creatures crew

Creatures in Montreal

Reposted from Fresh Paint Gallery

Some artists from the Toronto-based Creatures crew came by the gallery just in time for Nuit Blanche to paint up a whole room. We sat down with Billy Franklin, Chris Perez, Jordan McKie, Christina Mazzulla, and Tongson Chen to talk about making a living out of your art, the graffiti scene in Toronto and, of course, their creations.

Tongson Chen put in a nutshell the general philosophy of the group on painting: “It’s an urge, every day you think about it. I’m sure it’s the same with every artist, it’s something you just have to do whether the money’s right or wrong. Being an artist is always doing your art”

All of them are trying to live from their art, sometimes doing a little side job to stay afloat. It brought us to talking about the common problematic of making it as an artist while remaining true to your values and being able to pay the bills. They pointed out that art school can make you believe you need to paint boring commercial things or to sell out to be able to live from your art. Christina summed up a problem many underground artists face: “I’m trying to find that balance between being a commercial artist and being true to yourself, where I’m making money as an individual but also creating art to create art because you love it and you wanna put something awesome out there and share it with people and not necessarily have it be about money.”

Just like Billy, who abandoned graphic design, because it was “too clean” to get into something he loves, they are all proofs that, no matter what you’re taught, you can decide to make your own thing and find that balance with hard work. Jordan made me take a step back and realize that “When art becomes your means of survival you have to look at it as a business, and you have to do things you don’t want to do, take commissions you don’t want to take, talk to people you don’t like, go outside of your comfort zone a lot, and that’s art.” He said he couldn't trash talk people who got on the level where people know who they are because they had obviously put a lot of work into their success.

When we talked about their hometown Toronto and its graffiti scene, they seemed to admire the openness of the Montreal community. They mentioned the animosity and stigma towards street art but underlined that the reaction of the public was never going to stop it, that a lot of areas were still heavily bombed. Politicians end up ruling over what is art and what isn't, without having anything to do with the culture or having any kind of education about it.

Billy explained: “It’s winter right now, so we’re seeing a lot of it linger and hang out, but we’ve got the Pan Am games coming this summer and the city’s gonna be spotless. If you put it up, it’s gonna be gone the next day. I used to come to downtown Toronto in 2005, 2006, 2007 and this city was destroyed, it was fantastic. You could be right downtown and you look up and every rooftop is hit. And that’s all gone now, it’s all history and those writers are gone too. When Rob Ford came in, he said “I’m gonna clean up” and he kinda did that and now it’s really clean, the buff is out there. Now you have organizations that decide what goes where, it always comes down to the same 5 people.”

Chris expressed regret that the writers in Toronto were not more educated enough about the ethics of graffiti: “There’s no education within the street [about the 'hierarchy' of graffiti], it’s just about what looks nice and what looks good for the community. They don’t put into consideration that there is history to the person making it.”

They all agreed that in the end a piece is judged by how long it stays before being painted over and not by the talent of the writer. Jordan developed a very interesting concept about this phenomenon: “You see spots are getting buffed, but if you paint on a mural, chances are it’s gonna stay for awhile. So it’s kind of culture cannibalism you know, the culture is eating itself because it’s so starved in a way.”

But Christina pointed out that this auto-cannibalism could have good aspects too, for example when it comes to commissioned murals with almost automatic attribution to mainstream artists, which brings us back to Billy’s previous remark on the politic grip on urban art and the unfair monopoly of commercial/mainstream artists on municipal approval. The infinite vicious circle that Fresh Paint is trying to break.

Photo Cred. Adrien Fumex
Original Post by Lina


Anthony Schepperd

“Animation gives us the rare opportunity to spill our most coveted attribute, the imagination.”

Anthony Schepperd is an award winning Director and Animator living in Philadelphia, creating works for clients including Nike, The Offspring, Bonobo and most recently a collaborated music video with several other animators produced by Adult Swims "Off the Air".

You're pretty much thrown immediately in Schepperd's psychedelic nightmare-ish realm of face melting metamorphosis and endless shifting palettes. Each work is painstakingly hand drawn, which highlights Schepperd's background of traditional painting twisted with his love of unstoppable movement.

In an interview with Off The Air, Schepperd states "The animation concepts come more from exploring repetition as the driving force behind the illusion of animation", he continues "If characters were to break down they would break down into flesh and blood. Animation breaks down into key frames. So an animated character could break apart into its key frames. It ends up being wildly psychedelic."

If you haven't checked out "Off the Air" already, give it a peek. The first episode was kicked off with Blockhead's music video, "The Music Scene" animated by Schepperd for their 'Animals' episode. Off the Air is a series created by Dave Hughes for Adult Swim. Not a sign of plot or narration, it's an ADHD's dream, showcasing surreal footage based on the episode title and blended without pause into a single continuous video.


Contact Anthony at afschepperd(@)
Represented by Randi Wilens Media

The animators in order of appearance on Dan Deacon's music video, "When I was dying" are;
Jake Fried, Chad Vangaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Taras Hrabowsky, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, Caleb Wood, KOKOFreakbean


Edible Growth

SPOTLIGHT: Chloé Rutzerveld

Is this the future of our food industry?

