Interview with contemporary artist Mahaloness

Mahaloness is a contemporary artist from Calgary specializing in full spectrum painting, mural, animation and digital hybrid art. We have conducted an interview with him.

How long have you been specializing in full spectrum painting, mural, animation and digital hybrid art?

I have been developing my full spectrum art over the last 15 years, really honing in on my skill set in the last ten years. I went full immersion while in Toronto in 2004 attending film school with the aim to become a filmmaker. I was on a quest of self-discovery, with the desire to learn the art of self-expression. While in film school I was introduced to storytelling, and skill sets necessary to make a film. One of the skills I learned was storyboarding which put me into a regular practice of visualization and translating that into drawing. While in Toronto I was regularly exploring and documenting my experiences through street photography, writing and drawing. This was my first real encounter with urban art and culture, including my introduction to graffiti and later, the gallery system. After attending my first professional showing, my interest in painting began to reemerge. Since that time I have picked up a variety of skills and continue to advance my experience with digital technologies including animation and hybrid art forms.

Which form of art is your favorite?

Each art form serves a purpose and lends to one another, each component is of equal importance, equanimity in other words. Drawing has been the backbone of my artistic practice due to the fact that it has always been easily accessible, even as a young kid. Through my drawing practice I have, over the years, sculpted or refined a style for myself. This style has become a blueprint from which I develop most of my artworks in one way or another. You might be familiar with my 'white lodge book' posts on Instagram, these are some samples of my drawing and if not I invite you have a look on my IG and see those for yourself.

When did you first begin creating digital hybrid art?

I was first introduced to computers in junior high school. This was when computers were a completely brand new and a foreign tool. Now, try to understand or imagine the impact that this newly emergent technology had on my imagination! I remember just looking at a computer wondering, what could I do with this? What could I create or bring to life? It was fresh and very exciting for me. Years went by and I got myself my first Mac computer. I became fascinated with the Mac paint program, a basic digital painting software. I would take my photographs that I had converted into digital files and use the paint program to begin drawing or "digitally painting" onto them. At that time I really had no idea about where this was all heading, I was just very excited by this new process.

*To this day, I still utilize these digital tools when bringing my analog images into a different dimension with new possibilities for texture, dimension and expression. As I continued to work at my skills the technology itself kept improving, and things that were inaccessible or difficult became a little more accessible both in terms of usefulness and cost. Before the advent of this technology, art forms like animation and even painting were extremely laborious, time-consuming and in some cases involved a lot of people and/or steps to complete or bring to fruition. Now we have the capability to layer our pieces or to combine various forms of media into one project. It has been exceptionally exciting to live through the development of such an evolution and my hybrid artwork is the result of this. It is the living reflection and representation of this movement.

Which are the most inspiring subjects in your art?

I think the imagination is perhaps one key ingredient in my art and artistic practice. It is with the imagination that I am able to develop a sense of curiosity, both for the natural world and the human created worlds that we inhabit. I am very much interested in the relationship between these two worlds. I am also interested in ancient art, some of which dates back to at least one hundred thousand years before present, and likely earlier. I am inspired by symbology and the visual language that has been passed down the line to artists like myself, and feel I have a responsibility to pass that forward.

What kind of software and tools do you use for the animation works?

For my analog works I use drawing, painting and photography. For my digital pieces I currently utilize an iPad, with various applications such as timelapse, digital paint, and softawre such as Adobe bundles to help bring the hybrids to life.

What do you have planned for the upcoming RAW Calgary ENVISION showcase on Jan 18th?

I would like to take people on a visual journey, which will include a live painting. My live art portion is an open invitation to the public and fellow artists. It is a process, meant to evoke participation, connection, thoughts and feelings.

I will also be creating a minimotion and perhaps some hybrid arts throughout the night. The goal is to share some of my knowledge, stories and experiences in order to reveal some of the techniques that I employ in my process. I encourage people to take what they learn so that they may apply it within their own chosen mediums. We will work together in order to promote and provoke the imagination with the potential to start a chain reaction. So come and be part of the chain reaction!

I really invite people to check my work out on my IG, and my website, Mahaloness, where I regularly share my art with you, and is a great way for you to get to know me and my art! I am all about engagement and inspiring others, and to be inspired, because we are all connected! Shane will be one of 50+ artists showcasing the upcoming RAW Calgary ENVISION showcase at the Marquee on Jan 18th, 2018. For event information and to purchase tickets to the event visit:

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