This November we are delighted to showcase the raw and emotional work of Toronto-based artist Nicolas Canon. Nicolas is a very interesting man. He’s not only an artist but also a writer and relationship coach, which definitely influences his work. His paintings are all about our deepest and most fundamental human desires.
What I love about his work is that it’s so different from traditional paintings because he extends the painting beyond the canvas. When he hangs his work he continues the painting on the wall surrounding it so that the installation space becomes a part of the work as well.
I had the chance to sit down and learn all about his artistic inspirations, here what I learned…
My Interview with Nicolas
Tell me about yourself, where are you from, how old are you, do you have any pets and what are your hobbies?
Well, I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I moved to Toronto 8 years ago to learn English, but I fell in love with the city and ended up staying. I’m 25 years old, no pets, and my favourite hobby is traveling. I’ve been to over 16 cities in 11 countries this year along. I love learning new things and discovering new cultures but above all, I’m a big fan of connecting with people. Not chit-chatting, connecting.
Can you tell me about how you first came to visual art. Did you study formally anywhere?
When I was 3 years old I came home from school with a drawing the teacher made me do. It was a poorly sketched heart, a tree and a house. It was average at best, but my parent’s reaction was extraordinary. Instead of putting the painting aside or on the fridge my parents told me what a great artist I was. They went on and on about how talented they thought I was, how great my skills were, and how much potential I had. Then proceeded to frame the little drawing in a big beautiful wooden frame and hang it in one of the main walls in our home. What can I say? I trusted them and I believed them when they told me I was talented, so I kept at it and I loved the recognition and praise art brought me.
When I moved to Toronto I intended to study animation arts but decided to go for International Business instead. There was something about being told what to draw and what to paint that did not sit well with me, so I abandoned any artistic endeavour for almost 3 years. Eventually I found myself on a student exchange in Amsterdam, where thanks to the time and energy of the place, I reconnected to painting. I started exploring for the first time with spray paint, watercolours, oils and so on. I have taught myself everything I know about painting ever since.
Why did you choose painting as your medium?
My medium is connection. My bridges of expression are art, written and outspoken words. The message I want to communicate is something to be felt and experienced, not overanalyzed. Art creates a space for self reflection and allows the spectator to feel and connect to certain sensations and emotions that they might otherwise judge in a different context.
Is art your full time gig?
Yes it is now, but it hasn’t always been. I managed to make art my full time work by staying committed. I dedicated all of my free time to improving my craft while also working to support myself. Regardless of what I had to do to pay the bills, I’d always follow my artistic curiosity and make time to paint. I would come home after a 15 hour workday and sketch out anything I could for 15 minutes before going to bed. It is only in these past two years that I’ve started to reap the fruits of that dedication, and I intend never to let that go. I’m also so grateful to my parents, again, for supporting me along the way. It made things so much easier knowing they were behind me.
Are you in any particular phase right now? What’s inspiring you right now?
I’m not sure if it’s a phase, but right now I’m exploring sensuality and femininity. Working as a relationship coach for men in the past two years has transformed the way in which I view the dynamic between men and women. My aim is to consistently remove layer after layer of inhibition, judgement and fears. To be able to express raw, unfiltered emotions. Both in my love life and art work.
When two people get into a fight, everyone is quick to pull out their phones, cheer and record the whole violent act. However, when two people are passionately kissing each other, showing affection in a public space, people are disgusted and repelled. How sad is that? We hide to make love but proclaim war openly. I want to change that.
I want my art to allow people to be comfortable feeling lust, desire, passion, excitement. To embrace all those hot emotions of surrender and power that come in the encounter between men and women. To feel free to explore those sensations that feel good, without any shame, guilt or fear of external judgement. To indulge in sensuality, because I think it is something beautiful. Something to be proud of.
So I translate my personal life experiences and share them on the canvas. My ultimate attempt is to have people see the world in the way I see it, and notice that it is much more freeing, relaxing, exciting, beautiful and enjoyable than what we have been taught to believe.
What is your favorite piece of work on display at Studio67 right now?
