Updated: Aug 26, 2020
When we have the opportunity to share a great story, we often strive to find a unique person. We look for people that are original and in their own way, making a difference in the world. We look for someone that inspires us to be a little more creative, take risks, and spread a little more joy. Someone that values the art of communication, and simply makes us smile. This is precisely how our team felt when we came across artist and author, Justin Maas. We smiled.
As a kid, Maas enjoyed drawing and found it to be a great way of communicating. Early on, Maas learned that art was a way to convey day-to-day images that were vivid in his thoughts.
Maas has worked in many mediums over the years. He shared that his primary tools of choice are dry mediums such as pastel, graphite, charcoal. His educational journey briefly led him to both Milwaukee and Chicago. However, Maas ended up doing most of his post-secondary work at the University of British Columbia and the Alberta University of the Arts. Maas has a degree in visual communications.
"Like most kids, I always drew. Unlike most kids, I never stopped."
Checkout the Interview with Justin Maasbelow.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
First and foremost, I am an artist - and I think it is safe to call myself primarily a "portrait & figurative artist." I have (and do) draw and paint other subjects (if only as backgrounds in my work) but overall I am most
interested in capturing the human face and form.
Like most kids, I always drew. Unlike most kids, I never stopped. I think that if given an opportunity, 99% of children do draw. It's really our most basic form of communication, but as we grow, other things begin to
take precedence: sports, school, activities, hobbies.
Artists are people who just always prioritized their art first.
What inspired you to start your business?
People often ask, "when did you become an artist," and I honestly don't think anyone "becomes" an artist. I think we all have stories to tell - artists just find a way to tell them. So it wasn't really a decision to 'start an art business" as it was more: I needed to create.
I have said many times over my life, "If I never sell another painting/drawing, I won't do anything differently. I'll keep drawing every chance I get."
What are the Pros and Cons of your Industry?
The obvious "pro" for a career as an artist is simply that you can do what you love to do. It's not all roses - many many stages of a painting are tedious and laborious, but I wake up every day wanting to draw.
Well, almost every day. Some days I just want to sit on the couch.
The "cons" are almost exclusively related to the business side - as in, it's extremely difficult to make a living as an artist. My country (Canada) has just under 37 million people. A little over 100,000 identify
themselves as artists, but the number of those who can support themselves or their families is staggeringly low.
What makes your work different?
I think my art tends to be different from the norm because I have a very unique style. The internet is notorious for people stealing others work and claiming it as their own, but my work is so well known now that I get alerted (usually within days if not hours) whenever someone does this. The funny thing about a unique style is that the most genuine ones come from within the artist.