Wrappr: Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Alby: Yes, I think I have always wanted to be involved one way or the other in the arts. There’s so many careers and options for artists now these days too. It can be hard for artists or designers to find where their work fits best within the art world. I consider myself a “shape shifter” because I love tradition craft and sculpture but I also love digital graphic design. Either way I am happy to have made my childhood dreams come true of being a working artist.
W: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now
A: I was born to two Irish immigrants who came to Canada for a better life and better career. I am so thankful for my parents bravery and for giving me the opportunities to chase my dreams in Canada. They have always been so supportive of my career even as a child. After high school they even helped me get to Sheridan College where I finished my bachelors degree in Craft and Design. I’m now a year out of school and I am now a resident artist at The Living Arts Centre. There I’m a part of a fellowship where I can create my own art as well as art for my clients.
W: What type of work do you do for your clients?
A: For my clientele I love a challenge and collaboration. Wether it’s a soft-sculpture installation or even if its a digital design for their products. I’m happy to use my expertise where ever it fits.
W: Which of those do you enjoy most right now?
A: Digital work is something I haven’t had too much experience doing out of school and It was really fun to see my skills being applied through Wrappr. If I could pick it would have to be creating installation work for festivals and shows. I love the idea or creating a shared experience.
W: What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?
A: For my own enjoyment I still really like to do the basics of sketching and painting from life. There’s something quite therapeutic about taking the time to really look at yourself or your surroundings and take them in as what they are or interpret them into something creative.
W: What work of yours would you like to be remembered for? Or is it something you are working on?
A: I’m currently working on creating a body of artwork that can accompany my thesis. My thesis work “Dream State” revolves around lucid dreaming and I hope to explore this idea more and branch out into astral projection. One day I would like to have my own solo show as an independent artist.
W: What is your creative process?
A: For myself my creative process starts with sketches and research. I use lots of different types of mediums and medias to explore and discover. Mood boards are a crucial component for my work, especially while working with clients. I find the visual representation and colours can be best described though collage, photographs, and sketches. Once I have an idea or theme I like I start exploring designs within the guides I give to myself. Seeing how far I can push a design is really exciting to me, it makes every work a challenge and I know I have put my all into it.
W: What are you planning to create next?
A: Next, I want to try creating interactive outdoor public art. I love being able to share my work with the public and have them interact with it as well. I’ve thought about even collaborating with IDX designers to create a piece that uses both textiles and motion sensing technology. It would be so fun to collab with a friend and a chance to learn something new.
W: What is your biggest indulgence?
A: Expensive coffee and art supplies!
W: Where do you find inspiration?
A: For years I found my inspiration in my dreams. I have kept a dream diary since I was a child and reading some of my favourite dreams or interpreting them into my artwork was a really nostalgic and unique experience. Now I tend to find inspiration from myself, my loved ones and, current events in other places in the world.
W: How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?
A: I love that I’ve be given this opportunity to work for and promote a brand that is not only a fantastic product but is sustainable and uses independent artists like myself to design. Giving back to the earth and giving back to the art community is so important.
W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you're doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
A: Myself and friends are all aware of climate-change and do our best to keep zero-waste products on us at all times. While going out I bring a container, utensils, a water bottle, and maybe a reusable mug. To make sure my carbon footprint stays as small as possible. Now after learning about Wrappr, I’m absolutely going to be keeping one on me at all times too!