I like “Vicissitudes” for two reasons. It’s the biggest piece I have painted to date and it represents something very personal to me. The word means ‘alternation between opposite or contrasting things.’ While making this piece I had some of the highest, most exciting and pleasurable experiences in my life, but also some of the saddest, most heartbreaking and painful moments I have ever known. I decided to stay open to feeling every single emotion, good or bad, that came. The image of the woman surrendered is a reminder of this period, and a reminder that no matter what happens at the end of the day we get to choose whether we disconnect and numb ourselves, or whether we decide to experience the full range and contrast life has to offer. The tears, the joy, the smiles, the laughs, the pain, the confusion, the anger, the frustration, the peace, the hope. All of it.
Join us and meet the artist himself at the opening reception of Nicolas Canon this Thursday night, November 4rd, from 8pm - 11pm at Studio67.
I hope to see you there!
It’s fall and everyone is looking to change their hair.
You know that I’m a huge advocate for change, especially when it comes to beauty and personal style. That doesn’t mean I think you should totally change everything one month to the next (obviously that’s unrealistic). But as we transition into fall, we’re looking less for the relaxed bohemian styles of summer, and for more refined and polished looks.
Of course, this brings up the age-old dilemma of wanting to change but also wanting to stay the same. You might be looking to do something new with your hair but also thinking to yourself, “I’ve got a good thing going, why mess with that?” And you're totally right.
I’ve said time and time again, change doesn’t have to be drastic. Think small adjustments that have a big impact and can keep you from falling into a hair rut.
It sounds kind of silly, but my secret weapon is #twinning.
I look for women who have similar hair, skintone, or personal style and I take serious inspiration from them. I always take note of what they’re doing with their hair and their overall look and it keeps me inspired to stay on point and constantly evolving.
How does it work? It’s simple really...
I’ve always looked to Jennifer Lopez for her hair colour because she and I have a very similar complexion and skin tone.
Right now people really associate with Jennifer Lawrence, and I’m definitely no exception. Everything she’s done with her style in the last three years has been so on point and versatile enough for virtually everyone. She’s an excellent hair muse and I look to her for hairstyle inspiration.
Where there’s a will…
Kirsten Dunst does so much with her hair. You wouldn’t think it because she’s so creative with her looks, but she actually has a fairly limiting kind of hair: fine and straight.
People tend to think that fine hair is the most restrictive, and to a certain extent that's true but it's not as true as we tend to believe. You'll never really change the nature of your hair, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change it up and stay fresh with different cuts, styles, or colour. That’s why Kirsten Dunst is such an inspiration, she plays with different shades of blond and styles to stay versatile and on trend.
So, while there are some limitations as far as what your hair is capable of, they tend to be in extremes. If you have baby fine straight hair you can achieve volume and curl with the right product and styling, but you’ll never rock an afro. You can’t get to the other end of the spectrum, but there’s still so much you can do.
My point is, what you can and can’t do with your hair is more a matter of perception and personality than anything else. If you have a goal, chances are there’s a way we can get you there.
A match made in heaven
So if you’re not already twinning with someone’s style, you should be. How do you choose the right style icon for you? Well, here are a few of my absolute favourite celebrities for hair:
I’ve always been drawn to what Kristen Stewart is doing with her hair. I think for me what’s most inspiring about her approach to personal style is that she’s daring. She’s definitely not one to shy away from drastic changes. Even though she had her signature long auburn Twilight locks for so many years, she wasn’t afraid to chop it all off the minute they were done shooting the series.
The best lesson we can all learn from Kristen is don’t be scared. Dare to change your hair.
I wish Kim Kardashian was famous for her hair and not all the other things she’s famous for, because Kim has some seriously good hair. And you know, what’s most interesting about Kim’s style is that even though she’s always evolving she still retains something that’s very signature about her look.
Kim has done it all. She plays with length, shade, fringe, texture, products and styles. She’s willing to try anything and she always pulls it off, even drastic changes like her platinum blonde.
She’s proof that you can change your look a lot and still stay classically you.
Always the picture of elegance, Kerry Washington has one of the most basic and timeless lessons for all of us when it comes to personal style: when you want to make a change but you don’t want to do anything too drastic, think small changes that have a big impact. Kerry looks gorgeous in every single look she tries out. She’s able to mix it up while staying within a well defined zone that she full well knows works for her.
