Episode 10: "Process". Oliver Pauk, Fine Art Photographer / Mixed Media Artist.  Recorded in The Junction, Toronto.

My guest, Oliver Pauk, is a fine arts photographer and mixed media artist whose work has been  exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Europe.  Oliver has followed a unique path to becoming a visual artist.  He studied economics at the University of Toronto with the idea of heading into investment banking.  While in school he changed gears and decided to play music for a living, his instrument – the alto sax.  While playing in bands, he re-discovered his passion for photography and over time that became his central focus.  Oliver’s got a unique perspective in that he’s completely self-taught and arrived to his life’s work following an unconventional path.

Three years after leaving school, Oliver launched Akin Collective, an artist-sharing space with his friend Mike Dellios.   The original goal was to rent out studio space for 8-10 of their friends who had a similar difficulty in finding affordable studios to work in the city.  Today, 160 artists share 19,000 sq feet of work space in completely artist-run Akin studios.  

Oliver and I talk about his inanimate collaborators – the various software he uses and how he finds unexpected results by pushing them past their programming.  We talk about following your intuition and trusting your gut, and the various stages of discovery and transformation his work goes through; we talk about finding your tribe; people that you can share with and get feedback from.

For this episode that focuses on process, transformation and discovery, we finish it with a piece by New York composer Michael Hix from his release Aeon.  In in its elegant 7 minutes, the song has has a snake-like quality in the way it repeatedly sheds its skin and becomes something new and recognizable at the same time.   It mirrors in many ways the process of discovery that Oliver works with he’s trying to uncover what he’s making. 

Oliver Recommends: 
Book: "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig
Instagram: Oliver Pauk
Facebook: Akin Collective
Some Links to Oliver's Work in Galleries:
Angell Gallery
Patrick Mikhail
Episode Song Playlist: Michael Hix , "II"
 from the Album "Aeon"
, New York, USA.