Discover artist Callen Schaub and his vibrant creative world. Inspired by the rawness of colours and emotions, he continuously pushes the boundaries of painting.
Callen demonstrates his authentic creative process through public performances given in “The Arena,” his self-designed, portable studio. Get carried away by this passionate artist’s mesmerizing, fast-moving technique.
DeSerres: Can you describe a key moment in your artistic journey?
Callen: Throughout my years as a student at OCAD University, I took a life painting course in which we were asked to do a realistic painting. During the process, I became mesmerized by the swirl of colours at the tip of the brush. I was forever fascinated by the marbling of colours and dedicated my creative energy to exploring that effect, expanding it and enlarging it. It became my mission, and my fate has been sealed ever since.
DeSerres: What role does art play in your life?
Callen: Creating art is my life’s purpose. I also feel a sense of responsibility to help inspire and make the world a more colourful place. The process of making art has been a personal and therapeutic experience. Also, it has proven to be helpful to others struggling with their own artistic, mental health or education journeys.
DeSerres: What is your creative process?
Callen: I prefer to create in silence. When I step into the “The Arena,” it is like I am having a spiritual experience. I become one with the present moment, free from distractions and expectations. I am also committed to regularly showing my work live on social media, to keep inspiring and instilling passion into my community. I could paint all day, every day! However, being an entrepreneur also implies having many other things to do.
DeSerres: What do you like most about doing art performances?
Callen: The live audience—their energy is simply inspirational. I get to break down the walls and open dialogue with the crowds. I find it blurs the line of what art is, as it simultaneously brings the studio, the act of creating, the artist and the audience together. The reaction from the public, whether in person or during a live stream, provides me with all the strength I need to create. There is a collaborative nature to my work, and I am proud to share it with the world.
DeSerres: How important is social media in your life, and how does it influence your work?
Callen: Social media has taken over my life! It is a wonderful tool and it has afforded me the ability to take control of my career and destiny in ways that were not possible before. I present myself openly to an ever-expanding global community. I particularly love the fact that I have been able to connect with young fans from all over the world through my online presence. I am proud to be able to inspire them in any way, as they represent the future!
DeSerres: Is giving back to the community important to you, and which organizations are you involved with?
Callen: Giving back to the community is very important to me, and I do my best to try and help people in need. I am currently involved with two organizations that help support Canadians: one that supports victims of bullying and another that supports COVID-19 relief efforts.
Poptivisim - Popsockets for Bullying Canada: A fundraising campaign to support victims of bullying.
Call and Response - Jacket Rokkusutā: A creative collaboration with Canadian designers involving the creation of handmade leather jackets on which I paint original artwork. Profits from jacket sales are donated to COVID-19 relief efforts of the buyer’s choice.
DeSerres: What advice would you give to emerging artists?
Callen: Prepare yourself for some hard work and tough times ahead. It is not going to be an easy path, but it is worth it for yourself and for the rest of us. It is important to create a supportive community for yourself in whatever you do. Surround yourself with positive influences and reach out to them whenever you need to. Allow yourself the time to explore and develop your passions—and this—without comparison. There is so much content out there and we can easily compare ourselves to other artists, so it is important to find your own voice, especially when you are starting.
DeSerres: What are your favourite DeSerres products, and why?
Callen: I really enjoy working with Art Resin Epoxy, as it has a fantastic finish and really makes colours shine. I enjoy the many options of hand tools and palette knives that my local DeSerres has; they allow me to experiment with my designs so that I can effectively translate my vision. Finally, Tri-Art Acrylic Paint is my go-to paint from DeSerres. It has a very vibrant colour palette and the perfect flow for the kind of work I do.
*photo credits : Callen Schaub, Spencer Robertson, Mike Anderson