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Tag: Artist Interviews

Podcast – The Visually Striking Art of Jose Cifuentes

This episode of the CUTO podcast will serve as a time capsule. It was recorded in mid-April as the Pandemic started, before the situation escalated, before the protests and the riots. 

Insight - Where Do We Go From Here?

Everything was up in the air (no pun intended) back in April. We were getting acclimated to the lockdown and the podcast was new. Since April, the podcast has become a staple of CreativeUTO with multiple artists bringing their own flavour to the conversation. 

Insight - 5 Trending Artists of Toronto

Jose Cifuentes' art is visually striking. It's intense. I remember scrolling through Instagram and his art stopped me. Jose was forced to leave his whole life, including his business, behind when he immigrated from Medellin to Toronto. 

He tells us that he is using this time in quarantine to reflect and meditate and is currently working on a piece to honour his best friend, a nurse working the frontlines. We also trade music pics, talk about basic income for artists, and the concept of power. 

Enjoy 

Podcast - The Visually Striking Art of Jose Cifuentes

Check out Jose Cifuentes' work on his website

https://www.josecifuentes.com/

Follow him on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/joscifuentes/

5 Trending Artists of Toronto in May 2020

We are bringing back Trending Artists of Toronto.

 

 

 

Introducing Volume: Our In-House Currency

 

At CreativeUTO we want to build a vibrant community where artists can collaborate freely. One way to facilitate this is to create our own in-house currency, so that artists can gain compensation when they work on eachothers’ projects or participate in the community. Volume is awarded based on activity. It can be used to trade or barter for goods and services. 

Community members can use the Volume to cash out.

Think of CreativeUTO like a role-playing game, but instead you earn Volume for engaging and being a productive member of the tribe. We design where we want to award Volume and how much it returns. The value of this currency is determined by the amount of money there is to go around. Volume will help artists collaborate on each other’s projects without having to worry about getting paid.

The artist with the most Volume

Volume is still in the alpha phase of development and is being rolled out carefully. In the future we'll incorporate the currency in more public ways. Eventually the ecosystem will include our extended community (our followers) and art stores. For now Volume is awarded based on the artist with the most activity on their CreativeUTO podcast page over the previous 60 days.

 

Our first recipient is Char G.

 

Listen to her podast below and make sure to subscribe for daily art

 

 

 

Char G was the 3rd artist I interviewed since launching this project, as a matter of fact, she was the 3rd artist I interviewed that day. I realized by this 3rd interview that I wasn’t going to compile the interviews. That each artist was contributing enough to merit a whole week of shine, like a featured artist. In Char G’s interview we discussed Feminism, body and sexy positivity, street art, and her dog. If she was a Featured Artist in April then she is the Covered Artist now.

 

Shop her art on CreativeUTO

 

Follow her on Instagram 

Go to her website

 

Also trending this month is contemporary artist Nicole Little. 

 

Nicole is an amazing addition to our podcast. Her episode was over 2 hours, but that didn't stop it from being one of our most popular videos on YouTube in terms of views and retention. Since we published her podcast Nicole has joined CreativeUTO, has helped me host the 2nd Video Exhibit and we’ve continued to evolve the concept. 

Stay tuned to see what we have in store. 

For more art from Nicole Little go to our shop

https://www.creativeuto.ca/shop-self-portraits-of-contemporary-artist-nicole-little/

Become a fan on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/NicoleLittleArt

Subscribe to her YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGnnQ4DxD16InhTWmgl9NIQ

Follow her on Instagram

www.instagram.com/littleneocreative/

Check out her website

www.littleneocreative.com

 

The 1st podcast interview we published featured Kamil Swiatek. 

 

We discussed spirituality and art, a conversation that has reverberated through the other interviews with artists building on it.  In Kamil’s interview he answers questions about his incubator. We discussed bullying and how he escaped it through spirituality, as well as the value of getting into the flow state. 

Great interview Kamil

Shop Kamil's art on CreativeUTO

Go to his Instagram

Go to his website

 

SofiL’s podcast was published Tuesday (May 26th). 

