MP Local: Trisha Abe
We are excited to share another MP Local blog series featuring someone very inspiring. Her work is showcased throughout Kitchener-Waterloo and embodies the empowerment of men and women.
Trisha Abe is a painter, illustrator and muralist in the KW region. Her work is so beautiful and embraces minimalism - it really represents the saying "a picture speaks a thousand words".
We are super excited Trisha decided to share her story with us, because it's a story that hits home for so many of us. We all go through the ups and downs of life and sometimes the downs bring so much meaning, in her case - creating a full time business doing something she is passionate about.
So... without further ado, meet Trisha!
Name: Trisha Abe
Your title: Visual Artist
Your elevator pitch:
I work full-time as a painter, illustrator and muralist— I do everything from small scale
illustrations to large scale indoor and outdoor murals! My work is very minimalistic and
consists of linework portraits (mostly of women) with an aim to capture as much character
and diversity as I can with a few continuous lines.
One word to describe yourself:
Why did you choose that word?
I feel very strongly about every aspect of my work: self-expression through art, freelancing as
a young artist, and being a woman in business. I throw myself fully into everything I do.
Why did you start the business that you did and what was the inspiration or reasoning of how it came it life?
Starting my career in art was the result of two things:
1) A 5-year science degree and
2) A bad breakup.
Graduating from a degree where I always felt out of place, and getting out of a relationship
where I essentially lost myself entirely, left me feeling very defeated. I picked up my
paintbrushes after almost four years of not touching them and started painting again as
therapy. I found I was painting very strong, confident looking women with bright, colourful
backgrounds— I realized I was using art as a reminder of my identity with the hopes that I
wouldn’t lose myself again. To this day, that continues to be the basis of my work.
Three months after I picked up my paint brush again, I sold my first piece, seven months after that I got my first corporate commissioned mural, and two months after that I was able to quit my job and pursue art full time.
First thought when you officially became your own boss:
“Oh shit, what have I done... ok don’t think about it Trish, get back to work.”
When you’re not hustling, what do you do in your free time?
I really enjoy exploring breweries, restaurants, and local gems in other cities when I get the
Describe a day in your life:
My days are so drastically different! I try to wake up relatively early but by no means am I the
2 hour spin class, 1 hour yoga, and homemade organic smoothie before 6AM kinda gal (haha).
Some days I’ll spend entirely alone working in my home studio listening to music and
podcasts. Other days I’ll be out and about in meetings with clients, grabbing coffee with
other local makers/friends, running errands/getting supplies, and attending local events. The
days I’m doing mural work, it’s typically after hours (if it’s in a corporate office/business) so I
end up sleeping in, taking it easy then working straight from about 5PM to 12 or 1 in the
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Getting commissioned by the City of Kitchener to do a large outdoor mural right across city
What are your top 3 bucket list items?
1. Have a solo exhibition at a gallery
2. Give a guest lecture at a university/college
3. Paint a mural in another country (somewhere far away!)
What or who inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing?
The continual stream of new ideas. There’s so much to paint and so little time!
What is your spirit animal and why?
Baby elephant because they are small but mighty!
What is your daily mantra?
“No time for negative thoughts, back to work!”
What are some tips and tricks you use to stay motivated?
Stepping away after finishing a big project. My biggest fear is burning out so taking breaks is
essential. Also— making time for personal projects and not devoting all my time to paid work only.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Learning to say no to projects I don’t want to do— I don’t have to please everyone or chase
after every penny, especially if it’s work I’m not excited about.
What’s next for you?
I’m moving to a beautiful new space very soon, right in the core of downtown Kitchener and I
couldn’t be more excited!
Also, two very cool new collaborations with a local KW business and a Toronto business!
And of course more murals!
How can our readers find you?
We are excited to see what's next for Trisha and absolutely love seeing her work showcased around the city. As local lovers and supporters, we love hearing inspiring stories of people living their passions.
We are constantly looking to promote local businesses and freelancers in the community, so if you are interested in sharing a bit about your life and your journey, send us a DM or email us at email@example.com. .