Illustrating impact — Ovation

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The last time you interviewed with Ovation would have been a little over 10 years ago, when you had recently pivoted from a career in graphic design to dedicating your career to your own art. Do you feel your ambitions as an artist have changed over the past 10 years?

It hasn’t really changed. I think I’m still being inquisitive and am searching for new ways to expand and reconnect with like-minded people and build true, authentic relationships.

But life gives you curveballs, right? In 2009, the reason I got back into art was because a friend of mine passed away suddenly. He was a youth worker in Scarborough, and it inspired me to ask myself about my purpose, and it all came back to art. Art, sports or activism have always been the causes for me. It’s a consistent theme in my pathway.

Fast forward to this year, again with more life transitions. I lost three good friends of mine this year. With COVID and the protests, it brought me back to a reality that we live on borrowed time. It’s important that in the time that we’re here, we ask ourselves how we can impact people.

I think the goal for me is to try to not be dormant or darkened by the whole thing. There’s a book called Die Empty, by Todd Henry, and the message behind it is that you need to share whatever gift you’ve been given with the world. It can give you a bit of perspective to be gracious. Every day you wake up, it’s a gift and you have to make the best of it.

Do you feel like a responsibility to give back with your art?

I think whatever you learn throughout your journey, you have to find ways of giving back and paying it forward. I mean, the next person who’s facing the same kind of obstacles that you’ve faced, if you can kind of guide somebody through that, I think that that’s been a service that is good.