress/