09/18/2014 08:35 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:00 EDT

Staying afloat at POP Montreal

Curious about whether or not it is possible to make a living through POP Montreal, I talked to a couple of people from the Festival and to Montreal artists who've found work there. 

And guess what, DIY can pay off.

It's certainly the case for POP Montreal founder, Dan Seligman. Thirteen years ago, he wanted to set up a festival for fans and bands, something that would improve on the more industry friendly events like South By Southwest music festival (SXSW) and CMJ in New York. Between POP and music management, Dan has succeeded in creating work for himself in his hometown.

Tao Fei, the comparative literature grad from Hong Kong who's been looking after grant applications and artists' contracts for POP for the past three years is also a good example of someone who now makes her living exclusively through POP.

Photographer Richmond Lam got his start taking photos of musicians at POP Montreal. Then he worked on set during Xavier Dolan's shoot of Lawrence Anyways. Now he's hoping to take his photo cred and portfolio back to his hometown, Hong Kong, and develop a fashion photography studio with links to mainland China.

Illustrator Raymond Biesinger moved to Montreal seven years ago from Edmonton. With his fashion designer wife, Elizabeth Hudson, they were looking for a creative neighbourhood and artistic community. Raymond says he still makes about 70 percent of his income from illustrations for magazines and newspapers like The New York Times and Monocle but his personal silkscreen prints have taken off at PUCES POP thanks to Montrealer's appetite for prints and the wealth of talented silkscreen artists here. Biesenger created a new piece inspired by his cat Excelsior for Puces POP this year.

Click below to hear Jeanette's interviews: