I don’t consider my work autobiographical in any way, but I do think a bit of context is useful to understand where this all comes from. A few factors from my childhood still influence who I am as a maker today.
Both sets of grandparents were immigrants to Canada: shopkeepers, factory workers and farmers. They moved often and picked up whatever skills necessary to gain employment and make money. My grandfather on my Dad’s side, or Deda as we say in Croatian, was a jack-of-all-trades builder. He was a shrewd man but also a dreamer. He pulled old rusty nails out of scrap wood and kept them in coffee cans to reuse. When he passed away we sorted through shelves full of bent nails. He also collected a type of architectural catalogue which was popular from the 50’s to the 80’s in Canada, which offered plans and elevations for building your own home. We had a workshop at home where I could play with junk or watch my parents make and repair things. We never had workmen come to our house as my parents did everything themselves (for better and for worse) and I learned how to fix things, use different materials and find ways to work with what you have on hand.
I was born in Vancouver but grew up in western Canada across rural and suburban British Columbia and Alberta. Growing up isolated with a lot of freedom was probably the basis for my interest in art. I was a really bored kid! My mother subscribed to a book club, and I spent many summers reading art history books and looking at the pictures. I spent a lot of time at the public library reading things I didn’t quite understand at the time. Tom Wolfe, John Updike, Arthur C Clarke and lots of pulp crime like PD James. I drew a lot because it was cheap. I drew animals and copied things out of books. I took my dog for walks in the fields and verges where the housing developments bled into industrial farmland, listening to my Discman and wandering around on my own.
Today I draw inspiration from a range of sources, spanning high and low culture: dogs, animals, literature, punk & metal, folk art, DIY culture, comics, psychogeography, modernism, landscapes, decor, art & design history, eavesdropping and the built environment.