This is Free Agency
Wide-eyed and full of ambition, Winnie Truong sat for an interview with a local art blog to discuss her upcoming exhibit. It was 2010 and the Toronto artist was fresh of the convocation train, accolades in tow. When posed the pressing question “Where do you see yourself in five years” Truong replied timidly that she hoped to be working as a full-time independent artist. Looks likes you outdid yourself girl.
It’s a well know fact that a robot’s favourite festival is Digital Dreams. Programmed for love, posed for selfies, he’s 250 lbs of positivity. For the first installment of #brillantworks, we teamed up with our friends and fellow love-spreaders Mathew Del Degan and T-Rexxx of 1 Love T.O on a mission to inspire kindness, Digital Dreams style.
See photo for caption. Watch #brilliantworks with @garbagebeauty and @station16gallery now at YouTube.com/brilliantworks.
Pulling some strings with @hotxtea for @osheaga this weekend. See you soon! ✌️
Magic in MTL with @hotxtea.
Looks like @robdyers4c and @keithdungeon are up to something... #brilliantworks.
You might have to watch this interview twice. Twice, because the first time you’ll be so mesmerized by the Caitlin Stasey’s charming accent and surreal beauty that you’ll realize you completely missed everything that was said. The second time, because what the actress has to say is much more compelling that any amount of doe-eyed glances and lip curls, combined.
How many extreme sport athletes does it take to design a piece of jewelry? Ten. The answer is ten. And the jewelry is tough as nails just like the designers behind the Toronto-based label Vitaly. For the latest episode of MTV Originals, we dove board-first into the gender-defying accessories studio of the label’s founder Shane Foran. From it’s eat, pray, love beginnings to its Lords of Dogtown prospects the brand is showing no signs of slowing anytime soon. But Life in the fast lane ain’t easy, especially when your working with tungsten, the hardest metal on the planet. Faced with a skateboard or drawing board, he puts it all on the line for a dream born in Bali.
When challenged with thousands of square feet of gallery space to fill, Bryan Espiritu quit his day job. Turning hurdles grand and grueling into something to covet, the legend behind the league counts a clothing empire, creative agency, and written compilations as his bounty. He’s a can’t-stop creator, that’s for sure. When heart and hustle come into play, accomplishments are measured in forever-and-a-halfs. A polymath by way of permanent marker drips, Espiritu showed MTV Originals a glimpse into the major league.
It’s a good day for Trevor Wheatley when a group of horses show up on shoot day wanting to pose by the art. Casual, no? About as casual as finding a half pipe in the woods or location scouting with no agenda only to find exactly what you imaged, only better. But in the life of this Toronto-based graffiti to gallery artist the days are filled with pleasant haphazards left to chance, left to crumble. In Wheatley's books rundown, rusty, and forgotten are positive descriptors. Essential even. Is it any surprise that he calls an old downtown industrial building his HQ? Ready to bike/skate/drive at a moment's notice, the company he keeps matches his penchant for exploration, adventure for adventure. When friend is just another word for teammate, your car is always filled with city kids looking for their next discovery.
A conversation with Reese Cromwell is the definition of realtalk. As founder/designer of the covetable THINK Reese brand, you could call her approach the no bullshit method. It’s that combination of uninterrupted ambition and megawatt positivity that earned Reese her spot in MTV FORA's Girl Guide. Ready to talk business and bikinis, the Toronto turned L.A. lady joined us in the studio for a crash course in chasing your dreams.
You could call his work “Pop Culture: The Remake”, but don’t be too quick to associate the second-rate status of a sequel with Luca Mainini’s creations. After all, many would argue that sequels almost always fall short of their predecessors. If the Italian collagist has anything to say about that matter however, the remake would be the feature presentation. Merging iconography from this decade and that, his works transcend eras, creating something both from the future and from the past. With his bare essentials toolkit, he works a slapdash system of cut copy concurrence. Allowing us a glimpse into the life and times of his digital wonderland Mainini gave us his insight on following your instincts and Instagram addictions. As his hodgepodge Hollywood starlets performed their frenzied dance he talked to the GIFs, and in their own way, the GIFs talked back.
How’s the view from up here? It’s infinite and inspiring, because the way Elie sees it, this city is made for exploring. A new age creator whose POV is unlike the rest - from out in front, from up above, his strategy is simple. You’ve got to create faster than they can copy, let your standards expand with your horizons. After all, it’s only natural your standards are high when you’re so far up. At such great heights, Ellie’s got social media savant that’s killing the game slowly. On top of the city looking low, this is a next level stare down. Hold tight.
Lizzie Renaud said it herself: tattooing is a boy’s club. If you read between the ink lines though, you’ll see what truly makes the marker is a special kind of confidence to tattoo. Working harder, sketching better, Renaud soon established herself amongst the top body artists in the city. Better than drawing and more fun than paint to canvas, she’s since opened her own shop Speakeasy Tattoo built on the principles of traditional tattoo culture. Without hesitation the budding entrepreneur took her next leap, no sweat, launching Toronto’s premier nail art studio: Pinky’s Nails. So yeah, tattooing may be a boy’s club but the club president is undoubtedly a girl.
So maybe they’re not actually twins, but Dani and Bianca of Kastor & Pollux are certainly cut from the same cloth. Or at least they’ve been cutting the same cloth, together, since the two cyber stalwarts met back in 2008. As part of the MTV Originals webseries the pint-sized entrepreneurs gave us an unfiltered peak at the Kastor & Pollux way. Amongst the succulents, host Phoebe Dykstra learns a lesson in cross-coordination.