Kestin Cornwall is a Toronto-based artist with a passion for large-scale art reproduction. A visit to New York City many years ago, had introduced him to wheat pasting (a liquid adhesive made from wheat flour or starch and water, used for various arts and crafts including adhering paper posters and notices to walls). It is an art form that truly inspired him due to the sheer size of the work and the way it would age over time. Overwhelmed by how art appears to look ‘used’ after being exposed to nature, he started incorporating any and every possible tool to age his works, making them appear more fragile and worn.
“I like happy mistakes in art, ink bleeds, areas that are worn away or lifted as well as art work affected by age; sun, rain and natural elements. I think some mistakes, simplicity and chance are beautiful fundamentals of creating,” Cornwall explains.
Much of his work is created by combining hand drawings, digitally removing the human hand and then forcing the element of the human hand back into the work. Check out our chat below and visit his website for more of his works.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m a minimalist. I think there is intelligence in simplicity.
Whom do you look up to?
I look up giants like Michael Jordan, Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, Harriet Tubman, Charles Bukowski and Neil Young.
How did your art career start? What made you want to become an artist?
I love to work with images, I love color and I enjoy creating things. It’s when I feel alive, it’s when I forget life problems, and it’s how I feel closest and connected.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as an artist?
Time. Time to do your craft. It’s the reason most full time artists come from middle class or upper middle homes. Not everyone has a parent that can pay their rent for six months or are able to return to a childhood bedroom. Someone to buy them their first Mac computer. To make art, you need tools, a work space, and time. To get those things on your own you have to spend time making money, not necessarily doing art. Essentially losing time, the very thing you started working to get. You know, live. Survival. Smell the roses. Eat and repeat.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
How do you define creativity?
Intelligent and deliberate steps made over time with the freedom to make mistakes.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Listen. Acquire knowledge. Put work out. Spend less time online – leave your phone at the front door.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
That’s a tough question, if I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t be where I am now. Good or bad. I think I’d spend more time with family.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for art?
I’ve lost so much as it is, even if I wanted to say no, in reality, it’s an addiction.A true love of mine, a passion, a need. I’d give everything.