art for social good

Hello! Welcome to Finding Present. Here, we strive to use art for social good. Please feel free to visit our Instagram or learn more about us by visiting the pages below. For information about what we are doing right now, please visit the 'what we do' tab. Scroll to the bottom to check out our blog! For more information about who runs the team, click on 'who we are'. Have questions or want to take part in our work? Click 'join our team'! for contact information and a membership application.

finding present won an SFU Community Engagement Award!

Learn more at SFU's website here.

join our youth art swap!

Learn more at : tinyurl.com/22artswap


i. what we do

learn more about our newest project: crafting circles

Our youth art swap is ongoing (click the photo below for more information)

past events

find a friend

For our newest initiative, ‘Find a Friend’, we addressed the stress, loneliness, and anxiety that youth in our community face. We dropped small pieces of art, particularly crocheted stuffed animals, throughout the neighbourhood, creating a scavenger hunt that encouraged participants to explore our community!These items were paired with cards providing self-care tips and mental health resources. This idea was inspired by other crafters, particularly The Geeky Hooker, who ‘drops’ amigurumi for fans to find while travelling. Thank you!!

Thank you so much to Envision Financial's #SimpleGenerosity initiative for funding this project!

Art Contest: fine art autumn

In Fall 2021, we ran our first-ever art contest, open to all youth. We received some amazing submissions, but were especially blown away by the work of our winner...

Golden Days Long Lost in Eternity - Tanuj S.

Tanuj S!Tanuj's (@artisttanuj) art totally astounded us with the amount of depth, story, and detail that went into the piece! Our team especially loved the little penguins hugging amid waves of royal blue oceans.

Crafts for Covenant House!

The Langley district of Adopt Our Community worked together with us to fundraise for Covenant House through our latest project, Crafts for Covenant.We raised over $200 through sales of items in a month, and donated an additional $250 through in-kind donations, which will be auctioned off or donated by Adopt our Community.Thank you to everyone who supported us in this proejct!

a find for you

Especially during COVID-19, a lot of young artists have been isolated from their peers. This makes it harder to collaborate and find guidance from a community of supportive artists. We have heard first hand how much harder keeping youth groups and clubs going is amidst COVID-19 restrictions. Compounding this challenge, many aspiring artists lack the materials required to actually create art, especially because it can be very stressful and expensive to get started in art.In order to combat all of these issues, through 'a find for you', we will be providing art supplies, snacks, and other stress-relieving items in free gift boxes for local youth. Because art is such a diverse field, we have designed boxes with multiple themes that are suited for different age points from 7-18 years old. We hope to help experienced and beginner youth artists alike by helping them gain access to good-quality art supplies. We will also be providing information (ex. resource cards, tutorials, hosting virtual ‘crating circles’) about how to use the items to help relieve stress. This will give youth a creative outlet, empowering them to use their artistic skills for social good.We'll be posting about this project on our Instagram in the coming days; please stay tuned! We are immensely grateful to Embark and RADIUS for their support of this project through the SFU Social Innovation Seed Funding Program. Thank you!

Crafting Circle

On May 7, Finding Present’s youth team led a fun and eco-friendly afternoon of crafting! Using recycled materials, we created an easy, minimal waste craft together.

Mission and Goals

Today, we often find ourselves stressed and worried constantly. That sense of overwhelming panic is the seed of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.It's time to slow down and rediscover small moments of joy - to "find present".In pursuit of this goal, we operate a few programs:1. Gift Boxes
Remember that feeling of surprise, the burst of joy that brightened the rest of the day? We wanted to capture and share that feeling.
We make and distribute boxes with items that reduce stress and spark joy. Our boxes contain items like stuffed animals, food, tea, and encouraging messages, all designed to make your day just a bit better.2. Art Swaps + Requests
They say giving gifts is even better than receiving, which is why our program sparks connections between artists by facilitating art swaps. We also provide a platform where anyone can request art for any reason or make something special for someone else!
3. Youth Art Hub
Lastly, we provide places + opportunities for youth to improve their art skills in a welcoming, judgement-free environment. From resources to competitions, we can help all artists reach their full potential!
4. Surprise Collaborations
We're always looking for new ways to collaborate with other organizations to create something special together! Please contact us if you are interested in working with our artistically-talented team.

