Jack Wass is a photographer and painter with a soft spot for black and white. He has previous experience photographing Vancouver Fashion Week, and will be doing so again this year. He has also showcased some of his paintings at the event.
Jack Wass Interview from Vancouver Fashion Week 2015
How and when did you get your start in art?
Well, I had to remain silent due to my restricting visa situation until June of 2014, so I came into the game quite late. I had a vision of establishing myself as a photographer and artist for many years, so once I was able to legally do so, I immersed myself into the art scene. Fortunately, I met a lot of very friendly and helpful people who kindly introduced me to gallery owners and artists.
Do you have muse?
I don’t have a muse per se, but I have found the vintage look I’ve been after with a woman many of us all know and love: Therés Amee. She has an elegance to her that transpires well through my photography and paintings.
What type of music are you listening to right now?
Old jazz. I have been listening to an awful lot of Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and their era’s peers. There’s just something about that type of music that does something to me. It’s the definition of cool, in my opinion.
What part of the job as an artist do you love? What part of being an artists do you detest?
I love the fact that I’m creating something that could last forever. I’m taking a thought, a simple flash of an idea or dream and manifesting that into something I can display. I’m expressing myself in a way that I was unable to before my visa situation changed. And there’s nothing about being an artist I hate. Seriously. I’m a happy man.
Which three artists inspire you and why?
Jack Vettriano is at peak position. I absolutely love his work. He’s a hero of mine. At number two, I would have to say Edgar Degas because of his ability to paint what looks like a true snapshot in time. It’s very clever and I look to emulate that in my own work. Third is Vancouver’s very own Ola Volo. I have been a fan of her work for some time and have watched her progress. She has shown me the ability to do what you love.
What do you love and hate about Vancouver?
I can’t stand the cost of living, but that’s what I put up with in order to enjoy the thing I love about Vancouver: the standard of living.
What words of advice would you give to someone starting off in the business that you wish you had been given when you were starting out?
It was a daunting task to try and make a name for myself and to take that first step to have my work shown in a gallery. But with the right attitude, application and hard work it is clearly possible. Had I known this years ago, I may be further in my career now, so just go out there and make it happen.
If your house was burning down what three things would you make sure you took out with you?
A big bag of marshmallows, graham Crackers and a bar of chocolate.
Do your parents approve of you being an artist?
Absolutely, but in the same breath I think that they find it difficult to relate to my world, as it is so different from theirs. Ultimately, they are very proud of me and know that I’m happy, which is all we both want.
If you were not an artist what other job would you like to be doing?
What is the one art trend you wish had never happened?
Some conceptual art, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I won’t bellow from my ivory tower. I’m a new and unknown artist and I don’t think I have the cachet to judge other people’s work.
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