Art Gallery of Alberta

Get With That September VIBE

Blog Post Written by Justine Sander

It’s Autumn—and in Alberta, it is fleeting. The crisp air, the changing leaves, the start of school—some believe that these signify the true start to the year. In these new beginnings we find a renewed sense of inspiration in the beauty of the seasonal change.

At the AGA we encourage you to explore this season of renewal with us and other local artists at Vibe, our monthly live music and art showcase. In September, VIBE brings forth the perfect autumn inspiration with the smooth 60’s sounds of local pop band Cantoo, and the experimental painting and drawing workshops led by local artist Tim Rechner.

To dive further into the world of artistic creativity and the importance of being involved within the art community we interviewed the two featured artists for VIBE this month.

What does being creative mean to you?

Aaron Parker (Cantoo): Being creative for me is about trying to get my conscious mind out of the way and use my subconscious to make something that is surprising and interesting to me. Creativity is something accessible to everyone and connects us with our instincts and the parts of ourselves that are hidden away. When we create art we have the potential to learn about ourselves and connect with others as well.

Tim Rechner (Artist): For me creating art is not a choice. It is a necessity, a need. Therapy. Release of tension. If I don’t do it, I don’t feel good. 

Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

Aaron Parker: When I was in about grade 3 I went to a restaurant called Showbiz Pizza that was an early form of Chuck E. Cheese. There were animatronic bears that sang and moved in a very jerky way. It was pretty bad, but they sang “Hey Jude” which I had never heard before. The melody and words were so strong that I was unable to forget them. I remember that the feeling of the song came through to me even in the most unsuitable context. I’m not sure I immediately decided that I had to create, but I did develop an obsession with melody that set me on a path to being a song writer.

Tim Rechner: I have always enjoyed making art. My mother and her mother are/were very creative people and they always encouraged my brothers and I to explore art making. Grade nine art class was a turning point. Grade twelve art class I started getting serious.

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Aaron Parker: Somewhere along the way, I was told that there’s nothing new under the sun. I don’t remember who said it since it’s such a cliché. But when I applied it to song writing it was a big revelation. I was always paralyzed by the thought of doing something new and modern, but when I started to accept that I was influenced by certain artists and that my art would always remind people of something else, it became easier to write songs. Ironically, getting over the idea of being new and fresh was the first step to finding my own spin on pop music.

Tim Rechner: I think the best advice is just telling myself to make stuff. I try to force myself to do it when I don’t feel like doing it. I make art very intuitively and quickly so it’s not about putting in ten hour days in the studio every day. But every moment of my life is about getting ready for the point of creation. The moment when I am facing the blank canvas. 

Why do you think that involving yourself within the art community (whether that be music related or other) is important for yourself? What about for others?

Aaron Parker: Aside from the obvious benefits of finding band members and getting gigs, being a part of the community is encouraging because my artist friends inspire me with their art and with conversations about creating. It’s also important to have people who can relate to the artistic drive. It makes me feel less like an alien sometimes. I think it is beneficial for anyone who wants to create art of any kind to have at least a small community to lean on. Since there’s not much money in original art/music these days we need inspiration and reminders of why we do what we do. It’s especially important to get to know people whose work you really respect. It helps to be inspired and to keep the standards high.

Tim Rechner: Being connected to other artists is extremely important for me. I have lived in two very unique artist communities in ArtsHab One and I am now at ArtsHub 118. Painting and drawing can often be solitary activities. To interact with other artists is inspiring. I love to collaborate. 

Cantoo and Tim Rechner will be at the AGA this Friday, alongside openers Pyramid//Indigo. Be sure to check out these great artists and catch the perfect post-work vibe on September 30th from 5-9pm. Buy your VIBE tickets!