Passion and profession: a balancing act

By Victor Martisius

SIX NATIONS – Tracey Anthony, owner of Vision Artwork, is finding out how to balance his passion for visual art with his custom T-shirt shop located on the corner of First Line and Highway Six.

There’s much to be said about an artists drive to create and showcase when they are faced with the realities of modern society. A true artist’s understanding of bills and responsibilities as an unavoidable part of life often lead them to merge the want and need to create with what they do to bring home the bacon.

Anthony, who has been an artist his entire life and studied at OCAD, has a very unique eye when it comes to creating original pieces.

“Screen printing apparel is the main thing I do here,” he says. “I also do embroidery, graphic design, promotional materials and art when I have time.”

“I’ve been drawing since I was three years old, it’s just something I’ve always done. I didn’t get serious about it until I was in high school when I had to figure out what I was going to do for college”, says Anthony. “I went to OCAD for four years and did a year at Sheridan [College in Oakville, Ont.] for animation.”

Walking into Vision Artwork, you will first see a section of original pieces created by Anthony himself. Shopping around in the apparel section, you’ll notice that he has expertly co-ordinated the designs he has produced with the colour of T-shirt they are printed on.

As most artists will tell you, using art as a main source of income takes an almost overbearing amount of hard work, patience and consistency. Anthony, who has been in the apparel business since 1999 is well aware that to continue pursuing his passion for art, his business must be a success.

“I started my business when I was around 28 [or] 29 [years old] at home in my garage. I do everything. I’m the secretary. I’m the janitor. I get some help from students on summer break, but other than that it’s just me.”

He offers a wide range of services from screen-printing to vinyl decals ensuring that each print is done with a considerable amount of effort, care and planning.

Be sure to check out Vision Artwork online at or at the shop if you are in the market for a unique print, a beautifully designed T-shirt or interesting conversation with a truly passionate artist.


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