Wild Northerner Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 46

Q - Tell us a bit about what you do?

A - I was very fortunate to figure out that art was something I enjoyed doing at a young age. I got lost in my own world when given the opportunity to draw or build. Getting into a creative zone gave me focus, as it still does today. Over the years, I have created all my own paintings and illustrations from my home studio and have facilitated mural projects with local community groups. My favourite part of creating visual art is talking about the finished product with my audience. It’s great to hear other people’s perspective of my work and hear their excitement over the imagery. It’s a big factor in my drive to continue ‘making’.

Q - What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?

A - I’ve never had trouble finding motivation to make something new. I’ve always just felt compelled to create, to scribble, to smear pigment. At times, I begin a piece just as an excuse to play with colour. The process of layering, of patience, of knowing the medium, is really my Zen.

Q - What is the best advice that you have ever been given?

A - My high school art teacher once told me to “draw with empathy” after seeing me struggle to draw a line on my page then erase it multiple times. I didn’t quite know how to take that advice at the time, but it inspired me to draw lighter and not erase any of my attempts until I finally made a line that I liked. It inspired me to trust my abilities and to not fear making mistakes. I took that statement as a pass to really take chances and ignore the self-doubt that had me wearing out erasers.

Q - What is your favourite thing you have created?

A - I’m pleased to have created a lot of personal favourites when it comes to my paintings and illustrations. Some of my personal favourites come from my early acrylic works (2006-2009). They essentially pinpoint a shift in the subject matter of my work from the dark and mundane to the bright and outlandish.

Q - Have other people supported or inspired you?

A - My friends, family and loved ones have been huge supporters of my craft over the years. I have also generated a large fan base from the various shows I have exhibited at, and I have worked with many talented individuals on a number of projects. I’m constantly finding myself inspired by others interpretations, abilities or techniques. I enjoy making something new. But I truly get excited to make something new with others.

You can meet up with Gillard at the Northern Ontario Expo that will be taking place in Timmins on May 6-7. He will also be directing a mural project with the Louis Street Community Association this coming spring.

Online you can find his work at: :www.wallacergillard.com , connect with him on facebook at www.facebook.com/art.wrg/, on youtube: Wallace R. Gillard, or on Instagram @wrg.gallery.

Natural connection creates artistic spark

BY JULIEANNE STEEDMAN

For Wild Northerner

I was introduced to Wallace R. Gillard’s art for the first time last Autumn and was instantly drawn in by the vibrant colours and immense detail of each piece. His work was part of an exhibit showcasing the work of the faculty at Cambrian College that took place at the Open Studio in Sudbury. Gillard shares his passion for the arts with students at the college; this is his second year working as a mentor in the schools Fine Arts Program.

Gillard grew up locally, moved abroad for a few years after University, but was drawn back to his roots. To him, nowhere feels more like ‘home’ than northern Ontario. He lives and creates in his studio in Copper Cliff and says that he ‘“feels a strong connection to the natural environment of our northern community”. This is where he finds inspiration for his highly-detailed work.

“It seems that as I mature as an artist, I’m more cognizant of what pieces of nature I include in my work -– I try to include flora and fauna that are indigenous to our area in my work,” Gillard said.

Recently I had the chance to sit down with him and delve a little deeper into how he comes to create such unique works.