Spaces of Creation: Inside the mind of Jeremy Shantz

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Jeremy Shantz’s studio is like the Frankenstein of all studios. Everything is built from scratch, from the desk to the mismatched coffee table that used to be a fan belt cage and the shelves housing a taxidermy alligator head and a dismembered yet perfectly manicured mannequin hand. Any other person would have neatly sat down and started the interview but I, however…in all of my clumsy glory, settled for not sitting still and kicking a full-to-the-brim ashtray off the table and all over the couch and floor. An apology, two beers and a good three minutes of ash-sweeping later, the conversation began.

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Oozing worlds and abandoned buildings

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  ONCE upon a time, I rang this artist’s doorbell for an interview, only to be greeted with the standard double kiss and a very modest: “I haven’t really timed my day well and we need to go pick up my laundry”. So off we went, lugging back a rucksack big enough to fit a child in and a plastic bag with drenched clothes, result of the typical broken drying machine. Daily chores completed, I was ushered through his living space/studio apartment as we made our way to the building’s series of outdoor balconies and fire escapes that merged into a 3-storey central courtyard. This infrastructure, neglected by most Montreal landlords, had been entirely invaded by artists. Tags, throw-ups, murals, dingy couches and sealed-off doors covered every inch of available surface.

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Virgil Baruchel, artist.

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From Paris to New York to Toronto, Virgil Baruchel has been surrounded by art since he can remember. Dabbling in as many creative techniques as you can name, the multimedia artist believes in letting his work speak for itself and pushes his imagination and that of his audience as far as it can go. Inspired by game-changing artists and motivated by challenge, Virgil’s colourful creations are an instinctive fusion of process and form and never what they seem. I payed him a studio visit and we had a stirring conversation about his work, inspiration and the power of instinct and looking at things twice.

Check out our full interview for Toronto the Brave on the Hermann & Audrey website here

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Jimmy Chiale, artist.

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Not long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up with artist Jimmy Chiale for a conversation over cappuccinos and whiskey at Tequila Bookworm. Known for his distinctive, abstract style and vibrant bursts of color, Chiale is nothing less than passionate about his art, inspired by everything and looking to inspire in return. Originally from France, he has collaborated with countless artists and musicians in Toronto, painting every day to leave his imprint in time.

You can check out the full interview on the Hermann & Audrey website here

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Adrian Forrow, illustrator.

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Not long ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with award-winning multi-disciplinary illustrator and artist Adrian Forrow. Honor graduate of OCAD University, Adrian is inspired by the simplicity of overlooked forms and odd, imperfect shapes and his eclectic designs attract clients all around Canada, Europe and the United States. We had a lively conversation about working around challenges, the importance of travel and practicing the “art of looking”.

Check out more pictures below and read the full interview on the Hermann & Audrey website here.

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Broadbent Sisters, multimedia artists.

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Introducing Rose and Joy Broadbent, sister duo and collaborative artists. Strongly connected, their multidisciplinary and meditative approach to art creates a fresh and unique experience for the community. Delving in everything from painting to performance and sculpture, the Broadbent sisters transform everyday spaces into magical and nurturing realms where sparkles are swept and energy flows. I payed the pair a visit at their very own Studio 835, which resulted in a stirring conversation about collective musing, stream of consciousness and the essentiality of artistic naïvety.

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Juliana Neufeld, illustrator

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Introducing Juliana Neufeld, award winning illustrator and mixed media artist whose work has travelled throughout Canada and all the way to Japan. Inspired by everything from eighties textiles to the art of Margaret Kilgallen, Juliana makes whimsical landscapes come to life with quirky creatures, meditating monsters and wine-sipping jungle animals. I visited her studio not long ago, devoured her collection of old sketchbooks and had an excellent conversation about working as a freelancer, self-confidence and perks of living in the city.

Read the full interview on the Hermann & Audrey website here

Lauren Pirie, illustrator.

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Toronto-based Lauren Pirie is the queen of multitasking. With a background in design and illustration, she effortlessly juggles client work and personal fine art as well as children’s book illustration and the management of the creative sustainability organization About Face Collective. Inspired by the richness of nature and magical allure of childhood memories, Lauren’s delicate creations bring forth fantastical stories of creatures, dreams and a ever-wandering imagination.

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Tessar Lo, artist

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Tessar Lo was born in Indonesia and has lived and worked everywhere from Los Angeles to Amsterdam. His instinctive style emits a raw energy in which the boundaries between dreams and reality are fused into one. Spontaneous brushstrokes and collage techniques create a surreal world in which nature merges with being and children play amongst abstract stars and animals. Tessar has had works exhibited everywhere from Berlin to New York to San Francisco and has a solo show coming up this January 31st at Cooper Cole Gallery. Not long ago I payed him a studio visit and had an amazing conversation about dreams, change and tapping into the inner child.

Read the complete interview on the Hermann & Audrey website here

Antoine Tavaglione, artist.

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Last month, before going back to Buenos Aires to spend the holidays with family, I did a one-week stopover in Montreal to visit friends and enjoy some days out of the routine. While I was there, I was fortunate enough to get in contact with artist Antoine Tavaglione, who had just recently arrived from some travels of his own. Antoine is a pop artist whose signature style features iconic cartoon characters and a bright, blink-and-you miss it criticism of politics and culture in society. We met up for coffee with Antoine on an extremely cold morning and had an excellent conversation about art, aesthetics, symbolism and entering the worlds of animation and fashion.

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