‘Behind The Biz’ with Modern Emulsions


Modern Emulsions, Magda Assaf, Calgary Artist, Canadian Abstract Artist

We're excited to introduce you to Magda Assaf, the contemporary abstract artist behind Modern Emulsions based in Calgary, AB. Magda specializes in the blending effects between acrylics, resin, and gold leafing to create modern original wall art with a glass-like finish. Enjoy! 

1. What does the perfect morning look like to you?

    • Sitting outside in the grass with a cup of coffee. Just 30 minutes to enjoy the birds, plan my day (with my well-loved planner in hand), and some grounding before the day of creativity begins.

2. What's your favourite thing about owning a small business?

    • Freedom. Freedom is something that I greatly value. Being able to choose when I begin my day, what I create, and choosing what my business looks and feels like....that autonomy is what propels me.

3. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

    • Tanzania. It's been on my list since I was young. I would be happy to sit and observe nature indefinitely.

4. What did you do before you started your business?

    • I was a financial controller before I quit the corporate world and started my art business. I have a background in O&G Accounting and Finance that spanned 10 years.
Modern Emulsions, Magda Assaf, Calgary Artist, Calgary Abstract Artist, Shop Local CANADA, Shop Local YYC, Shop Local Calgary,

5. What's your proudest moment in your business so far?

    • The most interesting moment was when I was asked to create custom artwork for HGTV's Property Brothers. Seeing my art on TV was quite surreal.

6. What's your favourite holiday and why?

    • Halloween! Oct. 31 is my birthday, but I tend to ignore that part. I absolutely love creating costumes, and being able to do wild makeup, and use prosthetics. In another life, I would happily be a special effects makeup artist.

7. What's the last book you read?

    • I'm currently reading "High Performance Habits" by Brendon Burchard, but it's slow going. I prefer diving into an epic fantasy series.

8. What's one of your biggest values when it comes to your business?

    • Consistency. Consistency in creation, in experimentation, in "getting out there". In entrepreneurship, I think it's easy to get excited - but it's often followed by waves of hardships. Really pushing past these fluctuating energies is crucial for long-term business health. Perseverance is key. I push through by being very consistent with my routine - and building a routine that helps me stay balanced, focused, and aligned with my core values.

9. What's the biggest problem your business solves for people?

    • A lot of my clients have contemporary homes with large walls. Oftentimes they have a hard time finding art that complements their decor and sizing needs. The largest part of my business is custom wall art creation, where my clients choose both the size and colour palettes of their artwork, and I create pieces that encompass the flow of the space.

10. What's the biggest challenge you've overcome in your business?

    • I don't have an art background, or an entrepreneurship background for that matter, so creating an art business was completely foreign to me. I have never taken an art class, so my understanding of art was non-existent. I didn't know anyone in the art world either. Everything was new territory, but that was very exciting in the beginning. Instead of being discouraged or overwhelmed, seeing it with beginner eyes was surprisingly fun, now that I look back. I'm uncertain why I wasn't scared. I continue to overcome it by being engrossed in learning. I love podcasts, networking events, business coaching, books....anything that will propel me to new heights.
Modern Emulsions, Magda Assaf, Calgary Artists, Canadian Abstract Art, Shop Local CANADA, Shop Local YYC

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Magda a little more! To see more of her artwork, you can visit her website or join her community on Instagram.

Learn more about other Canadian small business owners in our 'Behind The Biz' blog series or check out our full Canadian shop directory.

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