Claire Scherzinger: Synesthesia, personal mythologies and the language of art

Not long ago, we stopped by the historic Coffin Factory Lofts to visit the studio of Toronto-based painter and sculptor Claire Scherzinger. The artist holds a BFA from OCAD University, has shown work across the province and was announced a finalist in the 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition at the end of last year. We had an inspiring conversation about the influences leading to her most recent body of work: from synesthetic approaches to painting, awakening personal mythologies and the universal language of art

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Fiya Bruxa: Graffiti, visual storytelling and healing community through art

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of invading the studio of visual artist, actress, filmmaker and writer Gilda Monreal (aka) Fiya Bruxa. Along with her sister and fellow street artist Shalak Attack and her partner Bruno Smoky, the three Latin Americans make up Essencia Art Collective: an international collective that believes in art as a tool for social change and community empowerment. Fiya's strong values and powerful voice is seamlessly reflected in all of the mediums she dances in and out of: whether it be ruthless critique of patriarchical systems or a ceremony of love and thanksgiving for Mother Earth. We touched on everything from the commodification of feminism to confronting misogynism and the power of public art. 

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Justin Broadbent: Creative thinking, imperfection and art in the Instagram age

One step in the door and Justin Broadbent's studio looks like an rainbow aerosol tornado just exploded onto a miscellaneous collection of found wood, cardboard lightning bolts, vintage cat paintings and bright neon tape. The award-winning Toronto-based artist, also known as Keith Dungeon dabbles in as many mediums as possible and has shot/filmed/art-directed/collaborated for the likes of Metric and the Art Gallery of Ontario, to name just two because the list is extensive (and his website hasn't been updated since 2009). We sat down with him and photographer SoTeeOh to discuss everything from creative thinking to embracing mistakes to putting memes in the MoMa and what 'Art' is in the first place.

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Mila Vukosavljevic: Invisibility, self and the art of the psyche

A couple of weeks ago, I remember turning to leave the thesis studio at OCAD University and stopping clean in my tracks when I realized one of Mila Vukosavljevic's paintings was staring at me unsettlingly from the other side of the room. It felt as if I'd seen the girl before and not being able to grasp quite when or when, felt compelled to leave a note. Flash forward to the beginning of the year and Mila invited us back to her studio to chat about her inspiration, practice and last year in art school. Fascinated by the intersection of the subconscious and human psyche in figurative representation, Mila plays with invisibility to construct an unexpected hybrid between stranger and self. Read more below

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Lido Pimienta: Roots, investing in the arts and independence

Lido Pimienta is an inspirational magnet of a human being. A powerful force of independence, unyielding determination and creative energy, Lido radiates both admiration and intimidation towards anyone lucky enough to cross paths with her. Side note: Don't even try to mess with her, she will see right through your bullshit and most probably end up writing a song about it. At her studio, Lido shared the story of her life journey with us: from painting Barranquilla sunsets on childhood rooftops to ditching MTV and discovering her inner music to moving to Toronto as a single mother and never stopping creating. The multidisciplinary artist talks about her Colombian roots, stepping out of the mold and the importance of acknowledging and discontinuing a history of oppression of Indigenous culture in order to grow as a nation.

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Ruth Adler: Exploring memory, mark-making and the music of colour

A little before last year came to an end, I stopped by Artscape - an old high school building repurposed by a non-profit arts & urban development organization - to visit Ruth Adler at one of their many artist spaces; where hundreds of drawings grace the crisp studio walls, reminiscent of rainbow-coloured crayon boxes, kindergarten art classes and Henri Matisse. We sat down over coffee and travelled through Toronto to Tel Aviv to New York and back, as Ruth discusses her evolution of process in relation to art, design and music. From playing the harmonica to trusting her memories, Ruth strives to break the boundaries of analytical mark-making and surprise herself every time. Read our full interview below!

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Erin Loree: Intuition, investigation and the power of the subconscious

Last week, talented photographer Sandy Pranjic and I had the pleasure of invading the studio of Erin Loree, Toronto-based figurative abstract artist and all around maker, shaker and rule breaker. Her visceral paintings have the ability to not only stop you in your tracks, but to lure you into a intuitive investigation of medium, colour and emotion. We sat down over tea and had a stirring conversation about the psychological game of painting: from abstraction, to trusting your subconscious and never staying stagnant.

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Coco Guzmán: Language, accessibility and the art space

I had the pleasure of stopping by Pio Centre for Drawing to pick the brain of director Coco (Riot) Guzmán: queer visual artist, comic-maker and all around rad character. Originally from Spain, Coco has lived in no less than four cities and was kind enough to sit down with me and chat about their practice, influences and thoughts on our art communities. We had a lively conversation in Spanglish about accessibility, translation, challenging the art hierarchies and bringing voices together. 

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Kathryn MacNaughton: On sex, breaking down beauty and mark-making

Some time ago, I invaded the studio of Toronto-based painter and multidisciplinary artist Kathryn MacNaughton to chat about her process, practice and most recent body of collage work I'm Out Of Fucking Time recently opened at Huntclub. Vintage magazine hoarder and lover of abstraction, Kathryn is in constant exploration of natural composition, pushing the digital and analogue boundaries of mark-making and representation of the female body. We had a stirring conversation about channeling creativity, breaking down beauty and the pressure of "superstardom".

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