Our newest project: find a friend!

For our newest initiative, ‘Find a Friend’, we want to continue to address the stress, loneliness, and anxiety that youth in our community face. We will be droping small pieces of art, particularly crocheted stuffed animals, throughout the neighbourhood, creating a scavenger hunt that encourages you to explore our community!These items will be paired with cards providing self-care tips and mental health resources. Resources will include tips on how to access nonprofits and information on support groups that are dedicated to providing assistance to those struggling with anxiety and stress. Tips on relaxation through meditation and creating art will also be available. This idea was inspired by other crafters, particularly The Geeky Hooker, who ‘drops’ amigurumi for fans to find while travelling. Thank you!!Participating in our program will encourage individuals to explore their community instead of remaining house-bound and socially isolated. We hope people form relationships with others that find art drops, and thus, we foster new bonds in our community. Another anticipated impact of our project is the inclusion of mental health resource cards with each art drop, which will help people find new outlets to relieve their stress or get in contact with mental health care professionals and NGOs that can assist with more serious issues.

Follow our Instagram (@finding_present) to stay updated on this project and how you can be involved!

Thank you so much to Envision Financial's #SimpleGenerosity initiative for funding this project!

blog

A place for media features and reflections on our projects. Check out the 'what we do' tab for information on current initiatives.

'a find for you' Feature
September 2021

Check out the blog post we wrote for RADIUS SFU about our big 2021 project, 'a find for you'Article link: click here

Winter/Spring Tutorials
January 2021

Author: Puneet Chhina
The winter tutorials were a fun way to show off our social media account and get started on providing resources. One of the goals of Finding Present is to make and distribute easy free art resources. Making them ourselves involved us fully in the process.
Each tutorial played to our strengths; Gabrielle loves crocheting, Catherine is awesome digital art, Anisha can master general crafts and I am an embroidery enthusiast. We tried different formats for each tutorial. For the butterflies, it was a reel. The digital art tutorial is an IG video. The crocheted mug and embroidered roses were posts. We learned a lot about which formats reach a wider audience which is super fun! Reels are super popular on instagram and are fun to make.The main challenge is that there is no direct engagement with our community. WIth the art boxes, swaps and letters we got to see real engagement and interaction. It’s a little harder to do all that online. The bonus of online based projects is that we can reach potentially everyone, not just those in our area.Hopefully we do more tutorials or projects like that in the future, stay tuned on our instagram!Instagram @findingpresent
Full hot cocoa mug pattern: click here


Senior Stamps Collaboration
December 2020

Author: Anisha Biswas
This December, Finding Present collaborated with another local youth-led organization, Senior Stamps, to provide some joy to seniors in our community this holiday season! Especially during COVID-19, seniors were very isolated this holiday season, unable to spend time with their families and friends. In order to spread some holiday cheer, Finding Present helped make art to send to senior homes along with handwritten letters from Senior Stamps. The art our community generated was very diverse, ranging from paintings to crocheted items, and was displayed in the home for everyone to enjoy. Senior Stamps was a wonderful organization to work with, and together, we were able to spread some light during these dark times.

“I had a wonderful time working with Finding Present! They were able to make some wonderful art for our letters over the holidays, and the recipients really appreciated all the creative and beautiful artwork." - Isabelle Han, Founder and President of Senior StampsFollow Senior Stamps on Instagram (@seniorstamps) or contact them via email ([email protected]).


Our First Art Boxes
November 2020

Author: Gabrielle Wong

When we were first thinking of Finding Present, the original idea was just to produce boxes with cool items that would help people destress. It was only later, as we were doing more brainstorming, that the other elements came into play. As a result, giving people our first boxes felt particularly exciting.Our first art boxes were made and given to a cohort of artistic youth in November 2020. Each box featured an assortment of small gifts designed to spark creativity, including a crocheted stuffed animal, a mini canvas, curated art resources, and a handmade notebook. We also included some Asian snacks because we like food :) The overall design and box-making process was special because each person used their artistic skills and talent to make something for the box. It was truly a product of collaboration. We were touched by the excitement and enthusiasm of the recipients, which inspired us to continue refining our “Art Box” idea to make it even better!

