Saranka was just 15 when she first got the idea for Limitless Designs, “I was sitting in English class and just thinking, ‘I should start a club’. I wanted to be more involved in the school, so I thought, why not a henna and nails club? I asked around, to see if anyone would want to help, and everyone was on board! We found a staff advisor and started a club.”
As the club grew in popularity, Saranka believed it could continue beyond the school walls, “we wanted to do something that would benefit society”. The Limitless Design crew had already begun throwing events at the school, “we decided that we should be donating (the proceeds) to the Canadian Women’s foundation. We’ve hosted fundraisers and raised money for two years now.”
“We wanted to do something that would benefit society.”
Limitless Designs’ expansion was just that, limitless, “with everyone enjoying the club we thought, ‘why not branch out to other schools?’” Saranka applied for a grant through ArtReach and, with that, the evolution transpired.
Limitless Designs hosts a weekly program at the North Kipling Community Centre on Fridays. Each week, between 18-20 youth access the program- “there’s vast diversity within the group, as there are not many programs within the community, and it’s great because I get to share my culture amongst the diversity. We strongly believe that art is a universal language that cuts through racial, cultural, social, educational, and economic barriers and enhances cultural appreciation and awareness. We have a tremendously large passion for art and we’d like to share our talents, with the hope that it’ll inspire others to do so as well.”
Saranka told us that she grew up doing henna at religious occasions and practiced as a way to relieve stress and get away from her worries - she hopes that she can pass this meditative quality down to participants as they dedicate an hour of their time to learning something new.
Saranka and the Limitless Design team work to create a space where this independent tranquility can be fostered, “we don’t just stand at the front of the class and show them how to do it … we have them figure it out themselves … we work with them one-on-one and guide them through the process.” She went on, “I believe that aesthetics are a way of truly expressing your inner emotions, a way to let go and basically to do what you like – there are no restrictions. You are free of mind and can do what you want to do”.
But Saranka wants people to know, this doesn’t just have to be a meditative hobby, “aesthetics are a branch of art that many people don’t think of as art or don’t consider a profession. It can actually be a career and turn into something amazing. ‘If you ever want to start doing this to raise a couple of dollars here and there, you can make business cards and portfolios – you can be hired for events.” Just as Limitless Designs has expanded, so can the participant’s skills and career options.
Limitless Designs is an amazing new program, and we are so grateful to have been able to offer support. We asked Saranka what exactly we helped make possible and she exclaimed, “You funded the whole thing! ArtReach made the whole venture possible. I didn’t think I could start something like this, and at 15 years old! I didn’t think people would take me seriously. Paulina was so excited to see someone so young start something new. The team always encouraged me and was in constant contact – always supporting me. ArtReach really is the backbone of the project.”
“ArtReach made the whole venture possible. I didn’t think I could start something like this, and at 15 years old! I didn’t think people would take me seriously.”
Although, we think Saranka and the Limitless Design team (that includes Atsaya Param and Abi Futha) are the true backbone, we’re excited to have lent a little calcium support.
Author: Cassey Andrews