How did you get started doing what you do?
Art has always given me a sense of self. I always found a certain comfort in art. From a very young age, I always used to look at other artists and the work they were making and I found myself having this tremendous attraction. I could stare at a painting for hours on end, entranced. Although I didn’t necessarily always understand it, I was very aware of how it made me feel. I knew I wanted to be part of the dialogue and I wanted to be in a position to create that for the viewer. I wanted to be a participant. I started my career not knowing it would become a career. It really all happened organically. Since my younger years, I’ve always been very skillful when it came to arts. In college, I went on to study creative arts and then continued on to study interior design and architecture where I was exposed to different art techniques. In 2006, I had gathered enough works to call it a collection and it caught the eye of a curator who gave me my first solo show. I was very fortunate to start my career that way. I could have never really imagined that one day I would be able to make a living being an artist.
How would you describe your creative style?
I create hand painted modern pop art portraiture paintings. I’m faithful to the traditional techniques of art painting. All my pieces are original and unique. I never opt to paint twice the same piece. I love taking something intangible such as an idea and transferring it to a sketch to then see it come to life in the form of a painting.
What’s your inspiration?
I’ve always been fascinated by people and their stories. I’ve been perfecting my portraiture skills for many years now. I’ve been especially stimulated by some of the world’s greatest artists of yesterday and today. Recreating famous portraits, my paintings are frequently influenced by the pop culture of the 1950’s. Color is at the heart of my work. I choose to fill each one of my canvases with carefully orchestrated shades and tints creating images that leave a soothing sense of pleasure to the viewer. My interest in creating these portraits is to capture the essence of the person and not the persona. Beneath the surface of some of my colorful chaotic paintings lies the subtext of vitality and mortality. I am infatuated with existence. Life is brilliant but it is also fragile.
What is art to you?
Art is powerful. I believe that art has the power to change the world and connect everyone. Art is an intense and vivid life experience which I try to share with others through my work. I want to touch everyone on a one on one basis. I make art that is a reflection of the world I live in and I lean on universal ideas to captivate the viewer and invite him into the experience because everything about art is experience.
What does your typical day look like?
Luckily, my days are never monotonous. I live an unconventional life which leaves me open to new streams of creativity. I need to know that I’m free and in control of my days. It’s the essence of my imagination. I wake up and embrace the day. At times my days are nights. Whichever it may be, it always involves creating.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
It really depends on the nature and complexity of the piece. If it’s a commissioned painting I usually get started with a predetermined idea of the portrait, its colors, and details that have been previously discussed and agreed with the client. If it’s a personal project, it can take me longer as I never know where the painting will lead me. I always keep myself open and receptive to any ideas and inspirations that come my way as I progress with the work.
How do you keep motivated?
I can keep myself motivated just by knowing that as an artist I will always get better. That idea triggers in me the exploration of new methods and techniques and fuels my creativity.
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
I currently reside and work out of Miami. Since moving here from Montreal, Canada six years ago I’ve seen the evolution in my work. I’m not one to stay in one place too long. I believe that there comes a time when a place has taught you everything it can and you need to leave if you want to reach new heights, and so I did. I chose Miami and it has brought me a tremendous amount of inspiration. It has opened a whole new portal to my imagination and creativity. It keeps me stimulated. I live in a very tropical area and being surrounded by nature I can take a simple walk outside and come back to the studio with a whole new color palette for a painting. It’s exhilarating.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Don’t worry; everything will turn out to be great.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
If you have a vision and the will, you can create anything.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Find your own voice and surround yourself with excellence. If this is truly your passion, then be ready to work really hard and be persistent. It doesn’t happen overnight but hard work truly pays off in the long run.
What are your thoughts on art school?
That’s a loaded question. It’s debatable. I’d say it really all depends on the school and what type of art practice we are talking about. For a fine artist, school can provide you with good skills and knowledge, but then again, I believe no one can teach you how to become an artist or be creative. It’s something that comes deep within you. It’s an urge that lingers in your soul and needs to come out. To me, ideas can’t be taught, technique can. Also, let’s not ignore the fact that art schools can be high-priced and being that in this industry nothing is guaranteed- I’m not convinced art school is a great investment. It can be quite discouraging and demotivating for an artist coming out of school starting his career with debilitating debt. There are many self-taught artist that have had great careers. You can very well get a mentor, take workshops and work really hard at developing your technique, exploring new methods and become a great artist. The art industry is much about networking and making connections if not more than creating. If you are passionate, hardworking, producing great art and have good social skills you can have a great career without the premium education.
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I am looking forward to creating more mixed media works. I want to experiment with oils, airbrush and wood. I also have an increasing interest in sculpture. I think about my work every minute of the day. Every day I find myself with new ideas and concepts I want to bring to life.
What art supplies do you use?
I’m currently working with acrylics and resins. I also do a lot of leafing work on my paintings.