1. Tell me a bit about yourself (Where are you from, where did you study, how did you get into art)
I grew up in the Okanagan Valley so the natural choice to go study was at the local University UBC-Okanagan, I intended to go there for only two years and then transfer to a larger school in Canada but I really liked the philosophy of interdisciplinary practices they encouraged so I stayed there and obtained my degree. It was a really great experience, very encouraging and open-minded.
2. Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist? and why?
Growing up I was quite an anxious and quiet little boy; I found that I could get a lot attention by drawing (as most kids do) so I used it to communicate and get pats on the back. It was easy to hide behind art and excused my social awkwardness – artists are weird so no one thought anything of it. From that point on I never really considered anything else. Unfortunately, (maybe fortunately) the scenario of people encouraging you to continue making art flips at some point when the reality of getting a job comes into play, the encouragement turns to discouragement due to practicality. I think this situation helped reaffirm my love and caused a deep reflection for what I was doing and made me steadfast in my convictions. The adversity made me a stronger person in general always defending my position. Its interesting to note how much the influence of others really dictate who you are as a person.
3. What is your dream when it comes to your career?
My dream is to be respected for my work even if it is not appreciated. Right now I feel like I’m living my dream, I’m a freelance graphic designer, which gives me the flexibility to explore my artistic practices without the 9-5 job interfering. When I am inspired I can just start working, I don’t have to wait to get to the studio, I’m already here. I would say that my next goal is to get some serious representation so that I can leave graphic design and focus solely on the art. I would also like to make enough money from this to pay off my student loan and live comfortably so I can support my family.
4. Have you gone through any struggles or obstacles on your path to being an artist? Did anyone of those obstacles/struggles help redefine your career goals?
The biggest obstacle that I had to overcome was the religion I grew up in. From about 5-20 years old I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, while they were always nice and encouraging on a personal level they have strong convictions about exploring anything beyond the religion, which I found to be quite stifling. Like I said before I am a huge advocate of open-mindedness so I had to abandon my faith to pursue art. Because of their rules, I had to excommunicate myself from the organization which meant I no longer could associate with anyone I had developed a relationship with for the past 15 years. I was really quite alone in the world at that time so I had to make the most of it and learn as much as I could – I really felt behind in the game so it gave me a lot of motivation to succeed. Without art I had nothing else.
5. who is your role model (idol) in your career path?
This may sound funny, but I think Jay-Z has been my biggest inspiration. I grew up quite poor with some major aspirations for the future. I always admired his drive to go from rags to riches. He built his own career when nobody would sign him to a label, he dictated his own future and continues to do so. By any means necessary.
6. Where do you see art going?
I see Art going in a very positive direction right now. I think the latter half of the 20th century was about the “NEW” and now into the 21st century have realized that concept is not sustainable, I really think we are going to look at the past and make this century about the “IMPROVED”.
7. Does general society have art stereotypes or preconceived notions about art that peeves you?
I think the most annoying preconception about artists is that we are on the periphery of society but parallel. The truth is we are at the forefront. Artists are Innovators who influence the Early Adopters who then sell it to the Marketers who sell that to the public. Basically, the wacky things artists do now that are disregarded by the public and people in positions of power will be sold and eaten up by their children. We run this game.
8. Tell us about your exhibition: 'Climbing towards the fall'
I think it is important to reveal the thin line that separates the magnificence and the absurdity of technology. Technological advancement points us in the direction of a utopian future, encouraging aspirations for development. I am attracted to the point of contact where reality intersects this utopian ideal; this intersection is the point at which the ideal fails. It is not intended to be a negative view of progress; rather, it is the moment at which we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.
Through a process of exploiting the absurd inclination to push inventions and entertainment beyond our current needs, I hope that there is a sense of caution with conception but that creativity is still promoted. My aesthetic quality invites the viewer to enjoy the craftsmanship and design of completely useless objects and concepts. Along with the element of humor and dysfunction I believe the work constitutes an ominous questioning regarding the state of advancement. Simply put, Idealism should not be trusted, however it should be encouraged.
9. How do you feel about Vancouver as a venue for art?
I think Vancouver is a great venue for art, there is a lot of passion in the art community to start galleries, and get involved. I think where Vancouver needs improvement is the culture of appreciating art, which I think the artists need to encourage. Too often the art is overshadowed by the party/opening. I think Artists need to take their art seriously and worry less about recreational side. People in Vancouver will drop a few hundred dollars on dinner but won’t by art. The city promotes entertainment and I don’t think artists should succumb to that. I believe that we need to focus on quality over quantity. Like I said artists run this game and we can’t forget that. If we take ourselves seriously others will follow.
10. tell us something funny..anything:
Recycling paper is worse for the environment than producing it, but no one wants to hear it. Humans are hilarious. Everyone preaches recycling but not many people know the actual stats and will dispute you regardless of their lack of information. We feel way too good putting our paper in the little blue bin rather than just not using it. Humans are way too tangible. The key is reduction. 40% of all your recycling goes in the garbage anyway and it costs you more. I think that’s funny.
11. advice to any other aspiring artists?
You are a leader in this world; never forget that.
Favorite Place to Eat:
Favorite Place to Hang out:
Favorite Place to Shop:
What you like about Vancouver:
Everyone I love is here.