 

Her video had the fastest launch for all podcasts on our YouTube channel. All artists' videos get shared to 100s of Facebook groups and it takes about 1 day to publish in about 30 groups. SofiL’s sample video got to 1,000 views within 2 days, whereas most ads got there by the 3rd or 4th day. This is a testament to the community growing, each artist paving the way for others to succeed faster, making it easier to earn exposure and, by extension, currency. 

In Sofil’s case, her interview also highlighted other acrylic artists who have been featured on CreativeUTO’s marketplace.

Shop SofiL's art on CreativeUTO

https://www.creativeuto.ca/shop-hong-kong-born-canadian-visual-artist-sofil/

For more info about Hong Kong-born Canadian Visual Artist SofiL

go to 

www.sofilart.com

Go to her Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/multiplesofil/ 

Follow her on Twitter

 https://twitter.com/MultipleSofiL

 

The Universe articulates itself featuring The Art Hippo himself, Navneet. 

 

The Universe articulates itself! I believe the 1st time I mentioned this, or alluded to it, was in Kamil Swiatek's interview, however it became the main theme with Navneet because it encapsulates his artistic style. Like all the interviews, I had a great time with Navneet. It sounds cliche, but I understand when a parent can’t choose a favorite child. I don't have a favorite interview because they all contributed to the community in their own way. 

 

 

Shop – Toronto Based Artist The Art Hippo

https://www.creativeuto.ca/shop-toronto-based-artist-the-art-hippo/

Follow the Art Hippo on Instagram

www.instagram.com/thearthippo

Find him on Instagram

www.facebook.com/thearthippo

Subscribe to his YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/navneet1034

Buy art on his website

www.thearthippo.com

 

I hope you enjoy them as much as I had fun making them.

Cheers

Shop – Hong Kong-born Canadian Visual Artist SofiL

Shop - Hong Kong-born Canadian Visual Artist SofiL

SofiL is a Hong Kong-born Canadian visual artist based in Toronto. She received her Master of Fine Arts from New York Studio School and Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University. SofiL has exhibited across Canada, the United States, and England. Her work is in several private collections in Canada, the United States, and Hong Kong. She is a recipient of the LCU Housing Grant, and numerous scholarships and awards, such as the Concordia Scholarship and the Association of Christian Schools International Fine Arts Festival Awards.

View her gallery below

 

 

For more info about Hong Kong-born Canadian Visual Artist SofiL

go to 

www.sofilart.com

Go to her Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/multiplesofil/ 

Follow her on Twitter

 https://twitter.com/MultipleSofiL

Podcast – Char & a Double-Edged Sword of Feminism

The double-edged sword  

From the moment she's born she starts to get molded by society. The things she's told can have long-term psychological ramifications. Those things are supposedly with her best interest in mind; each instruction adding deeper layers of fear and anxiety.

She's told how to wear her hair, that she needs makeup but she can't wear clothes that are too revealing. She has to wear a bra, close her legs, cross her legs, fix her body and walk like this and she can’t walk like that. She's told not to talk too loudly, but to be assertive, that she can't play with those toys, she has to play with barbies, but all the while telling her she can be anything she wants to be.

Compound that with a capitalist world that sells her beauty to exploit her for money. It’s like that meme of the dude reaching out with a helping hand while holding a knife behind his back. 

That meme represents a system, constantly programming us through the films we watch, the shows we see on tv, the advertisements we are constantly exposed to, the magazines we read, the games we play, the comics we follow, and the social media posts we scroll through, where her looks are currency.

But The boys? 

Boys aren’t men yet. 

Unlike men, boys are more reactive; enslaved by their hormones. She’s seen as an object for conquest and sadly, for us boys, it is an ongoing struggle well into our manhood. The two edges of a sword.

I can only imagine what she feels like when she realizes that she is a prisoner of a system built by men, who didn’t acknowledge her as a human being, centuries ago. A system that only freed her to vote about 100 years ago and allowed her to get more jobs only about 60 years ago. A system where women who get a pass can get it based on beauty and how “girlie” they can be.

Often ignoring who she is and what she can bring to the table.

Body Positivity and Feminism

Char is a Canadian artist who focuses on intersectional feminism and body and sex positivity; it's her way of screaming out against the system. 

I have realized that in a first interview I wasn't able to go as deep as I think this deserves. Tune in in the coming months for a second interview with Char so we can delve deeper.

