Today it's time to take a peek into the studio of artist Sandeep Johal. I interviewed her over a year ago, and holy smokes!, she's created so much incredible work since then. I'm excited, inspired and deeply moved but the work that Sandeep is bringing to life.
(Just a little note, I meant to post this earlier in the summer, so some of things Sandeep mentioned have already been created and you can see the finished works on her website).
(I can't believe it, but our studio visit was in March 2016!) What have been some of your favourite projects since then?
I actually cringed when I looked back at the photos of my first interview with you - I felt like such an amateur/imposter! But you’ve gotta start somewhere, right? Ha ha! A year ago, I didn’t have much to show or much on the go, I could barely say “I’m an artist” out loud, much less believe it, but with a lil blood, sweat, and tears a lot can happen. I feel pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished in a year.
I’ve done so many things in the past year that I’ve loved, but my most meaningful project, Rest In Power, is what I’m most proud of. It’s a body of work dedicated to 12 women whose murders, not deaths - because that’s a very important distinction to make - have impacted me deeply. It’s also my first solo show and will be up at the Gam Gallery on Sept. 8, 2017. (go see Sandeep's show, it's currently up!) Rest In Power was also featured in the spring issue of Gray Magazine in a spread about Creative Dissent, as well on Zee TV Canada’s BC Roundup, which was pretty exciting.
A couple of my other favourite projects were painting a concrete planter in Strathcona (at Jackson and Powell) and creating a Canada 150+ street banner for the City of Surrey.
Some upcoming projects that I’m really excited about are creating a 4’ x 700’ design for the Front Street Mews Barrier in New Westminster and a mural for Vancouver Mural Fest. (Sarah's note: these projects are finished, check them out on Sandeep's instagram)
What or Who are you inspired by right now?
I’m inspired by so many artists right now: Tyler Keeton Robbins, Meera Sethi, Rajni Perera, Nep Sidhu, Nina Chanel, Robert Young, Tom Hackney, to name a few. I’m inspired by the positive, female-centred art community - Thrive Art Studio - run by artists Jamie Smith and Tara Galuska, which I'm fortunate to be a part of.
Have you had any creative 'aha' moments?
Do the work! It’s the only path to success. I basically have no life; I take care of my son, Safa, Monday through Friday, so my work hours are restricted to when he naps and after he goes to bed in the evenings. I also take him to work meetings and studio visits with me. The lack of time has definitely made me more productive and focused.
Be professional. The art community is small and reputation is everything. A lot of my recent opportunities have come from people I’ve already worked with.
Thanks so much Sandeep!
Are you inspired? I know I am. I'm blown away by all of the incredible, heartfelt, meaningful work Sandeep has created over the last year. What about you? I'd love it if you shared this post with your friends and family.