Hello!!! We are Elaine and Francisco. Our still short story (but already so full of life and projects), started at Sao Miguel, in Azores Islands (Portugal).
In April 2019, I (Elaine) quitted my job in Germany, and planned a work & travel experience. After some applications and some emails, I decided to go to this remote place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I was in search for adventure, for some inspirational time and some self discovering. With a Graphic Designer degree, some years working on the industry and some working as a freelancer Artist, I was in need of some time to recharge my creativity and focus on my goal on becoming a full time self employed Artist.
So, in the next month (May), I was on a plane going to Sao Miguel, with my backpack, and in me the most amazing feeling... FREEDOM. I arrived on the 4 th, and the first impressions couldn't have been better. Super green place, nature all around, the most pure fresh air, and really high on humidity. Some hours later I was on this really cool Hostel, were i was about to start my 2,5 months adventure as a side cooker, preparing meals for the guest and staff.
There were already people from other countries working abroad there, which was perfect to get to know some of them and to get started on knowing the island. After some weeks, I had a partnership with an art gallery, where i was selling some of my fine art prints, and it was going pretty good. I had a really nice job, was working with some really cool people and the best of it, I was following my passion!!
In the meanwhile, I (Francisco) was working as a Sous Chef, in the restaurant that was being prepared to open in the same Hostel.
With a Marine Biology degree and a SCUBA diving Instructor certificate, and after many years working in the tourism niche, as a diving guide and instructor, whale watching guide and a lot of hours on the sea, I needed a change, so I accepted a job offer in the Hostel as a cooker (where i also had a lot of experience).
The days were passed experimenting new dishes, and preparing a menu fit to the restaurant concept. The working environment was really cool and easy going, and with all the new people coming and going, I was really enjoying meeting new people almost everyday.
And there is where our paths crossed!
One day, before work, I (Francisco) went to the hostel and as always i stopped by the hostel living room to grab a coffee before starting in the kitchen. And there was this german girl, talking about the partnership she did with a gallery. I don't know why it was the first time we saw each other (since she was already working for 3 weeks at the hostel, and sharing working space with the kitchen i was in), but I was really amazed by her work.
So for the first time we had a small chat, she offered me a postcard, and i promised her that on the next day, before work, I would show her some of the string art I was doing.
A lot happened after that, but in a short version we didn't got apart one single day after that first chat. We started living together in my flat in the town, and really fast we realised we were meant to be close to each other.
We started to make plans, and soon we knew it was time to leave the island. So we both quit our jobs in the hostel, and booked flights to the mainland.
The plan was to go to Faro city (Portugal), were I (Francisco) have a flat, and start on rebuilding the online shop she had and make it grow as our online business.
Another project we had (and have), was to have an atelier. But we wanted it to be with a twist, it should be a mobile atelier. Combining the working space (with a gallery) within a living space, our plan is to take our art to anyone and even use it to promote art, with, for example, open air workshops and showcases, in a way that everyone everywhere could join us.
Our online business is ON and growing, and we feel its time to have our physical space. We already started to work on getting the capital to get it going, so I (Francisco) started working at a company, so we can put aside some of it. Elaine is working as the first full time worker on our brand (Chili Ice Design). She is always creating new products, doing marketing, and getting the Chili Ice name out there.
After some research on how we could get more capital, the crowdfunding idea came up. We don't want to ask for one way donations, but instead we want to use crowdfunding as a channel to exchange donations for our art.
And here is where we need your help!!
We want to buy an old van and rebuilt it for our specific demands, combining everything a living space needs, with the additional working space requirements.
We could spread art wherever we go, connect with people and on top by donating money we want to give something back to you. All Art Works are ready to go to your wall – framed or on canvas. I (Elaine), specialised myself on watercolour but I can also paint on canvas with alcohol and acrylic inks and make amazing paintings out of it.
More than a personal project, we truly believe this is the beginning of something big. A project that has already began a couple months ago, but that needs a push to make the jump to a physical reality, in form of our Chili Ice Artsy VAN.
We do not only believe in it, but also we know we were made for something like this, combining our arts (and hearts), with the feeling of being on the road, spreading our passions, and building our future based on our own believes.
Well, first of all, we need a van. After some research, and keeping in mind we will buy a second hand van, we are going to need at least 5.000€ to get one which can handle the traveling (good motor and chassis conditions). And to cover all the building and legal papers we are going to need at least 2.000€.
Of course this values can (and probably will) change, but again, this isn't the only channel we are using to get the monetary resource to do it.
So we are aiming at the total of 7.000€ (from all of the income we are generating with our work), for this project to get the wheels spinning.
All of the people who help us make this dream become a reality, will, in a way, buy our products. That means, that with any contribution you will receive something back.
We believe in our work (and products), so their quality is assured, if its an art print (framed or not) or an original painting (canvas or framed), you will get an amazing artist made, hand signed art for your wall and ready to decorate the walls of your house, your working space, or any other space in need of some love.
On Fine Art Prints, you can choose from our existing designs. Watercolour Original paintings, will be animal inspired motives and the funder can choose which animal to be painted. Acrylic and/or alcohol canvas will be abstract paintings and the funder can choose the colour theme.
really important thing we believe in, is that we can use this as a
chain reaction, so in the same way we are asking for some help (even
if its in exchange of something), it makes total sense for us to go
and help someone else.
So, to get this chain going, we decided to give back some of the funds we will collect. After 5.000€ (which is the money we need for the van alone), 10% of all of the funds that we collect (after the 5.000€ mark), will be donated to another campaign in this platform.
The campaign, will be chosen not only by us, but also with the help of every funder, so in a way you will not be only funding us but someone else also!!
We will ask every funder to give their suggestion and all of them will be registered in our blog section for our campaign, so everyone can see it. Of course this is something that every funder can choose to do it or not, but keep in mind, that if you choose to do it, the campaign you choose must end after ours.
On the last day of our campaign, if we pass the 5.000€ mark, we are going to choose 10 suggestions between all of them, make a pool where everyone can vote for their favourite, and the most voted one will be the campaign that will get the 10% of every euro we get after the 5.000€ mark.
First of all, and in advance, we want to thank everyone who took some of their time to read our story. And one thing is for sure, we will keep working everyday for this project/dream to become a reality.
We believe in us, we believe in our goals, and we believe that all of us are here for each other, if its with any of our expertise, if it is with some words or actions, it all makes much more sense if we live like we all should... CONNECTED!
Home is the place where your (he)art is! ;)
Thank you for your support! - Elaine & Francisco!