The title for this podcast is A Double Edged Sword because I remember thinking to myself that I could possibly disrespect her, hurt her. I recognized that I have my own shortcomings, that I, as a male with the conditioning I received, could insult or disrespect her in ways I might not even understand

The world we live in is full of pain and friction. And in this case we add Feminism and the complex responses from male culture, plus the always present lens of race and class.

Enjoy the podcast.

Podcast - Char & a double-edged sword of Feminine

  • Subscribe to our Youtube channel for daily art content

 

Shop Char GS on CreativeUTO

Follow her on Instagram 

Go to her website

Podcast – Art Business & Spirituality with Kamil Swiatek

Art Business & Spirituality with Kamil Swiatek

Do you remember what you were doing before Covid-19 shut the world down?

This is the 1st year since creating CreativeUTO where I was ready to go by January 1st. The mindset was to use the 1st month to set the precedent for the whole year and use it to build momentum to set up the decade.

We had a good start with The Melanin Exhibit where we collaborated with Gallery 1017 to bring together artists who presented their art and celebrated over 600 thousand years of Black History. A way of telling the world that black history isn't just the past 400 years. That black culture is human history itself.

Insight - 30 Pictures from The Melanin Exhibit

 

Our next exhibit was 4 20 2020 which was renamed Eclectic Garden. We started promoting the event as the virus hit mainstream media.

Insight - Eclectic Garden

 

From a business perspective, Covid-19 didn't affect CreativeUTO or Gallery 1017 until businesses started to pull away. It didn't become personal until I went out to buy groceries. That's when I saw chaos and empty shelves.

I remember what I was doing before the world shut down. I posted an advertisement for our Creative Incubator. The goal was - and still is - to find 20 artists I can work with on an ongoing basis and as a result, eliminate the need to burn resources with constant Calls to Artists. The idea was to build a creative community that has unlimited access to Gallery 1017 to create their art and share resources which would help us save time so we can focus on creating art.

It is our original fundraiser to setup at Dundas West actualized

Insight - PODCAST – RE: The Incubator, Workshops, Inktober 2018

 

I once learned that business is 75% course correction. That analogy has never been more true than in 2020. We must adapt to change quickly, because only the learning will inherit the earth. The learned will be equipped to rule what no longer exists.

Our new direction meant having to embrace working in isolation and focusing on our content strategy so we can, at the very least, continue to support Toronto artists.

Insight – Join our Creative Incubator Develop art at Gallery 1017

 

Over the last week we've been interviewing artists on video.

This allows us to create content for our podcast, promote artists, see what they're about, and sell their artwork on our website. The goal is to get patrons to sign up to our Patreon where they pay a monthly fee to receive art. Patreons are also able to buy the original artwork. Our 1st artist is a multi-disciplinary artist from Poland. His name is Kamil Swiatek. During the interview we talk about, plans for the incubator, gallery 1017, who are the people who buy art and spirituality.

Kamil tells us a beautiful story about coming from communism, how he overcame bullying by escaping to the spiritual world through his art and his dedication to his work. Some of his pieces were works in progress for over 10 years

His art is a reflection of that world.

 

Podcast - Art Business & Spirituality with Kamil Swiatek

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for daily art content! 

Enjoy

Shop Kamil's art on CreativeUTO

 
 
Enjoy

Shop – Multi-Disciplinary Toronto Artist Kamil Swiatek

Artist Biography

Kamil Swiatek is a multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto, Ontario. Swiatek explores the theme of identity through the subconscious mind as an internal landscape. Painting, digital and film photography, drawing, sculpting, writing short stories and film help him understand and examine the inner workings of the subconscious. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in photography from OCAD University in 2018.

Artist Statement

I explore the spontaneity, movement, and transcendence of a state of flow, capturing the subconscious, and the moment it engulfs. This mode of being in the now involves a high degree of attention to reach. As the sensory processes are heightened and intensified, I’m absorbed into a meditative state. A tranquil stillness emerges and I’m able to delve below the surface of awareness, into an uncharted environment.

Working intuitively, I embrace a certain loss of control as the sensation of time and space dissolve; an escape of rational control into the subconscious. This metamorphosis into the depths of identity is communicated visually through mark-making, textures, and colors. Using a combination of thick and thin applications of paint to build up layers, tension is formed in the composition. These sets of layers conceal and explore what we see and what we don’t see; not just on the surface, but of our own landscape of identity.

