99U: Bevel's Tristan Walker: The Best Ideas Are Brewed out of Authenticity

99U: Consistently Relevant

I never stop being impressed by the relevant content on 99U.

If you’re an entrepreneur or freelance creator, the content here is gold.

Most recent worth reading: “The Best Ideas Are Brewed out of Authenticity,” and interview with Bevel’s Tristan Walker, written by Sean Blanda.

A couple key moments:

As an entrepreneur, you have to not give a shit about what people think about you.


One of our values is wellness. If you’re not taking care of yourself you’re not taking care of your business.

Read the full article here.

Ash For Hire, Ashley Tanasiychuk

Ashley Tanasiychuk: Visual Artist. Arts Promoter. Community Builder. Entrepreneur. Here’s my comprehensive CV

You might know that I shoot rad photos. You may know that I shoot rad videos too. Do you know that I’m also a whizz at video editing, writing, and copy editing?

That I can manage a team? Plan an event?

There’s so much I could be hired for, it’s bananas.

From management to design to photography and video, plus a helluva lot more in between, there’s a ton I can offer you, your project, or your business.

So here it is: my comprehensive CV (opens within this page). Enjoy.


  • Statement
  • Skills & talents
  • Professional experience
  • Formal post secondary education
  • Additional education, workshops, scholarships
  • Volunteer selections
  • Featured work
  • Compliments & accolades
  • Equipment
  • Interests & goals

Please share with anyone who might benefit from my skills and talents.

Link to this page, download from my home site formatnoauto.com (“CV PDF download” link is at left column), or have them contact me directly.

Thank you.



What an honour!

Vancouver-based photographer Christopher Edmonstone has thrown himself into an incredible portrait photography project. It’s called #artistathome. And I’m his most recent subject!

He hand-picks artists who he believes are doing great things in the city, whether they’re recording albums or building community.

One of the best parts is, he isn’t just wham bam thank you ma’am in and out; for Christopher this is just as much about building and strengthening relationships as it is about building a solid body of photos (he’s shot upwards to 90 #artistathome portraits now).

Christopher meets the artist at their home. He talks with the artist. Really talks. A hey-how-ya-doin’-it’s-been-waaaaaay-too-long-but-we’re-not-just-gonna-gloss-over-the-highlights-we’re-gonna-get-to-the-nitty-gritty-and-really-talk. And he really listens. And shares.

It was a fantastic Saturday afternoon.

artists at home, #artistsathome, Christopher Edmonstone, Vancouver BC, portrait

I’m touched by what Christopher wrote, to accompany the portrait:

I really want you to meet today’s ‪#‎artistathome‬ as he was one of the first people that helped enable the way for me in my current path.

I met him in January 2011 shooting a show at The Commodore Ballroom. Back then I was hustling every band I wanted to photograph coming to town to get a photopass. He suggested that I contact him the next time I wanted to shoot a show as he was now the photo editor of concert blog site called guttersnipe. From that point I on could focus on shooting shows instead of spending time trying to get a photopass.

After a couple of years Ashley had come to the realization that big stars didn’t need him to take photos, but that his local community did. He started shooting events featuring local artists, gallery openings, artists talks bands and performers eventually wrapping all of it into what is now the website called VANDOCUMENT. Actually, it is more than just a website, it is a great collection of photographers, videographers and writers that embody and share the idea that art is important, and that you can build community through it. Ashley’s is doing his dream and what he believes in.

VANDOCUMENT has grown into a true collective of over 50 volunteer contributors over the past two years since it was launched in May 2013. Having seen first hand the growth of this VANDOCUMENT I am really impressed with everything about it, from the aesthetics, to it’s mission statement, to plans to turn it into an official not-for-profit organization. I think everyone can learn something from some of Ashley’s guiding principals for his life.

I will share with you three points taken from a recent talk that he gave at the Dreamers + Doers Event:

  1. Surround yourself with believers, supporters, and participants in your dream.
  2. Thank those who help you, give back to those who give to you, and create opportunities for them. Build and respect your community.
  3. Take chances. Lots of them. As often as possible.

These are amazing words to live by and they are something I strive towards. It was really great to get together with Ashley last week over some beers and later burgers! Be sure to check out http://www.VANDOCUMENT.com, lots of interesting stuff happening in the city we all love.

Thank you Christopher. You’re an incredible human and a massive talent. Keep it up!


Here’s to two thousand more

Two years ago today, I launched a little project called VANDOCUMENT.


I created it because Vancouver has a vibrant passionate arts scene – from theatre to visual art, from contemporary dance to music – and the amount of talent here is huge, the amount of fresh content being created is massive.

It deserved to be – it desperately needed to be – documented. To give the artists and galleries and festivals a record of what they’ve done.
To use as promotion.
To build their portfolios.
To help them continue to do what they love to do most.

