ABOUT ..How it got started

For many years, I have served a very important role to hundreds of businesses seeking help, improvements, ideas and inspiration. I discovered very early in life my passion was in art and design and decided to develop my gift. I found Hot Graphics Studios in 1991, since then my mission was to help and improve what businesses need, and it has been a success ever since. 

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With a client list that would impress any corporate heavyweight Lenora Cairns is not your average artist. Her skills as a businesswoman combined with an exacting ability to produce realistic images has landed her some of Canada’s biggest clients and a long list of satisfied customers.


Clients like Coca-Cola, Six Pints Specialty Beer Company, McDonald’s, IGA, Pepsi, Fairmont Hotels, Sony Pictures, Kellogg’s, Jim Pattison Group, Sterling Vineyards and BMO are just a few in her extensive and high profile portfolio. Not only is she CEO, creative director, designer and owner of Hot Graphics Studio but she runs her thriving business single handedly. Equally impressive is her uncompromising commitment to follow her artistic inclinations while still carefully considering the goals of each individual she works with. Her success has not diminished her humility-or her enthusiasm. After 2.5 decades and one thousand personal clients, Lenora remains deeply engaged in her work. The capacity to stay true to what calls to her has won her scholarships, awards, commissions and a long list of satisfied customers.

In her elementary years Lenora displayed a natural ability for drawing and in her early 20’s developed a passion for chalk art. That passion earned her the title of “Vancouver’s Most Successful Chalk Artist” and garnered the loyalty of hundreds of local business owners. To date she has personally drawn over 4,500 chalkboards for businesses ranging from restaurants and ski lodges to high end hotels and retail stores. “Part of my success” explains Cairns “is that I not only draw the signage but I do an assessment of the interior layout of the business. I really try to get a feel for the look they are going for and create my work in a way the compliments their brand”. With this in mind Lenora provides designs for custom boards and framing. “The chalkboard itself does not need to be a traditional shape or size” she says “it can take an unusual form and add to the interest and theme of the piece”.

Lenora is inspired by the beauty of the west coast and is committed to doing her part to preserve it. As an active environmentalist she is drawn to chalk because of it’s natural elements.  With little or no environmental impact, chalk is the greenest product available in the sign industry “It is completely environmentally friendly, and it makes a sign re-usable which is something that sign companies just can’t offer”, she says. She is also inspired by the temporary nature of chalk. “it is a transitory element -I love the fact that it is so versatile and always changing”.

With a skill set that spans from indoor and outdoor mural production, menu composition, master’s reproduction, business graphics, fine art drawing, photography, and chalk art Lenora is no stranger to the benefits of versatility. This is the quality that allows her to express her expansive creative energy, run an ever-growing business, listen carefully to her clients needs and still take time to care about the natural environment that inspires her.