Do you dream of becoming a full-time artist? And yet, is your day-to-day reality packed full with an unfulfilling day job, long commutes and stressing about paying high rent? Well, maybe it’s time for some new scenery.
For Scott Haig, moving from East Vancouver to Penticton was the change he needed to take the leap as an artist. At 34, he had been working as a landscaper, battling the daily grind, while scratching out time in the evenings to work on his passion – creating stunning works of art and furniture out of live edge wood.
From Vancouver to Penticton
You might think that moving from an urban metropolis to a smaller city would mean fewer opportunities for an artist, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, just a month after arriving in Penticton, Scott landed his first commission, creating new tables for a high-profile local restaurant.
The pandemic was the push he needed to make the move out of Vancouver. He and partner Becky, plus their two dogs and one cat, were living in a 500-square-foot, one-bed apartment, with no workshop.
“Vancouver was busy, busy, busy, and I was always working – 10-12 hours a day,” said Scott. “Coming here and being able to solely focus on this was a change of pace, and having space to breathe, a complete night and day change of scenery. Now I can focus solely on this, perfect my craft, build my brand and my business.”
Loving the lifestyle
Haig Designs specializes in river tables, charcuterie boards, skateboards, surfboards and coasters – “anything I can build with wood and epoxy,” said Scott.
“I love it all, want to do it all, and want to cater to every market. In Vancouver it was a hobby, a side business. It wasn’t paying the bills, but with a project here and there, it gave me time to perfect my craft. I had everything fully dialled down and it was just a means of getting established. Now that we’re here, I’ve been solely practicing this.”
Today, they live just steps from Skaha Lake, with a big deck, workshop and spacious yard with their pets running happily around. To top it off, their rent is lower than what they were paying for their tiny apartment in East Van.
Although they’ve only been living in Penticton a few months, Scott’s enjoying the freedom of being able to focus on his work.
“Coming here, I have a lot more peace. Lifestyle-wise, what I do on the regular is the same, but how I’m feeling is night and day difference,” he said. “The more time I’ve spent on this, the more confidence it has given me. I keep my head down, keep pumping material out, and I feel encouraged constantly.”