TAKA SUDO

A Taka Sudo painting is immediately recognizable. Blending his environmental influences – Japan and the West Coast – each of his pieces is an explosion of saturated colour and energetic forms. Also incorporating ephemera of the everyday such as newsprint and photocollage, Sudo’s artworks toe the line between representation and abstraction. Sudo has exhibited in both Canada and the United States and his work has adorned homes and businesses from Whistler to San Francisco.

"Auroral", courtesy of takasudo.com

“Auroral”, courtesy of takasudo.com

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

I was born and grown up in Tokyo, and moved to BC for the love of skiing and mountains. My works are influenced and inspired by those totally different environments. I’m mixing up city elements and organic elements in my works.

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

My wall is in the triangle between Main, Broadway and Kingsway.

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?

I like painting on large scale. I have to keep moving around all the time to step back and see if the piece is going well. It’s much better feeling for me than to keep standing same spot and focusing on one canvas.

My wall is a textured surface. That will be challenging, though I’ll have fun with it.

 

FRAZER ADAMS

Frazer Adams works in fine art, typgraphy, and illustration. His high-impact pieces usually frame a simple, well-chosen word or phrase to make an strong impression in the viewer’s mind. Although his inspirations are diverse, he is particularly fascinated by astronomy, geology and physics, and so his pieces have often featured nebulas, crystals, or undulating clouds.

courtesy of frazercreative.com

courtesy of frazercreative.com

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

I’m Frazer Adams, a local typographer, fine artist and illustrator. I’ve been working professionally since 2009 and in that time have phased through a number of different focuses – graffiti, geometry, characters, space – but I think I’ve found my home in typography. At least for a while.

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

My mural is part of the MakerWrap project at Hawks and Cordova, I painted the rooftop wall. The mural features prismatic letters that read “YOU MADE IT”.

It’s hard not to obsess over the things you lack in your life, so I want this mural to remind people to take a breather from that mental grind. Look at where you came from and appreciate what you’ve accomplished.

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?

I’ve worked on a few semi-large scale walls in the past, but this was by far the largest. The scale itself wasn’t much of an issue, it just takes time to cover. The texture of the wall was challenging, though. It was covered end to end with 6 inch wooden slats with 1 inch gaps, so painting smooth curves in my typography was difficult. Style-wise I had to avoid the smooth gradations I often use, and instead work with an array of flat colours. Embracing that change made for an intense, colourful result.

The intimidation of large-format painting has definitely dissolved, I want to go bigger!

 

JULIA IREDALE

"Memory Land", courtesy of juliairedale.com

“Memory Land”, courtesy of juliairedale.com

Julia Iredale excels at creating moody, dreamlike worlds. Her skillful use of complementary colours and eccentric scenes makes her pieces exude both lightness and darkness, melancholy and excitement. She works in Photoshop as well as traditional painting and her work has been featured in print magazines and online, as well as local galleries around Vancouver. She also collaborated with Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard and Molly Applejohn on The Ostara Tarot, a custom-illustrated reimagining of the traditional Ryder-Waite tarot deck.

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

I am a Vancouver-based artist and illustrator who creates dream-like, surreal imagery inspired by the world around me and coupled with the fantastical landscapes inside my head. I grew up on a farm on Mayne Island off the coast of British Columbia before moving to Vancouver to attend Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where I graduated in 2015. Since then I have been working as an illustrator and graphic designer, as well as developing my personal work and showing in galleries around the city.

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

My mural is located just off Main street, near Terminal ave, on the side of the Fontile Warehouse. This area is a hub of activity, and there are several murals going in around mine and nearby on other walls.

For my mural I wanted to do something colourful and whimsical, that would be engaging to viewers in a playful way. This piece is inspired by my current series of work involving miniature floating worlds. A central figure dominates the scene near the top of the image, imbedded in the surrounding landscape. The landscape and the figure are intertwined and overlapping to the point where they seem to become equally relevant visual representations of the same being and experience. The miniature floating world where the figure appears is a bizarre one that doesn’t seem to follow logic. Many narrative elements are implied, but nothing seems to quite “make sense”. It is an Alice-in-Wonderland-esque world where things grow chaotically where they will. One small figure holds a locked box. The central figure speaks a key. Doors are everywhere painted into the hills, some locked and some open. The image reads as a puzzle that the viewer must figure out their own answer to.

I am drawn to these miniature worlds in my work because of how they function as portraits of a particular moment or state. They are cut off from a surrounding world and are their own microcosms, following their own particular set of rules and logic. There is something inherently lonely and surreal in seeing the “edge of the world” – there is no escape, no outside, and in this way we are forced to face ourselves and contemplate within the boundaries of the image.

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 this scale has been a little daunting! I’ve never done work at this size before. I’ve done a lot of mini murals and one larger mural, but it was probably about half the size of this one. Stylistically, I tried to adapt my style to be a little more simplified and graphic, just to be able to get this piece done in the time allotted. I usually have a lot of textures, glazing and/or mixed media in my work, so I tried to stretch myself to think in flat layers of colour rather than messy washes and dry brushing. I am super excited to work on something this big, and am super interested to see what kind of effects I will be able to achieve at this scale.

Taka Sudo, Frazer Adams and Julia Iredale 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, Taka Sudo, Frazer Adams and Julia Iredale.