About us

Anne-Marie Buscio, designer and illustrator and mother of two, has created products that have been distributed across Canada, from tabletop products, stationery, and safety and educational programs for elementary schools. She presently owns a graphic studio and print shop in the Montreal region.  

A little a bit more about my background.  I come from a family of artists, the closest in family to me would be my father, Alberto Francesco Buscio (1935-1991) who has been in the art world all his life.   He studied at L'École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, Quebec Canada.  

Learnt and worked with Guido Nincheri and worked as a signmaker, to stainglass master, muralist,  modelmaker, technical engineer, architect, portrait artist, teacher and finally artist. 

He was one of the first ones to start the group AIF... l'Institut des arts figuratif du Québec. 

Then would be his uncle, my great-uncle, Umberto Bruni who at 99 is still alive and painting.  He too was at L'École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, Quebec Canada. Also learnt from Guido Nincheri, the art of stainglass, models, muralist, portrait artist.  He was the director of the galerie of UQAM where he also taught.  He is also an honorary member of IAF, l'Institut des arts figuratif du Québec. 

Amongst these great artists I had to find my own voice.  As a young girl, I loved fashion designing and was enamoured with creating all kinds of evening gowns and fashionable clothing.  The year I decided to sign up for fashion designing at Chomedey High it was taken off the curriculum.  I then with the coaxing of my father went into administration.  Yes, you are probably very surprised as was I.  I then decided to go into the art department where you had to apply.  Within twelve hours I had to make up a portfolio, which I didn't have at the ripe old age of 15, knew the drawings weren't good enough but presented it anyway. Unfortunately did not get accepted.  Through the next chapter of my life which was college, I was drawn in by the theatre.  The magic of the behind the scenes, the costumes, the decor and that is what I studied in.  Loved it... 

Years passed by and I was raising my two children, Jason and Sarah by myself and they needed me to be with them.  So I was a stay at home mom till my youngest, Sarah went off to school. Everyday was magical with them, writing and illustrating stories.  My best friend Ron Harvey and I would write stories and the children couldn't wait to hear them at bedtime.  Soon other children from the neighbourhood would love to hear them too.

When Sarah began kindergarten, it was half days only so I decided to join her in school and do some volunteer work in the media department.  EMC The educational media Center of the Laurenval School Board.  That is where I had met my bestest bud in the world, Ron.

There I learnt all sorts of new things including cartooning, illustrating in text books and making tools for the kids.  He was a graphic designer that had been hired by the Educational Media Center.

When Sarah went into first grade.  It was time for me to find a job. So from secretary, to marketing secretary to script girl in a television show to finally my first art job.  Drawing concepts from start to finish for an import export company called Genin-Trudeau. There is where I learnt the most.  I was there from 1987 -1991 and literally ran the whole department there without any computers, though I had one at home in my studio.  The secretary of the president told me after I had left that some of the products I designed had won prizes.  That was cool to know.  I had mostly done tableware, mugs, bowls, dishes, utensils, canteens, plates, etc.., all the packaging as well as the ads and marketing.  What I loved most was working with Disney Canada  as well as Children's Television Workshop on the tableware products and packaging.  I had made dish sets for kids and loved it, amongst them was the Disney Babies, Muppets, Litte Mermaid dish lines for Genin-Trudeau.  I even had the opportunity of designing props for their tradeshows, which was awesome.

In 1991, I was still working for Genin-Trudeau and had my own graphic shop at home.  In October I found out my father had cancer and had 6 months to live.  I decided to quit my job and spend the last six months with my father, by his side.  After all, I would get other jobs, but these last moments with my dad... I would never get back.  That was one of the best decisions I ever took.  I had a couple of contracts from my studio which helped me out.

After that, I never worked for anyone else again.   Unless you call clients working for someone else.  Which actually is and sometimes even more demanding.  A couple of years later, I decided to open up my very own print shop.  With presses and folding machines, and huge knives etc... 

The next step after that was opening another company that was going to distribute and sell our products that we designed.  We were doing great except we didn't have the financial backbone to keep up with the mega companies that were out there.  After investing too much and not being able to keep up with all the demands and investments, we unfortunately had to shut down that company.  

Now I still have the print shop and it is running on it's own.  I came to a crossroad in my life.

Yes another crossroad.  We have many of these during our lifetime don't we?  But crossroads doesn't mean it is a negative... It simply means another door to choose from.  That's the exciting part.  So I've chosen the door. I've always wanted to write and illustrate my own children's books.  Yah, but I can also illustrate other people's books and I can also have others illustrate my books.  All I know is that is what I want and the time is now.  So I invested in classes because it is one thing to run a graphic/print shop but it's another thing the world of publishing.  I've illustrated and worked on other's projects all my life.  I, being in the back seat or behind the scenes of all these clients projects... bringing them perfect and on time.  Have them succeed.  Which is great because it brought me here.   I can deal with the deadlines, the changes and the changes, did I mention changes... yah, that part is a breeze.  As I was saying, I invested in classes, in a new piece of equipment the cintiq... Wacom tablet and naturally I had to upgrade my software, in order to be able to better use the cintiq.  Decided not to rent that little 4and a half apartment next door and make it into my studio.  Naturally my hubby encouraged me to do that!

Now we are both involved into this illustrating and writing passion!  Let the games begin....

Desmond Byrne, teacher and musician and life-long learner. As an accomplished classically trained singer and father of two, he has performed all over the world with many of the worlds great opera houses and symphony orchestras. Several years ago in the second chapter of his life, he became a dedicated educator.

Anne-Marie and Desmond, have a begun a new chapter. Together in life and as creative partners, they share a common passion for writing and illustrating stories that entertain, teach, and inspire young imaginations.


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