And to connect Vancouverites with the best local emerging art. To show that there is SO much more happening than what is advertised at the VAG or coming to the Commodore.
To educate our city in it’s own creative culture.
To break down barriers and preconceptions.
To make our local art more approachable, more accessible.

So this is what we’ve been doing at VANDOC since May 10, 2013.

2 years on, this isn’t just my little project anymore. VANDOC is now a team of over fifty people (!): dozens of incredibly talented and dedicated writers, photographers, videographers, sound recorders, illustrators, dancers, designers, painters, editors, party organizers, social media pros, accountants, musicians, students, researchers.

2 years and hundreds of articles later, our collective ears are to the ground; we’re digging into the best and most exciting art created by Vancouver’s local and emerging artists.

Since the new year alone, we’ve published 29 original articles featuring the work of nearly 100 artists at 24 venues across the city. We tell these stores through gorgeous photo galleries, sensory-packed written reviews and interviews, video recaps, and even field audio recordings.

Some 2015 highlights:

  • We continued our relationship with SFU Woodward’s
  • and with VIVO Media Arts, documenting rad experimental events such as the Quiet City series
  • We triple-teamed Centre A for a photo / video / written opus
  • We helped launch a new artist interview podcast series called 8minuteswith
  • We documented some of the new Field House residencies, adding audio field recordings to our documentation tool kit along the way.
  • Hello Kitty-bordered photos landed in our pages(!)
  • and we set a precedence for discussing activist art and culture, with #KMFaces, video, in depth reporting and more

We’re often asked if we need more contributors, since it seems we have a big team (which we do), but the door is always open:
If you dig art & want to help in connecting Vancouverites to our city’s art, and want to help in celebrating our city’s artists through documentation,
if you want to get your writing, photography, video, or voice published
if you want to expand your network of cool, involved, engaged, creative individuals,
say hi!

Here’s to our team of over 50 incredible, amazing, inspiring, talented, a wickedly fun contributors! Here’s to Vancouver’s artists! Here’s to all the supporters of the arts! To all the enablers of the arts – those of you who throw events and make it all happen! Happy Birthday!

Support art. Love yourself. Connect with the people around you.

Big love. Here’s to two thousand more brilliant years of arts documentation.

VANDOC’s channels
fcbk + twitter + vimeo + tumblr + soundcloud + instagram

Gal Gracen, Blue Hearts in Exile

Gorgeous Music To Hold Your Soul In A Gentle Palm

Gal Gracen. A Vancouver-based “fantasy / romance” band, as described on their facebook page. Or my favourite description of their music: “dreamcatcher,” as listed on their bandcamp.
Check this out, you and your soul will be better for it: Blue Hearts in Exile

And if after those 7 gorgeous tracks, you’re as in love with them as I am, you won’t miss their show at 303 Columbia on Thurs May 14, in which other brilliant Vancouver bands such as Mesa Luna, Whitney K, and Plazas will perform at.
happy hour radio presents: gal gracen, mesa luna, whitney k & plazas at 303 Columbia, Vancouver BC, 2015


Dreamers + Doers

The following is the speech I prepared for my 5 min talk at a new event entitled Dreamers + Doers


I was asked to be here through my current fellowship with RADIUS. I’d like to thank Jenn McRae & Shawn Smith for connecting me with Sarah Shandl, the organizer of this great event.


I looked up. Lil Wayne’s tattooed body. His gold-filled grin. And amongst the screaming crowd and thumping bass, I asked myself, what the fuck am I doing here?!?

We’ll get back to that, but first,
let’s hop over the rockies, to good ol’ Alberta…


I was born in Edmonton.

Although I came from a blue collared working class family, in which “working hard for your money” was drilled into me, it never fit. I was a quiet kid who spent pretty much all day either drawing or reading.
I was an artist, which was considered weird and useless.
I tried working as a helper in a welding fabrication shop during the summer. I worked on construction sites. But I just didn’t fit in.

It wasn’t just that I didn’t fit in with these stereotypically gruff n tough manly Albertan men.
I always thought there must be more than this.

Even though by my early 20s, I hadn’t been anywhere outside Alberta (other than a trip to Disneyland when I was a kid),
I knew there must be more than this.

My imagination, confined to being able to draw cool creatures or writing fantastical stories,  was at best, up to that point, been given a pat on the head.

But what I’ve learned since is that my imagination – my dreaming – has WAY more potential than anyone, myself included, could have imagined.


My name is Ash Tanasiychuk
(tana – SAY – chuck)

I’m a visual artist and the founder of VANDOCUMENT.

You might have seen photos of mine over the years. Since 2010, I’ve shot bands playing throughout the city, which gets us back to Lil Wayne.

How DID I find myself in a photo pit shooting Lil Wayne?

I found myself there because I took a chance.


In July 2010, I answered a local online publication’s call for gig photographers.
At that point, I had NEVER shot ANYTHING for ANYONE other than myself.
I didn’t even have an SLR.
But it was an unpaid gig, I thought what the hell why not.
I shot the show and I instantly fell in love with live music photography. From that day, I was hooked. I loved what I was doing, and in the photos, it showed.

  • Although I shot tons of bands, including Leonard Cohen at one point – I realized my talent wasn’t really contributing to anything, other than some sweets shots on the sites & publications I was shooting for.
  • That fateful gig in Rogers Arena, shooting Lil Wayne, helped me realize there must be more than this.
  • I realized that my talent to capture a few key moments in time could be shifted to my city’s local artists.

This is where the DOING started to come in.


Once Lil Wayne helped me realize that he didn’t need my photo talent, that my local community did, everything exploded.

I started shooting events featuring local artists. I cycled around, brought my camera everywhere, shot pics of gallery openings, artist talks, bands and performers, posted the pics, and shared them with the artists.


So I did it more. This energy fed me.

I shot more and more until I literally couldn’t do anymore. I realized this needed to be a bigger thing.

I brainstormed a name (VANDOCUMENT, obvious, right?) bought the url, found a theme,  populated it with my own work, and launched on May 10 2013.

From there, I spoke to people. In person, online. I invited people to join. And it took no time to gather a small but amazing crew.

This is where my dreams moved from personal to communal.


It’s a buzz word, I admit.
But I choose it for a genuine reason: community building buzzes me. Electrifies me.

This is a new discovery.
As a quiet kid, I didn’t make an effort to build community.
As an artist, I just made things. I didn’t think I needed community.

But now that my dreaming had moved from simply being an artist to documenting and supporting artists, I was opening myself up to others. I began to expose myself and my beliefs to people.


In one of VANDOC’s first posts, entitled “On Why Art Matters”
I introduce the concept and intentions of VANDOCUMENT. Then I ask:

“But WHY? Why does our local talent deserve this attention?”
A couple of the points in particular stick out:

  • Art has the capability to save me from confusion, depression, anger, and other not-so-awesome states because it reminds me that I am not alone. Music, performance, film, etc – shows me a world larger than my own and by so doing, it grounds me, calms me or invigorates me
  • This grounding, calming, invigorating power of art is inherently community-building. It gives us a sense of being HERE. Whether we know the people around us or not, whether we are in a tiny village or a massive metropolis, we are not alone.

I sign off on this post with
“Support art. Love yourself. Connect with the people around you.”

I bore my soul here. By writing this, I was distilling the core essence of my dreaming into a 500 word article.

By baring my soul, I was sharing my dream. I began DOING my dream.

So what did this teach me?


Genuine purpose.
Purpose that extends into & connects with other people’s lives.

In my case, paying tribute to what people do.
If people are going to put themselves on the line, if they’re going to create anything, we should at least give them a nod.
You needn’t love it. You needn’t like it. You needn’t even “get” it. But you definitely need to give that nod. Because each of these creators, even if only for that one time in their lives, have taken a dream and done it.

What we should be asking is what is their story.
What is your story? What matters to you? No, what REALLY matters? If you could realize your dream, what would that look like?

Cuz see, I’m discovering that by putting MY dream out there, by DOING my dream, I’m enabling other people to DO theirs.
I’m inviting people in to share their stories, and their dreams with me.

So, before I leave, I’d like to share:


  1. Surround yourself with believers, supporters, and participants in your dream.
  2. Thank those who help you, give back to those who give to you, and create opportunities for them. Build and respect your community.
  3. Take chances. Lots of them. As often as possible.

Thank you.


Posting The Impossible, or, Calling An Arts Admin Position What It Really Is

I’m sorry, ArtsBC, but this is insulting http://www.allianceforarts.com/job-board/executive-director-32
A job posting to be Executive Director, part time?!?!

There is NO fucking way anyone can do this job, and do it even remotely well, on a part time basis.

Not when the Executive Director will be “responsible for the overall day-to-day management and administration of the organization,” to “Establish and maintain strong communication and good working relationships with community and regional arts councils, other arts organizations, government agencies, funding agencies, and to promote ArtsBC and its mission in every way possible” and on and on.

Anyone who has ever worked in the capacity of an arts administrative position knows just how much time these responsibilities take.

Just because you can only pay a $32-$36,000 salary doesn’t mean you should try to convince anyone that they will be working part time hours.

“Part time” means that the employee would have the other part of their time to do another job, or take care of their family, or pursue other projects. This position of ArtsBC Executive Director would not allow any of this time.

Please repost this job position as what it is, a Full Time job. Thank you.

With respect,
Ash Tanasiychuk,
artist & life long supporter of the arts