It comes as no shock that the GTA is riddled with talented artists who have only been more and more brought to light with the sudden burst of Toronto flare. With the help of artists like Drake, PartyNextDoor and Tory Lanez, Toronto and the suburbs surrounding it have been brought to light as a hub for artistic talent.
Among them is David Ellington II, a talented photographer from my hometown of Brampton, Ontario. This artist has used his talent and social media influence to showcase GTA street life and culture for all that it is. Shooting local artists and locations to show people the small beauties that we often take for advantage in daily life.
1. How did you first start your photography career?
I had interest in photography at St. Roch Secondary school, where people majored in Arts across all areas. I didn’t join the program right away as I didn’t know if I wanted to commit to this area of work. Eventually I went to Humber College and took photography there and ended up with a lot of positive feedback from my teachers, friends and family.
2. What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in photography?
What sparked my interest was being able to display my perspective of thinking towards certain art pieces and scenarios and being able to tell a story or portray a certain emotion.
3. What school do you go to? and what for?
I go to Humber college enrolled in the Media Communications program; currently second year.
4. What are you future career plans?
My future career plans is to become a freelance photographer and videographer and hopefully open up my own business.
5. How would you describe your style for those who don’t know you?
My styles go abroad into different subjects as I am very diverse and have close connections with many genres. Id say my most common style is more urban/hip-hop area taking pictures of artists, everyday people and a lot of behind the scenes shots.
6. What do you like to focus your photography on? (What message are you trying to send?)
I like to focus on sharpness and the model/person is always comfortable being themselves. I like to get shots in the moment where the subject dosnt have to feel pressured to show their true colors and be natural in front of the lens.
7. What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?
The most difficult part of about being a photographer would have to be the completion. Everybody is competing to display their work, differentiating yourself from other artworks is what makes people stand out therefore, finding your own style and pattern of being noticeable is what makes things hard.
8. How do you feel about the growing artistic scene in the GTA? Do you think Toronto has finally put Canada on the map? Do you think art has taken over Toronto or made it better?
I believe the art industry expanding throughout the GTA is exactly what everybody was waiting for. It gives a lot of people the chance to show their work and help connect local citizens to the large companies that need media to expand their business. I do believe Toronto has put Canada on the map in terms of media and entertainment. Even though I am from Brampton,ON I’ve noticed that across the cities such as Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto have really been pushing a lot of creative ideas from music, photography, videography, and digital art. This advancement I believe its made Toronto and as well as the rest of the GTA better than it was before and opening new ways of creativity and business that has never been seen before.
9. Do you feel as though being an artist is becoming more accepted in society as opposed to traditional educational paths? (lawyers, doctors)
100%. Being an artist to me is the same as having traditional jobs such as lawyers and doctors because every job serves a purpose. As an artist getting your view on a subject is our purpose. This can easily be seen as a good marketing scheme for business that would like to brand and promote.
10. What advice would you give someone who is attempting to pursue a career in an artistic field?
Be true to yourself, don’t try and be somebody that you are not. People that do have similar interests in things that you are interested in will follow.
Note from the artist: My names David Ellington II also go by the name of EPROD, Live in Brampton, I’m 19 turning 20 on March 10. I used to play OYSL soccer on the North Mississauga Panthers for 6 years. I produce a lot of work with a lot of local music artists around the GTA. Id like people to know that they can send me emails if they feel inspired by my work or even if they would like to contact me they can do so as well as direct message me on Instagram.
Instagram: @E.PROD, Email: OfficialEprod@gmail.com
Now lets talk about on of my great friends Harman, easily one of the most beautiful and kind souls out there, her personality and love of life is easily reflected in her art. There is no shortage of talent within this woman, she definitely raises the bar for GTA artists everywhere.
1. How would you describe your style of drawing?
Very colorful, I feel like I dabble in all sort of styles and I’m still trying to develop my own.
2. What do you like to focus your art on?
My art usually focuses on my emotions. When I’m happy I tend to use brighter colors and when I’m not doing so well you can see it pretty clearly in my art work.
3. What do you aspire to do with your art in the future?
I hope to open my own art gallery, for those people who cannot afford to put their art into big fancy galleries. I know it was a struggle to get recognized and having a supporting community means having more budding artists, and what us more human than the need to create?
4. What school do you go to? what program?
I go to Wilfrid Laurier University, and I’m in the Biology program.
5. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
My biggest accomplishment would be that I have established enough clientele that I am constantly painting. This was something that I was told over and over and over again that I would not be able to make money doing, my back account says different.
6. What do you want people to know about you and your art?
I want people to know that I am creating for myself and through that hoping others see the beauty in what I’m trying to do. I want people to know that this was not overnight but has taken years and years of practice. It is not a fluke I can draw well; it is hard work. I want people to know that artists are the reason they have games, music, magazines, etc., and that I want people to support my art while I am still alive.
7. Where can people find you?
I can be found on Instagram and Twitter, @_harmaniac, and on snapchat: HarmanAthwal (or hiding in my apartment, painting the days away)
8. What are your biggest influences in regards to your art?
Above all else my inspiration is my mother, she wanted to be an artist all her life but due to her circumstances she was never able to pursue it. She inspires me to follow my dreams no matter what. The other huge influence in my life are all the people in the world who cannot follow their dreams because of the situations they are in. I feel like I owe it to these people who would give an arm and leg to be in position, to follow my passion, no matter what others say.