TIM MACK

Wild - Tim Mack - Courtesy of tmackart.com

Wild – Tim Mack – Courtesy of tmackart.com

Tim Mack’s character designs and illustrations depict humans, animals, and animal-like humans. The Vancouver-based artist, in his own words, enjoys “drawing stuff and swimming in the ocean”. His piece for the Vancouver Mural Festival uses a palette of blues, violets and oranges to exist in harmony beside the murals by Julia Iredale and Kyle Scott at 237 Southern Street in False Creek Flats.

1. Tell us a bit about your work and who you are.

I’m Tim Mack, a freelance illustrator and character designer based out of Vancouver. My work is focused on simplifying shapes and colors to tell stories. It is primarily character.

2. Describe your Vancouver Mural Festival project – where is it, and what are you working on?

My mural is on the Fontile building just off Main and Industrial Ave. It is a depiction of a symphony being driven mad by the music they are playing. Some of the characters are represented by animals.

3. How does working on a large-scale mural fit into your existing practice? How have you had to adapt your style, and what challenges does that present?

This is the largest scale I have ever worked in, and it has both been incredibly challenging and very rewarding. My style is very graphic, and adapts well to being painted as a mural. The biggest challenge was the amount of labor and time it takes to complete a wall this size, it was a great learning experience and amazing to see your own work at this scale.

COREY BULPITT

unnamedCorey Bulpitt epitomizes the diversity that characterizes Haida art today. The grandson of famed carver and painter Charles Edenshaw, he honed his craft by spending three years in the Haida Gwaii apprenticing under master carver Christian White. However, Bulpitt is also connected to the urban, contemporary energies that resonate in modern Indigenous culture – spray paint is one of his favorite mediums, and he has used it to collaborate with Vancouver’s First Nations youth on large-scale murals. He also participated in grunt gallery’s Beat Nation project, which examined the role of hip-hop in First Nations culture. His very name, T’aakeit G’aayaa, means “gifted carver”.

1. Tell us a bit about your work and who you are.

My name is Corey Bulpitt. I write AKOS, and my Haida name is T’aakeit G‘aayaa. My work focuses on traditional and contemporary Haida style work for the most part. I do traditional style woodcarving, such as totem poles, masks, and rattles, usually daily – it has provided me with a career since 1998. I also do a fusion of spray paint and Haida style work, usually executed as  murals, sometimes on canvas. I also do stonework, glass work, tattoos, print making, clothing/textiles and a variety of different things that keep me busy.

2. Describe your Vancouver Mural Festival project – where is it, and what are you working on?

I’m doing my piece at the Burrard Arts Foundation. It features two white killer whales hunting red salmon on a black background.

3. How does working on a large-scale mural fit into your existing practice? How have you had to adapt your style, and what challenges does that present?

This is pretty standard work for me, I’ve done graff for 23 years or so and Haida style work for around 18 years. A lot of my work involves large scale, totems, murals, and so on.

BEN KNIGHT

Courtesy of solsignsvan.blogspot.ca

Courtesy of solsignsvan.blogspot.ca

Benjamin Knight is an artist and sign painter based in Vancouver, BC. Ben’s work blends the best of craftsmanship and fine art with its impactful colour schemes and well-chosen designs. His hand-lettered signs can be found all over the city, at well known locations including the Tiki Bar at the Waldorf Hotel. He also helps support the local art scene by co-operating Slice of Life Gallery and Studios, a multipurpose art space for screenprinting and sign painting that also hosts print sales and other art events. Keep an eye out for Slice of Life signs as you wander Vancouver and you’ll begin to see them everywhere!

1. Tell us a bit about your work and who you are.

I like to spread messages to the people through typography, colour, and icons, and make fun of society using irony and comedy. I was born and raised on Vancouver Island by the most creative woman, trained in metal fabrication, then went back to my creative roots with lots of new, transferable skills. I work mainly with screenprinting and hand-lettering but also apply photography, drawing, and building to my work often.

2. Describe your Vancouver Mural Festival project – where is it, and what was your idea?

The mural I did with Katie So was an amazing experience, from figuring out what we were going to do, to making it fit on our 127 by 18 foot wall, and of course painting it. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner and collaborator on this project; my lettering and her illustration worked together really well! The mural is down on Station Street, just off Terminal Avenue.

Katie and I wanted to make people think a little bit, so ‘knot yourself’ was a literal meaning, with the snake being knotted, but was also touching on people being ‘caught up’ or ‘knotted’ in life, not being themselves, trying to be something they are not, maybe without even realizing it because they are so ‘knotted up in life’, you know? I’m guilty of it too sometimes.

3. How does working on a large-scale mural fit into your existing practice? How have you had to adapt your style, and what challenges does that present?

Working on a large scale is great! It helps my existing practice so much, because i don’t get the opportunity to paint that large very often or to even get close to that in the studio, I mean where would I store it, you know? So, it’s been great, I just want to go bigger now.

KATIE SO

courtesy of katieso.tumblr.com

courtesy of katieso.tumblr.com

Katie So excels at creating images that may, upon first glance, seem minimal, but in fact convey a high degree of complexity and emotion. While she produces illustration, fine art and cartoons, her practice lends itself exceptionally well to the medium of tattoo, and has made her one of Vancouver’s most popular tattoo artists. Her work has appeared in Booooooom, Room Magazine, and the Huffington Post, and she has shown at many local galleries including Untitled Art Space and Ayden Gallery.

1. Tell us a bit about your work and who you are.

My name is Katie So, and I’m an illustrator and tattoo artist from Vancouver, BC. I work in traditional media, often in limited colour palettes, and my work involves dark introspection with elements of humour.

2. Describe your Vancouver Mural Festival project – where is it, and what was your idea?

My mural is the Station Street side of the Fontile Building, near the Terminal Skytrain station. The idea was a collaborative effort between Ben Knight and I. We wanted to combine our styles (sign painting with illustration) in a way that was interactive and thought provoking. We had a challenging dimension to work with, which dictated a lot of our design, and after a lot of brain storming around the idea of reacquainting with oneself and awakening consciousness in today’s technology-focused society, we came up with the phrase, “knot yourself”, along with an intertwined, knotted snake. It’s meant to be a comment on feeling unfamiliar in your own skin, while simultaneously challenging yourself to break out of it.

3. How does working on a large-scale mural fit into your existing practice? How have you had to adapt your style, and what challenges does that present?

This was the largest piece of art I have ever made. I learned so much in terms of material and the challenges of surfaces, as well as simplifying ideas to make the most impact when seen from afar. Plus, creating a piece of public art is rewarding in itself because you can immediately see the reaction from people in the area, and having something so large out there on the city landscape is such a great feeling. I really enjoyed the process, and hope to get the opportunity to work on this scale again.

Tim Mack, Corey Bulpitt, Ben Knight, and Katie So are currently featured alongside over 30 other artists in the Vancouver Mural Festival, which officially opened August 20th, 2016. For more information, find them at http://vanmuralfest.do604.com/

Text by Genevieve Michaels, Tim Mack, Corey Bulpitt, Ben Knight, and Katie So.