Kamil Swiatek is a multi-disciplinary artist from Toronto, Ontario.

Follow Kamil on Instagram:

@KamiltheArtist

https://www.instagram.com/kamiltheartist/ 

 

 

Shop – Char is a Canadian Graffiti & Street Artist

 
Artist Bio
Char is a Canadian graffiti and street artist who has been creating and deploying pieces for over 10 years. She honed her style over several years in Windsor ON and has recently relocated to Toronto, after having been invited to create public art pieces across the US, Australia, and most recently Hamburg and Berlin. Aside from major public pieces, her aesthetic remains grounded in bombs and hand styles. More complex installations typically feature a cast of strong, empowered and sex-positive female character figures. These figures have become a trademark of her aesthetic and approach. Her characters are an expression of a feminist stance and a call for female visibility within what is still a significantly male-dominated graffiti art culture. Her goal is to support and nurture the growing diversity of voices within the graffiti and street art form. She has been a member of several internationally recognized crews, but is currently working solo with the goal of further developing her individual voice and approach. Nonetheless, when making art she can almost always be seen with her rescue dog in tow.
 
 
Follow her on 
 
Char will be showcasing for Eclectic Garden on April 11th 
 
 
Gallery
 

Shop – The Acrylic Paintings of Meighan West Explore Self & Feminism

The Acrylic Paintings of Meighan West Explore Self & Feminism

Who are you?

Meighan West. I am a woman trying to explore feminism and myself through the wonderful expression of painting.

 

What do you do?

Acrylic on canvas

 

Why did you get started?

I've painted since I was a little girl. It's how I express my curiosities.

 

Tell us about the 1st time you knew what you were doing was the way you wanted to approach your art.

I had a vision of my mural and when I finished that labor of love and pain I realized I needed to keep exploring feminism through this medium using the raw female form.

 

What are you working on right now?

A collection of varied female nudes, each pose expressing a different emotion. It's called "read my tits". So often women say read my lips because men are just looking at their bodies, with this I'm hoping people can understand what these women are saying just by looking at their bodies.

 

Describe your creative process.

I often get inspired by an image in my head that comes from whatever I'm experiencing either through my daily life, what I'm reading at the time or what I'm learning about.

 

Who is your art for? Why is it important?

My art is for feminists (male or female) who want to feel the expression of women

 

What is the hardest part about being an artist?

Finding your confidence. Every artist is different and can be considered "better", you have to believe that what you're producing is worth sharing.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be and why?

You are an artist. It is worth something. As a child art was connected to my mother and I had a very strained relationship with her so I didn't see the value in being an artist. I hid from it for a long time to distance myself from her. I should have embraced my art and lived in it, through it, as I do now.

 

Why is art and creativity important for the community at large?

It brings beauty and self-expression to everyone. Even those who don't feel they can express themselves in artistic ways can feel connected and represented through other peoples art.

 

 

Have you had to deal with isolation, mental illness, and/or homelessness? What did you learn from your experience?

I have self-isolated. I grew up with a traumatized mother which made me feel like I couldn't connect with people because no one would understand me. I went through therapy and worked through a lot of my childhood issues which allowed me to let in the incredible people in my life and find ways to accept love and happiness. It's a long, maybe never-ending process but it's worth it be able to fully experience the beauty in your life.

Shop – The Sculptures & Paintings of Andrew Lindell

Shop - The Sculptures & Paintings of Andrew Lindell

 

Who are you? (Bio) 

I have been building and dreaming since birth. Influenced by great aunt and uncle who had a collection of Canadian abstract art collection from the 60’s and 70’s. Work as a scenic master carpenter in film. In early 20’s I lived in Arviat Nunavut for two years. I believe art can enrich and has healing properties. I have work in the U S and Canada. Manulife art collection.

 

What do you do? Clearly define your medium or what service(s) you provide.

Sculpture and paint

 

Why did you get started?

Therapy

 

Tell us about the 1st time you knew what you were doing was the way you wanted to approach your art.

Doris Mccarthy said if you want an interesting life become an artist.

 

What are you working on right now? (anything you have coming up!)

I’m working with caribou antlers, wood, and graphite. I am going to Nunavut to collaborate with artists there. Bring awareness to the awesome culture the Inuit have.

