MA+DS is constantly on the lookout for areas where art, architecture and modern living intersect, and we recently discovered a modern artist based in Toronto that embodies the merging of these disciplines.
5 Questions with Anand Jaggernauth
+ Your formal training is as a geophysicist. Has art always been a primary interest, or is it something that developed more recently?
AJ: I’ve always been creative. From writing poetry to playing musical instruments. I started painting when I was very young. When I worked as a Geophysicist, it wasn’t easy to find free time to paint – but I found time to create pieces for corporate charity auctions and the occasional home project. The image on my business card has a special story! – One of my first pieces sold at a charity auction. Art and creativity always found a way into my job, even if it meant elaborate powerpoint slides. Acrylics have been my main medium in the past but I’ve been working with oils since being a full-time artist.
+ What contributed to your decision to go from a full-time scientist to a full-time artist?
AJ: Who doesn’t want to leave the corporate world and follow that wild dream in their hearts? I strongly believe most artists, musicians, actors etc have a turning point in their lives which sort of redirects them with a possible path. For me, it was my brother’s passing. A lot of things fell into place and I don’t take it for granted that I’m fortunate enough to be able to pursue my dream full-time. Having said that, it was weird at first because I learnt I was working for myself. And if I didn’t do anything, then nothing happened. Toronto is also a great city to be an artist, so I guess being in the right place also helps. Nonetheless, I’m loving my journey as an emerging artist and wouldn’t have it any other way.
+ You’ve recently entered into a partnership with Canada’s new NEO Exchange. How does this partnership impact your art, and how does your art contribute to Canada’s national financial and entrepreneurial conversation?
AJ: I’m the permanent resident artist for NEO. They’re the new national stock exchange in Canada. Sort of a boutique, contemporary style company doing things differently. It’s a partnership I’m so thrilled to be chosen for and I take it very seriously. Each company listed on the exchange receives one of my large, vibrant commissioned pieces. It’s pretty cool, the artwork is unveiled at the listing ceremony which takes place in an art gallery in the Financial District, downtown Toronto. The artwork is made especially for that company and there’s quite a bit of research involved on my part – which starts with a questionnaire I created. Each piece is supposed to be completely different, as each represents the harmony of my various techniques and the personality of a specify company. It’s had a positive impact on my art as a whole. From an art technical process standpoint, it pushes the boundaries for me to be continuously learning and evolving as an artist – how can I make each new piece better than the last. Each piece has a story of its own, and it’s a new concept in the stock exchange world, so companies love it. They love supporting a local artist and giving back to the city. The artwork becomes a part of their corporate collection and is displayed in their reception areas, lobbies and boardrooms. Can I use a hashtag? #artmatters
+ In looking through your Instagram grid, your work seems to be right at home in modern architecture. Do you have thoughts on the current state of Toronto’s modern architecture, and are you picturing any specific environment when you are creating your work?
AJ: You’re not the first person to say that. I guess what I can say, is that I don’t purposely paint that way. It comes from my mind and my process is a building process. Pieces typically take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks, sometimes even more. I try to capture depth, fluidity and movement. Perhaps the science in me brings structure and form to my work. Ever since I was a kid, I would always doodle cubes in my school books.
+ What’s next for your art? What areas are you looking to expand or grow into as an artist and a businessperson?
AJ: It’s been 2 years and 3 months since I’ve been doing my art full-time. I’ve only just begun and I absolutely love where it’s going. I’m a self taught artist, so everything I learn by myself. I started off with setting goals and putting check marks next to things like, getting a studio, creating a body of work, starting a website, working on my social media, networking, getting involved in the local art community, applying to shows etc. I think I’ve accomplished quite a bit in such a short space of time. I work hard and I’m always doing something for my art – whether it’s painting or on the business side of things. I believe the most successful artists are the ones that can merge their creativity with having a business mindset. There’s still a lot I’d like to explore. I use various tools to paint, not paintbrushes and I’m in the process of building my own tools. So things like that. I’d also like to continue with doing shows – almost all of them are always sold out shows. I also always tend to have a commission pipeline, so I try to balance that with everything else. I’d also like to continue giving back – sometimes I volunteer for art events and I’m also a registered ongoing partner with Make A Wish Canada. My ultimate goal is to one day own a large studio with a gallery and a coffee shop in it. Dream big!