Residents of the Rockies have no shortage of inspiration when it comes to art. We”re surrounded by it, our neighbours are creating it and we quite literally live in the heart of it. Our home serves as fuel for the creative fires stoked inside so many who feel a deep connection to our area.
For northern artist Robbie Craig, Banff is a special place. The beauty of the landscape draws him in. The connections and relationships he has here help him to grow as an artist, just like they have done within the northern art community of the Northwest Territories where he resides with his wife and daughter.
Though he did sketch in his youth, ultimately it was a move to a remote community with a sparse population of 130 that spurred Craig”s decision to start creating again. Ten years later, he”s gone from sketching as a hobby to stave of boredom to full blown success, selling originals and prints both internationally and within Canada. In a joint effort with his wife Nicole, he has expanded his artistic portfolio, creating a Christmas ornament line as well as scarves and jewelry all featuring his original artwork.
“I started sketching and sketching led to people saying, “wow, those are pretty cool,” and then it turned into painting,” Craig said. “I had never painted before, so I just started pulling from my own experiences, my landscape and the things I was feeling connected to.”
Connection is a theme in Craig”s life; his connection online casino to the land inspires him, his family and community lift him up in his success and his connections within the art world help him to grow his style. When I asked him what his advice was for budding artists looking to break into the art scene, he recommended making those connections for yourself. “A photographer, a poet, a writer, maybe another artist you look up to,” he suggested. “More so, find a little group where you”re all focused on the same end goal, and that”s doing what you love and creating full-time.”
A self-taught artist, Craig sees the value in developing your own style and finding your own voice in the art community. His advice is to “look different and be different.” Without a doubt it”s clear to see that he has achieved this in his own projects.
When I asked him what project he has burning on his mind, without a moment of hesitation, he said, “Rundle, I really want to paint Rundle Mountain.” Despite having a collection of interesting photos of his subject, he says he hasn”t quite found the right one yet. “That”s a big part of it too,” Craig says. “I know one day I”m going to come back and I”m going to get that photo I”m after or it”s going to be in my mind the way that it needs to be painted.”