 

Describe your creative process?

I am trying new techniques every day. I am a master carpenter at age 59. So I use what is available to me from the scenic film world which I have been working in for the last 20 years. Lately, I have treated CNC castoffs from films such as It and Shazam with Charvin oils to produce abstract art.

 

Who is your art for? Why is it important?

I will be in the AGO and National gallery one day but my art is for everyone who loves color and form to enhance their life. My art brings awareness to our vital times and creates a contemplative dialogue.

 

 

What is the hardest part about being an artist?

Rejection. Try and try again

 

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be and why?

Stay in school

 

If you had to pitch a collaborative project to the community, what would it be?

An exchange program with Inuit and Aboriginal artists from Australia.

 

What is one thing you'd like to fix in the art community?

Stop wasting resources

 

Why is art and creativity important for the community at large?

It fosters a positive approach to life

 

 

Have you had to deal with isolation, mental illness, and/or homelessness? What did you learn from your experience?

I had an eating and anxiety disorder. I learned that life is a state of mind

 

What are your views on isolation, homelessness, and mental illness in the arts community?

Art is therapeutic

 

What are some steps artists can take to cope with isolation, homelessness, mental illness?

There are many resources to choose your path. Be courageous and ask for help

 

Shop online

For more Andrew Lindell Art on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/lindellart/

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/adlindell/

Shop – Bold & Vibrant: Paintings by Alex Leon

PAINTINGS BY ALEX LEON!

Use 5 keywords to describe your art/medium:

BOLD, BRIGHT, VIBRANT, STRANGE, SURREAL!

 

Who are you? (Bio)

Toronto based artists working hard at creating the paintings YOU want made YOUR WAY! EVERY SINGLE DAY!

 

What do you do? Clearly define your medium or what service(s) you provide.

I provide everyday men and women with paintings, drawings and murals to fit their visual needs! For fair, affordable prices!

 

Why did you get started?

I got started because I felt it was my duty to provide an affordable art service to regular hard working people who are in need of an artwork that speaks to them.

 

Tell us about the 1st time you knew what you were doing was the way you wanted to approach your art.

When I sold my first few paintings and the buyers had a very positive and satisfied reaction to the works! It touched my heat and I knew that it was my destiny and purpose.

 

What are you working on right now? 

BIG MURALS!

Describe your creative process.

My creative process involves a lot of visual research and taking the time to look over a work for several hours to see what it needs, and what it doesn't.

 

Who is your art for? Why is it important?

My art is for the everyday man and woman who do not necessarily know a lot about art but share a passion for creativity and beauty.

 

What is the hardest part about being an artist?

Making a decent dollar while doing what you enjoy.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be and why?

Do not get caught up in silly jobs that are useless and meaningless to your true life purpose.

 

If you had to pitch a collaborative project to the community, what would it be?

I personally do not do collaborative projects as my art is a very independent process. I have my own very individualized approach to my passion. A big reason why I create art in the first place is because it is my own self expression without the collaboration of another artistic source. I like my own independence and freedom.

 

What is one thing you'd like to fix in the art community?

I would like to see less of the extreme political art as for me art is about achieving something aesthetically pleasing and beautiful and less about shoving your opinions down someone's throat.

 

Why is art and creativity important for the community at large?

Art is very important because it provides people in a community with an outlet for creativity and self expression. If one cannot express themselves through art, they may feel the need to express themselves through anger, violence and abuse. Which is extremely unhealthy and dangerous.

 

Have you had to deal with isolation, mental illness, and/or homelessness? What did you learn from your experience?

I personally have never dealt with any of these issues but I strongly feel for the homeless as I do often think about the struggles they face in their every day life.

 

What are your views on isolation, homelessness, and mental illness in the arts community?

Very important to seek help when needed and indulge in positive hobbies and activities! Occupy your time with healthy outlets for creativity and self expression.

 

What are some steps artists can take to cope with isolation, homelessness, mental illness?

Nurture relationships with friends, peers, colleagues and family. As they can be turned to when you go through hardships and difficulties in your life.

 

What is your Facebook Url?

alex_leon_art

 

What is your Facebook Url?

https://www.facebook.com/PaintingsbyAlexLeon/