Duration: Two and a half years.
Location: Toronto, Ontario.
Education: Bachelor of Design in illustration, Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto, Ontario.
Career path: After graduating from high school, I went to university to study chemistry and biology for three years before dropping out. It was supposed to be a financially secure career path, but I really hated it. I ended up in art school because it was the only thing I had any passion for, and luckily my aptitude for conceptual thinking happens to be a cornerstone of editorial work.
Artistic influences: This changes from project to project. It’s hard for me to get a handle on just a few influences for a long time. Currently, I’m working on a zine inspired by painter Hieronymus Bosch, Clarice Lispector’s short stories and intense psychedelic music, like Acid Mothers Temple and King Tears Bat Trip. Thanks to the Internet, I’m exposed to a lot of work in every medium and a lot of writing on many topics, so summarizing all of them feels like an impossible task.
Favorite projects: My zine Friendly 2, which represents a big jump in how I turn aspects of my experience and my viewpoints into cohesive publications. I enjoy what I do a lot, but I’ll truly be proud of something I make when I feel it is helpful or useful to the people who consume it. I’m not sure I’m there yet—or not as there as I think I can be.
Work environment: At the moment, I am in a studio in the basement of my parents’ house. Designed to be as least distracting as possible, the space enables me to focus on my work, so there isn’t much furniture and very few decorations. It’s also quiet, which I find ideal.
I live in Toronto, and that has been great for my practice. I know many illustrators, designers and indie comic artists. Through this community, I have learned so much more about the illustration industry than I could have on my own. The inspiration I feel from being around these peers is enormously motivating.
Approach: I’m still early in my career and trying to figure out how to stylistically and conceptually distinguish myself from others. I’m drawn to visual complexity and expressing various emotional states, and I think those impulses are worth developing.
Philosophy: It is important that my work expresses a diversity of genders, races and body types, which I’m always learning to do better. I can feel my personal artistic philosophy starting to become clearer as I illustrate more and tell more stories through my zines. For now, I have a lot of fun creating energetic, chaotic images that are emotionally resonant and expressive, and I hope that these will result in a connection with whoever views my work. It’s easy to succumb to misery at the state of one’s circumstances or the state of the world, so creating a connection that makes people feel less alone, less desperate or helps them process something about their lives and surroundings is the most I can hope for.
Anything else? I love the Orange & Mango Oreos. If anyone wants to send them to me, please tell them that I can be found walking around downtown Toronto in a daze, searching desperately for that next Oreo hit.