IN years gone by when life gave her lemons, Tasha-Kay Vannessa Wilson would have probably gotten some flowers, fabric and fruit baskets and made an exquisite tropical centrepiece for a table. But this year, when life also tossed her a pandemic that cancelled all sizable events for the foreseeable future, the tenacious project manager, décor and events coordinator traded in her lemons for some paper and got to work.
“My full time job was in event planning, mainly specialising in décor, but when the pandemic started my boss had to lay everyone off so I was out of a job,” Wilson shared. “But creatives can't really be out of a job now, can they? So I started to lean on the skills that I have.”
Among the skills in the 26-year-old's arsenal is fashion designing, and pre-COVID she had put it to good use by designing carnival costumes and wire bras for the road. But with carnival also being cancelled this year, the creative had to dig deep for another skill that she had — quilling.
“I officially started my business, Minaila's in April,” Wilson, who holds a bachelor of fine arts in fashion/textiles & fibre arts from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, told All Woman. “I had taught myself how to do quilling (the art of using rolled, shaped, and glued paper to create a design) from about 2017, but time didn't allow me to turn the hobby into anything more, because balancing creating costumes and my full time job was already a task, but seeing I was home with nothing to do, I gave it a shot.”
One shot was all she needed, because her intricately designed decorative art pieces were an instant hit.
“I was very shy at first because I didn't know how people would feel about my pieces but I'm pleasantly surprised by their response so far,” she said happily.
Although she didn't have any close creative influences growing up, and both her parents had regular 9-5 jobs, Wilson has been drawn to the arts for as long as she can remember. “I was always doodling, sketching or doing art and craft,” she remembered fondly. “I always wanted to be an events or wedding planner, because I liked the idea of transforming spaces and adding my little personal flavour to each project.”
Although she is not currently able to transform entire spaces into breathtaking venues, she is pleased to still be able to add a small touch of elegance to the homes of her clients with her wall art pieces.
“I do it because I love it,” she said simply. “I get super excited when I see what I've created, because most of the pieces are being done for the first time so the end product gets me excited. When I look at my work, I feel super proud of myself for having done all of it. To know the idea came from my mind and I was able to translate it into something amazing… that's a beautiful feeling.”
Though it has been a fairly smooth road since she started doing pieces by commission, mainly through her Instagram page @ Minaila.s, there have been a few small bumps along the way, such as sourcing some of her supplies, but even that she sees as a business opportunity that she might explore in the future.
Right now, though, the artist is more focused on growing through whatever she is going through.
“I'm hoping to build on what I've already established, so I'm already experimenting with other forms of art that hopefully I'll be able to share in the very near future,” she divulged. “Other than that, I just want to be happy and help to make life beautiful.”