Personally, I feel like we all look to others for style and beauty inspiration. Maybe you have a serious style crush on someone and you’re already twinning. If you do, I’d honestly love to know who it is.
And if you see anything here that you want to try, talk to me.
Let’s make it happen.
This month we have something really special in our studio gallery; an artists that truly takes my breath away. Ian Bodnaryk has been creating incredibly realistic paintings of everyday objects and people in acrylics for over twenty years.
What makes Ian’s work so special? This:
This is a painting, not a photograph. Amazing, right?
A Canadian born artist now living in Orono, Ian’s work uses ‘portraiture, inspired by the natural beauty of a figure, to express a statement regarding cultural, spiritual or social issues.’ His striking still life paintings focus on ‘composition, colour and light, showcasing the beauty found in everyday objects’ (http://www.ianbodnaryk.com/).
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ian to learn a little bit more about him and his breathtaking work, here is what I learned:
An Interview with The Artist
Tell me a little bit about yourself; where are you from, what hobbies do you enjoy?
My name is Ian Bodnaryk, I am 38 years old. I grew up in Port Perry, Ontario and currently live in Orono. I have two crazy kids, an absolutely beautiful, intelligent, and most importantly, patient wife, one cat and dog. It’s a very loud and busy place.
Can you tell me about how you first came to visual art. Did you study formally anywhere?
I didn't really come to visual art, it kind of came to me. For as long as I can remember I have always been drawings and paintings. The desire to want to improve has always been with me.
I am not "formally" trained. I have nothing against the academic process, but I find that the vast majority of fine art academics is paperwork and creating work that’s just not relevant to me or my goals. Most people leave art school and need to teach themselves to paint. I decided to skip that process and have just spent the last 25 years working on my craft.
Why did you choose painting as your medium?
I began, as most artists do, by drafting my work using pencil. For me, colour was a missing element and paint seemed like the next evaluation. I found that acrylics was the best option at the time. All I needed was paint, water and a surface. I guess it just stuck. I mean, who needs all those stinky solvents anyway.
Have you made a career out of your art?
Other than watching my kids, art is my full time job. I do however teach art classes and until recently worked a few shifts a month at an art supply store.
Are you going through a particular artistic phase right now? What's inspiring your latest work?
At any given time I have a dozen ideas or concepts floating around my brain. It is just a matter of time before each one is made tangible. My major work takes an immense amount of time to create, anywhere between 75 - 300+ hrs, so when I finally finish a painting I am in no mood to do another similar subject. Consequently, my subject matter is quite eclectic yet there is certainly unified in style to it all. Inspiration normally comes from everyday items around the house. I love turning common subjects into icons.
What piece of your work in this collection do you love the most and why?
Choosing a favourite is always hard, but if I had to, it would be a toss up between ‘Contemplation of Daniel’ and ‘Fleeting Dream.’ The main reason those two are important is because I found them to be very complex technically. I had to overcome many obstacles to develop them to the point of satisfaction. The concepts for both pieces were also very personal.
Join us for Ian’s opening reception at Studio67 this coming Thursday, August 25th from 8pm - 11pm.
Oh, and it’s also our One Year Anniversary too, so please come out and help us celebrate an amazing year in the King West community with great art, great wine, and tuly great people.
I hope to see you there!
It's true, Studio67 is looking for artists!
This call is open to emerging and established artists alike interested in exhibiting their work at our studio at King and Portland. This is a great opportunity for local artists to gain exposure in Toronto’s vibrant King West Village.
The best part? We do not take a commission on any and all work sold, we only ask that you have an opening reception. We'll help you market the event and feature you here, on our blog.
We accept artwork in any and all mediums (painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, etc.)
We accept work of all sizes, space permitting.
Artists can submit as many pieces as they like.
Artists can submit work they have previously exhibited elsewhere.
The collection must be ready-to-hang.
Interested? Please send your online portfolio or sample to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's do this!
Being a stylist means a whole lot more to me then just cuts, colors, treatments and blow outs.