We definitely still have some challenges to work out in refining this sub-project, especially in regards to distribution. Who knew that parcel shipping through Canada Post would be so expensive? We also want to continue elevating the quality and professionalism of our boxes to ensure that they are accessible and safe for members of the public who may someday receive them. Of course, tackling the challenges of any project are what make it more dynamic and exciting! The team is excited to continue working on these boxes - keep an eye out for future posts about them!


Art Swap 1.0
October 2020

Author: Catherine Wong

Cookie swaps, book swaps, why not art swaps? Finding Present’s first project was an art swap with a group of artistic youth, who paired up to make each other a piece of art. We had a range of art mediums swapped; from earrings and digital art to crocheted stuffed animals! We all had a chance to showcase our creativity and get a stunning piece of art in return (for free!). What’s really special about this project is that it allows for a welcoming environment of art enthusiasts to channel their creativity into making “presents” for others and “finding” a present in return :) .This project was launched in October 2020 with a test cohort, using Slack (a social media platform that is sort of like a “professional Discord”) to pair up “swap” partners, exchange art, and give announcements about the project! Using Slack was great for organizing ideas into “channels”, such as the announcements, questions, and welcome sections. We also had a “bidding” and “offers” channel where people would propose trades, such as offering handmade accessories for a watercolour piece. Since Slack is not a widely known social media platform, we may have to refine our communicating system if we ever launch this project again!Some other ideas for future art swaps that we might consider:1. Create some friendly and fun competition with a “leaderboard” of the artists who have done the most swaps
2. Releasing “art themes and challenges” where we would provide a theme and see how each artist interpreted the idea into a piece of art!
3. Having a “share your present” section where users could showcase art they received from an exchange
This is definitely a project the Finding Present Team wants to bring out again!


a find for you: box information

We created these boxes because many young artists have been isolated from their peers. This makes it harder to collaborate and find guidance from a community of supportive artists. We have heard first hand how much harder keeping youth groups and clubs going is amidst COVID-19 restrictions. Compounding this challenge, many aspiring artists lack the materials required to actually create art, especially because it can be very stressful and expensive to get started in art.Because art is such a diverse field, we have designed boxes with multiple themes that are suited for different age points from 7-18 years old. We hope you enjoyed your box and the 'bonus' materials here that we made and curated for you!

extra resources!

We sourced the following links from various blogs and craft sites on the Internet as inspiration for all the artists who receive our boxes. All content in these 'link lists', unless otherwise marked, is not ours.

Safari Boxes

Fantasy Boxes

Bullet Journal Boxes

Sewing Boxes

Watercolour Boxes

We are immensely grateful to Embark and RADIUS for their support of this project through the SFU Social Innovation Seed Funding Program. Thank you!

ii. who we are

Meet the team that makes Finding Present a reality here!

Anisha BiswasAnisha is a first-year Science student at the University of British Columbia who loves knitting and painting. She finds the process of creating art very relaxing, but with a busy schedule, she has been finding less time to be creative. This led her to join the Finding Present team so she could be inspired by other artists and help others channel their creativity as well! When she is not working on Finding Present, Anisha enjoys watching sitcoms and reading murder mysteries.

Puneet ChhinaPuneet is a first year student at Simon Fraser University. It’s been four years since she started learning how to knit and sew. Now her favourite hobby is bugging her friends into knitting with her. She hopes to help make a community of creative and kind people.Besides knitting, Puneet loves reading comic books, finding new alternatives artists to obsess over, and playing video games.

Catherine WongCatherine is a grade 10 student at RE Mountain Secondary School. Her favourite hobby has always been visual arts- recently, she has become interested in Photoshop. Catherine joined Finding Present in hopes to share her art and be inspired by other creative individuals.Besides working on this project, Catherine enjoys playing piano, doing competitive debate, and playing badminton.

Gabrielle WongGabrielle is an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University. She enjoys crocheting, watercolour, and sketching. Finding Present is her way to use her hobby to fuel positivity and creativity within her community.Other than working on this project, Gabrielle enjoys playing piano, curling up with a good read, and co-chairing SFU's Geography Student Union.


iii. for further information

We're so happy you're interested in Finding Present. If you're interested in being involved, please sign up below!For other inquiries, including collaboration requests, please send us an email ([email protected])! We'd love to connect.