Chloé Rutzerveld's Edible Growth project consists of 3D-printed shapes containing a mixture of seeds, spores and yeast, which will start to grow after only a few days.

"Edible growth is exploring how 3D printing could transform the food industry," she says in the video above. "It is about 3D printing with living organisms, which will develop into a fully grown edible."

Rutzerveld's project is eye-opening to the general public in regards to what up-and-coming technology can be capable of. Some will decry such a process of cultivating and growing food, claiming that it isn't "progress" and as "foodies", they "enjoy fresh products that are prepared with love and knowledge," but I humbly disagree. Yes, food is an important part of many cultures, and nothing quite beats making a meal with someone you love, or enjoying a meal that a loved one has made for you. However, those claiming that 3D printing food is Frankenstein-ian fail to see the wonder that these little 3D printers can invoke.

This process of making edible foods isn't meant to replace how we traditionally make our food. I see it as a study into what technology is more and more capable of doing -- turning science fiction into science fact. Maybe it'll hit the mainstream in 10 or so years; maybe it won't. But if it does, it doesn't mean that we must, or even should, forgo the process of cooking for 3D printing. When viewed simply as another accessible tool in the kitchen, an advanced mini-oven, if you will, Edible Growth's technology is just another tool in our arsenal.

When I look at Chloé Rutzerveld's project, I see knowledge in the fields of design and plant biology, devotion, experimentation, and beauty. And if you were to look into my eyes upon first learning of the technology behind Edible Growth, you would in turn see wonder.

Article submitted by Charmaine Cheng

Chris Austin

July 2011- Debut Solo Show Pyrus, Kitchener ON

Oct 2011- Group Show @MESA Gallery Kitchener ON

Oct 2011- Square Foot show @PWD Gallery Waterloo


Amanda Boulos

Amanda Boulos received her BFA from York University (2013) working as a painter and new media artist. She received the Willowdale Group Senior Painting Award (2012), as well as a BMO1st Invitational Student Art Competition 2013 Nomination. Working with both student groups and community based art institutions, Boulos organized multiple curatorial art projects around Toronto. She has also exhibited her work throughout the city in shows including Vs. Separate at Graven Feather, Sign/Signify at Triangle Gallery and Show Off! at York University’sGales Gallery sponsored by the Art Gallery of York University. Her work takes abstraction to an intimate level, compelling the viewer to imitate her pieces in order to experience them. Her instructional abstractions inculcate viewers with an understanding of their body’s limits and pleasures. Currently is working on a new series of paintings and rapping teddy bears at Creatures Creating Gallery.


Erin Loree



The OCADU Florence Off-Campus Studies Program, Florence, Italy, 2009/10

Creative Arts Focus Program, Q.E.C.V.I., Kingston, 2007


Susie Julia

Susie Julia is a Toronto based multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of traditional and digital mediums, including acrylic paint, digital collage, and illustration. She specializes in fashion illustration and expresses different ways of depicting the female portrait and figure in her artwork. She is inspired by art nouveau, vintage patterns, kitsch, and antique knickknacks. Her artwork is characterized by its soft pastel palette, juxtaposing colours, dreamy layering, and whimsical details. She is constantly seeking new and exciting ways to depict her artistic vision. Susie has recently acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University, where she studied Drawing & Painting and Illustration.


Chris Perez




Group Exhibitions

2013 Collective Unconscious, Creatures Creating Gallery, Toronto


Andre Kan


 Selected Group Exhibitions

2013, Optic Elixer III, Creatures Creating Gallery, Toronto

2013, The 5th Annual OCADSU Retrospective Show, OCADU, Toronto


Kevin Columbus


2012 – BFA Drawing and Painting, OCAD University; Toronto, ON

2011 – Studied under the artist, Massimo Giannoni; Florence, Italy


Jordan McKie


Jordan was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, two years before Jean Michel Basquiat overdosed and at the height of New York City’s 2nd wave of subway graffiti.  He is a product of two cultures; his father is from the Caribbean and his mother of British heritage. He has grown up in a bicultural environment, living in a bilingual city in a multicultural country. Jordan has been working as a freelance artist since he graduated from Sheridan College with a degree in Illustration in 2009. His work has evolved from experimental pieces inspired by urban street art, to an abstract style of portraits and landscapes. Jordan uses a diversity of colour and bold geometric lines to capture his interpretation of the subject. He also likes to create works on paper, wheat pasting them in urban environments to salvage abandoned spaces. Jordan has done illustration work for CD cover designs, magazines and children’s books; designed and screened t-shirts with original art; and done voice work for promotional videos. He also leads workshops in school settings where he has worked with at-risk youth and young adults to inspire them to find their voice through art.


Anthony Smerek


2009 – Digital Publishing Diploma, Langara College; Vancouver, BC

2008 – Bachelor of Fine Arts, The University of Western Ontario; London, ON