The Creative Local: Holly Young

Welcome to The Creative Local Series! Up this week – The Creative Local: Holly Young from Holly Young Art. I am excited to bring this lady over to Uniquely Women today.  You must head over to her website to see for yourself the vibrant and colorful art pieces she creates.  Her creativity is out of this world!  She is a definite inspiration!  Today she will be sharing a little bit more about her business and some of her favorite Peterborough hangouts within this interview!

ALSO – you might recognize her from a home tour earlier on this year! Check out her inspiring home!

Without further adieu – please welcome Holly Young!

If you are new to Uniquely Women, I started a blog series column – The Creative Local. This series showcases boss ladies, whether it be bloggers, entrepreneurs, or women making a difference in their neck of the woods. Each will showcase their current city, taking us around to their favorite places along with a little bit of their current business endeavors. Tag #thecreativelocal on Instagram & Twitter to showcase the creative local in YOU to be featured.


The Creative Local: Holly Young

Her Favorite Peterborough Spots:

Just east of Toronto, Peterborough is a city that is full of great amenities for the perfect weekend destination. It is also the proud home of many locals who enjoy its many walking and cycling trails, parks, shops and lakeside cafés. As you are driving on the 115 highway from Toronto there is a sign that welcomes you to The Kawartha’s. Our population grows during the warmer months as many people come to stay at cottages. We have a thriving arts community & there are many seasonal events each year, including Artsweek taking place at the end of September.

I grew up in an area known as East City & my parents still live in that same house. My husband & our two daughters have lived in our home for close to three years. When I was a teenager I couldn’t wait to leave my small community and see what was going on in the “big city”. Well I saw what was out there & I’m happy that we now call Peterborough home.

Two Dishes

This restaurant is an absolute gem of culinary scrumptiousness discreetly sitting on Charlotte Street.  This cozy spot is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast/brunch, lunch or dinner.Everything is made from scratch. From the appetizers, right to the desserts. The menu is changed every week, so you can always expect something new to choose from.  Ingredients are locally sourced; you can also find them at the local Farmer’s Market from May to October. The portions are huge so you might get the chance to enjoy left-overs…yum! There’s something for everyone’s taste & the local artwork & décor add a charm that lots of restaurants just don’t have.  Make sure to book a reservation as it is always packed.

{ Learn more about Two Dishes – HERE }


As soon as I walked into this home & décor store I knew I found something special. Located on Hunter Street amongst many of the city’s most popular café’s & restaurants, this is a must stop place. (You might even get to meet the shop dog “Gus”) They have a unique selection of gifts and cards. Furniture pieces are sourced by Canadian manufacturers & the clean simple lines add to the modern aesthetic. If you are getting married or just purchased your first home, you can get find unique accessories & a great selection of custom wallpaper options as well. Community & support are words that come to mind when I think of the owner Meg & her family. I am lucky to be one of several local artists that have work for sale here. The store is a true labor of love, stop by & check it out you won’t regret it!

{ Learn more about Burrow – HERE

Art Gallery of Peterborough 

The gallery is a non-profit public gallery dedicated to exhibiting and collecting visual works of art. A gathering place that engages the community and promotes the arts as a cornerstone of community creativity and development. Free admission makes it an accessible place for the entire family. I take my daughters to Family Sundays where we have fungetting messy in the studio with guided art activities taught by an amazing staff. We love to explore the exhibits and get involved in activities and programs they have to offer. In the warmer months you can sit outside & enjoy ice cream & the view of the lake. They also have a well curated gift shop with beautiful handmade items.

{ Learn more about the Art Gallery of Peterborough – HERE

Next Up: Interview with Holly

(Read Below)

In a few sentences describe yourself and your blog

Hi I’m Holly! I am an artist who also has a love for interior design. When I’m not busy with my two daughters you can find me teaching art classes or thrifting for the next mid-century piece to add to our collection. I love being creative…I’m a typical Virgo.

I was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and after years away for school and work, my husband & I are back living in my hometown. The community is very supportive of the arts and I am so glad that we made the transition back here to be closer to our extended families.


Describe how you first got into art & blogging and found your creative ability?

I began painting full time just over a year ago. After focusing on a retail design career for years, I was ready to finally make art my priority.

I have always been artistic and after receiving my BFA I decided to study Interior Decorating. The two fields cross paths in many ways & I love seeing the homes my paintings are chosen for. Original art really does complete a space in my opinion.

When I started my website I began documenting my studio scenes, what inspires me as well as House Features on a blog. It has kind of just wrote itself to be honest. I am not a professional blogger by any means, but I do love to read a lot of design websites. Inspiration for a colour palette often comes from images sourced in décor magazines. Trusting myself and putting my work out there was a big step & I haven’t looked back since. The creative people I have had the opportunity to meet through social media is unlike anything I could ever had imagined. I truly feel like I have made online friendships with other artists & that their support & critiques help me continue doing what I was meant to do.

Where do you work. Please name off some pros and cons of working in that space?

My studio space is in my home which is convenient for sure. I have the flexibility to paint when my girls are in school or in the evening if my day did not allow for studio time. The downside is that I have a designated corner in our basement & the lack of natural light is not always the best. I often bring my easel & supplies to our kitchen where the sun is bright & I can watch the birds & chipmunks run around in the yard.


Can you give viewers some pointers when looking to follow their dreams as an entrepreneur/creative?

I put off pursuing art as a full time career for years after graduating. The biggest reason being my inner critic, & I know I’m not alone on this one! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Doubt will always be in the back of your mind but if you never try then you will never know what you are capable of. I know we often have a list in our heads of “What could go wrong”, but guess what…most of it never even happens.

I recently read this quote by artist “Chuck Close” and find that it speaks the truth for entrepreneurs as well as creative individuals. “The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who will listen to me, is to not wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you.”

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Inspiration for me can come from many different parts of everyday life.  Patterns, textures, nature, architecture to name a few.  Often while out driving or walking something will catch my eye like graffiti, clouds or landscapes and I will draw from that.

My latest series is experimental for me and is very much a product and combination of collected inspirations from over time.  I am painting & drawing on photographs instead of canvas. The images are ethereal & capture moments or memories that appear to be in motion. As an example some photos of clouds have been taken from the window of a car while it was moving. The images appear to have a blurred haze at first glance, hence the series name “Daydream.” I’m excited to finally share it. Ideas have been in my mind for years & I’m finally taking the time to produce work based on them. It’s a wonderful feeling.


Where can people find your art?

My online shop on my website at

I also sell original pieces through the design shop Burrow.

Top Bucket List Locations





Currently – Top Must Read Blogs

The Jealous Curator –

Design Sponge –

Emily Henderson –

Room for Tuesday –

There are many more that I could add to that list!




Don’t forget to share #thecreativelocal on Instagram and Twitter with photos of you or other small business owners, entrepreneurs, or other hustlers out there making a difference in their neck of the woods!

Visit Holly: Holly Young Art

Instagram | Facebook

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Ashley October 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Loved reading this interview! Holly and I have met “virtually” and it’s great to get a peek into her process, some Peterborough stopping points (I have family there) and I especially loved that quote about waiting for inspiration versus doing the work!

  • Leave a Reply