Hi my name is Ave Abellanosa and this is #MyCanada.
I am a small-town Aussie girl finding her way in Toronto. Just over two years ago I moved to Canada from Australia. I left with zero savings, a large increasing debt and only one suitcase to start a whole new life. This made the first two years in Toronto financially difficult but I was determined to make it work. I fell in love with Toronto; the people, the diversity and the indie lifestyle I have created for myself living downtown. Moving here has helped me reconnect with my passion for art and design. It started with the architect inside of me, wanting to draw the skyline of Toronto on my bedroom wall. So I did. Instagrammers fell in love with my ultra-modern, minimalist, artwork and they wanted to replicate my art in their homes. This is how Ave Mariabell Designs was created. I have an architecture background and I admire architects such as Shigeru Ban and I.M Pei. Although their designs belong to completely different styles of architecture, they are similar in their use of pattern, light and shade. I draw inspiration from this. I also see my designs akin to the Japanese shoji screen: very minimalist with clean, horizontal and vertical lines. I love ultra-modern interior design and I create international city skyline decors that compliment these spaces. The designs are a tribute to the cities that I have visited, lived and got lost in. I also create custom skyline designs, and I love hearing stories from my customers about how a city has changed their life.
"Canada represents a place out of my comfort zone, a place that gave me the opportunity to re-create myself, find myself, heal myself, and build a life for myself."
#MyCanada illustrates my love for this country because it has helped me grow into the person I am today. Canada represents a place out of my comfort zone, a place that gave me the opportunity to re-create myself, find myself, heal myself, and build a life for myself that I may have never had the courage to do in Australia. Toronto didn't change me; I just feel I learnt more about who I am, on the streets of Toronto. My ultimate dream is to be financially capable to travel freely back and forth to Australia, from Toronto. I believe the decision to leave home, and meeting many like-minded individuals in Toronto, who have a similar entrepreneurial spirit, has helped me to achieve what I have today.
We asked Ave, what does the concept of chasing your passion mean to you?
A person who is chasing their passion has perseverance and discipline to pursue their dreams, despite any adversities. It doesn’t matter what life throws at you, pursuing a passion means that you will do what it takes to achieve your goals. It is ordinary people achieving extra-ordinary things that inspire me the most. Since moving to Toronto I have met a myriad of successful entrepreneurs, whether they run an online business, start-up company or making money on social media platforms such as Instagram. I love meeting talented and creative people who do not see things merely for what they are, they see them for what they can be.
Ave Mariabell Designs is a series of modern, minimalist, city skyline designs. The designs aim to unite people together by celebrating common cities that we love, and cities that have touched our lives. Many of us are privileged to travel to these cities but unfortunately there are communities around the world with limited resources for shelter and don’t have access to these metropolitan environments. Project “City Love” is a fundraising campaign to raise funds for myself, and two ambassadors of Ave Mariabell designs, to help build homes in villages around the globe. The villages form a “City” environment for developing communities. We aim to make this an annual initiative and help a new village every year. Visit my Etsy shop, not only to contribute to a great cause but also to take a piece of the city you love home with you.