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Question 11: Which artists or artistic styles have influenced you? How does this play out, in concrete terms?

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I think a lot of the artists that influence me now are probably the peers that I’ve worked with.  I’ve gone through the period of studying and looking at art from a historical point of view, and I still go to shows, I still go to museums. I still love looking at the works of masters whether they’re contemporary or whether they’re from earlier periods. But even though their works still speak and resonate to me, what I learn the most from is from artists that are working today and exhibiting their works. So it’s hard to predict where my that’s come from.  I also don’t just limit it to visual artists, I try to also look at literature, look at music, look at what’s being done on the screen and in theatre and that. Because every artist, whether it’s a visual medium or a musical medium, being from the same times that we live in, they have something to add to the world view that everybody’s taking. In a media centered society it’s really impossible to avoid that and not incorporate it, so I try and keep my eyes open and take my influences from anything that I can find. I’ve never been the type of person who had one artist that was their hero or their mentor, or one particular line of inquiry that I just wanted to pursue from now until my dying days. I feel one of my strengths as an artist is to be able to change lanes quite quickly and if there’s a tangent or a thought or a line of inquiry that I want to pursue, that’s interesting to me, I can change gears and go after that and pursue it. There’s always some artists that’s gonna be doing work that’s similar. I always find after I’ve done a certain series of work or certain pieces, when I start looking around, I’ll all of a sudden find these images showing up all over the place.  I did a series of works called Head Space; they’re all about the human brain. Then I was watching TV, or magazine advertisements and billboards driving down the highway, all of a sudden I was finding brains everywhere. I don’t think any artist in today’s world works in isolation even if they come from a small place like PEI. So the influences come from everything, I don’t think they’d be specific to the works of one individual.