It’s about making a personal connection with you while you're in my chair. Hearing your story, listening to what you want, watching you grow and evolve over time.
It’s about helping clients express themselves through beauty and personal style in whatever form that expression takes for them. That’s the ultimate payoff for me.
At Studio67 we would do hair for free if it didn’t cost money to eat.
When we opened the doors to this studio last August we knew we wanted more out of this space than just a salon. We wanted to create a place where people felt welcome and at home. A space that empowers people to express themselves, no matter they you are. We believe everyone is entitled to that.
We always knew we wanted to give back somehow. Do something good, offer some kind of support, or act as some kind of community resource. So we started researching community programs in Toronto and that’s when we learned about Sistering.
Sistering is a women’s organization that offers practical and emotional support programs designed to empower women in extraordinary circumstances. They are dedicated to changing the social conditions that endanger the welfare of women who may be dealing with mental health, homelessness, transience, domestic violence, poverty or unemployment.
Their drop-ins give women a safe place of belonging and community during the day and their emergency shelter give women a roof over their heads and food to eat if they need it. They offer housing support services, counselling, healthcare, and employment assistance.
I honestly can’t say enough about what a wonderful and crucial organization they are.
Well, we’ve been working with Sistering for the last few months by dedicating one day a month to giving complimentary services to the wonderful ladies of Sistering.
We can’t tell you how amazing it has been to meet all of these beautiful women and spend a day just doing hair for the sake of doing hair.
Thank you to each and every one of you ladies, it really has been our pleasure and we look forward to hosting you at Studio67 each and every month.
Do good. Give Back.
My mother always says, ‘I can tell how your summer is going because you’re either having fun or you have good hair.”
She’s right. Summer is hard on your hair.
You’re either having a blast and your hair is a mess (because let’s face it, when you’re outdoors swimming and living free you just can’t control that shit). Or you’re hair is perfect, which means you’re not spending your time at the beach or riding your bike or whatever it is that you really love to do when the weather is fine (cause we both know it ain’t your hair).
I want you to have fun this summer and I want you to have that good hair while you do it.
So today, we’re going to talk about how to make that happen.
Start in the Spring
Spring is all about rejuvenation in almost every aspects of our lives. We clean things out. We get rid of old tired things that we no longer need. We spruce up our wardrobes and often we look to sprucing up our hair as well by going lighter, maybe going for a shorter length or trying a fringe.
All of this really boils down to one thing: we’re setting ourselves up in anticipation of all the things we want to achieve in the coming months. To be reborn and try something new. Of course our hair is no exception.
Make a Plan
It’s important to really think about what you want for your summer and what kind of hair and/or haircare routine you want to have during that time.
Will you be doing a lot of travelling? Do you spend a lot of time in the sun? Are you going to be swimming a lot in the pool or the ocean? How much time do you really want to spend doing your hair and what look are you going for?
Really think about it. It’s a good idea to make a product plan that’s going to help manage these things and make getting that good hair effortless. You’re probably going to want to be investing in a conditioner that’s going to repair damage if you swim a lot, or sea salt sprays and wild stylers if you’re going for a more bohemian hair vibe for summer 2016.
Treat Yourself, Girl
Coming out of winter, everyone is feeling like their skin and hair are really dry.
Well, you are right!
Months of being in forced air heating really sucks the moisture out of you. That, combined with the lack of humidity in Toronto is a serious issue for your hair.
So going into spring it’s a good idea to consider doing a treatment. I honestly think that people should do a treatment every month, but at the very least every three months. Basically every time the seasons change because the benefits are cumulative, you really do get the best results with repeat applications.
Plus, seasonal treatments are a great way to set the tone for the health of your hair going into the spring or summer. With the wide range of treatments available today, we’ve got you covered whatever your hair goals are.
You definitely want to steer clear of drastic cuts for the summer. They give you an amazing and polished look but it’s a lot to manage in the warmer months when we tend to be at home less, outdoors more, and trying to squeeze as much as we can into our free time. I mean, who wants to waste time in the bathroom getting ready when you could be outside.
And as always, think small changes that have a big impact, always start with color and stay subtle. If you have any questions or you have a specific hair goal you want to achieve, let's talk about it! That's what I'm here for.
