e-mentor Artist/Publisher

Your Name (optional): Janice Tanton

Male/female: Female

City: Burford

State/Province: Ontario

Country: Canada

Industry: Artist, Giftware Manufacturer and Distributor, Designer, Intellectual Property License

Job: Artist/Publisher

Company (Optional): Janice Tanton Studios, Inc.


Many areas of training, experience and education including University education, College diploma, on the job training, workshops, life experience, self-taught in most areas of artwork are required for this profession. You must be a “Jill-of-all-trades” and learn as much about the world around you as you can, to become efficient in the business aspect of the job.

Training/experience required (years, other jobs):

In the art area, I would suggest taking as many courses as possible from artists who are actually working in the profession and learning as many techniques in painting as possible, so that you can learn from others and then develop your own style and method of execution. Keeping yourself open to new ideas is part of the creative process of the job. This means that you should also learn as much about the world around you, including business, e-commerce, banking, accounting – any subject that will give you more of a background in life will make you successful in the long run. You must obtain some management skills in order to look after your own financial affairs, and a background in copyright law is essential.

Explain what you do:

We do a number of different things at our company. I am an artist and we produce limited edition prints, calendars, note cards, etc. from my artwork, sell and distribute it across Canada and the United States. I also do designs for other companies who require artwork and illustration on their products. Our company represents other artists and promotes their work in the same markets.

Why should kids choose your career path?

This is not a career path for everyone. You must have persistence, drive and talent to succeed. It is long, long hours of work without much pay, initially. However, the rewards of doing your own thing and having control over your business and interests far outweigh a 9-5 attitudinal job, in my opinion. I have a lot of fun, work hard and try to learn something new every day.

What would you recommend career wise and how should kids approach/develop their preparation for a working life?

Experience as much as you can of different areas, cultures, countries and broaden your horizons, so that you can understand how and where the opportunities lie for yourself. Realize from the outset that no one out there is going to give you a free lunch and work twice as hard as the next guy. Hard work and dedication to the job will get you everywhere!

Lessons learned:If you started all over again what would you do differently?

I would have maintained more control over my intellectual property (copyright) from the beginning of my career and followed my instinct more.

A favorite anecdote, phrase, or expression relating to business that inspires you:

My father once told me that I could be anything in the world that I wanted to be and do anything in the world that I wanted to, if I only wanted it enough and worked hard to get it. It’s true. Have confidence in yourself.

Other suggestions or relevant information you would communicate to kids regarding careers in general:

Have confidence in yourself, listen to what others who have been in your industry longer have to say, learn from them but don’t get stuck in a rut. Think outside of the box.