Here’s to the summer,
This month, Studio67 is very pleased to welcome Alex Nirta and his stunning photography. Alex is 34 years old and the proud owner of three annoying cats. He loves old movie posters, gardening and Star Wars.
He’s also entirely self-taught.
I took a minute to sit down and ask him a few questions about how he came to creative expression through photographs. Here’s what I learned...
To me, photography is a way of showcasing the beauty in the world around us. Something that, in the age of screens, we tend not to notice anymore. We’re distracted. We don’t take a minute to even notice where we are and what surrounds us. I think that’s why I’m drawn to landscapes.
The beauty of nature is disarming.
I was first exposed to photography when my cousin showed me some of his own work. I was just blown away but what you could do with a camera. This was before digital, of course, I was a teenager. My first camera was an Olympus OM-1 that my Dad gave me.
I really got into landscape photography because of him and really admired other Canadian photographers, like Daryl Benson, Richard Martin and Freeman Patterson. I took all their techniques and applied them to my own techniques. Through trial and error, I discovered my own style.
I was always drawn most to water and waterscapes. I’ve also been exploring more black and white lately. Photographers like Michael Levin really opened my eyes with black and white images. I was always a colour kind of guy (which I still am) but he made me appreciate black and white more. I feel it has a bit of more of an impact and more of a dreamy sequence.
Is photography your full time job?
I’m currently working towards making it my full time but right now I work at Henry's Photo. I've worked there for almost 10 years but I have been selling cameras for about 14 years. My cameras always come on vacation with me and when I travel make sure to shoot all the time. In the last two years, I've really pushed myself to shoot more and more, and the more I do, the more I realize how much I absolutely love it. I can't get enough of it. The problem when you work 40 hours a week and live in Toronto, there’s only so much you can shoot. I try to capture the areas I have access to and showcase different waterscapes around the city like the Bluffs or Beaches.
What's inspiring your latest work?
Well I’m very drawn to nature, primarily waterscapes, and my work is pretty focused on that. I’ve never really enjoyed portraits or photographing people, but I’ve grown to enjoy it more once I began photographing loved ones.
I’ve recently started playing around with my childhood obsession with insects and bugs. When I was a kid I always wondered how they work and what their purpose in life is. I’ve begun doing macro portraiture with them in a new series called Backyard Dwellers. I’m not just shooting them outside the way most insects are shot. I’m actually bringing them into the studio and shooting them like I would people; using different lighting and gels. It’s really challenging! I plan on releasing a book for this series and I’m toying with the idea of shooting a small documentary on native Ontario insects. We’ll see.
Which photography do you love the most and why?
That's a tough question. Like most artists, I'm the hardest critic when it comes to my own work. If I had to pick and choose, it would be the Icy Rocks of the Toronto Beaches. I love the color palette I managed to capture there and I love the fact that it was taken in Toronto. When I tell people where I shot it they’re usually surprised, which is the entire point of my work. Show people what already surrounds them that they don’t see.
Beauty is right in front of you and you don't even know it. That’s what my photographs show.
Join us tomorrow, Thursday, May 12th form 8pm - 11pm at Studio67 as we give a warm welcome to Alex and his exhibition Waterscapes.
There will be wine.
We are very pleased to announce that this Saturday April 2nd from 8pm-11pm, Studio67 is hosting the official launch party for Gxxrls.
Gxxrls is a collective digital agency that promotes women working in creative industries. Their mission? To dominate Toronto’s creative scene through collaboration and empowerment amongst women.
Gxxrls will operate as a digital agency and also as a community resource, offering a series of meet ups and talks where creative women can network and share their stories of struggle and success. They also plan to offer a youth outreach program for adolescent girls interested in design, digital content production, photography, learning how to DJ, hair and makeup.
How. Awesome. Is. That.
So awesome, right?
So please, come by 67 Portland Ave this Saturday night between 8pm - 11pm and check it out.
The launch party will feature two artists creating work live and on-site, DJ Killa Kels, a lipstick booth, cupcakes and free drinks.
It’s going to be so fun, so please come and help us launch Gxxrls right.