When you walk into a space, there is an immediate connection to how you feel in it. Think about how you feel when you are in a room with bare white walls or a room full of interesting art. The presence of art gives a room personality as well as evokes energy and emotions. An artful expression can positively affect our mood, making us feel happier, calmer, and even inspired.

The design team at 18 Erskine believes in infusing our environments with one-of-a-kind art that celebrates living life to the fullest. With that goal in mind, we commissioned one of Toronto's leading visual artists to create original artwork for our building.

Vivid, bold, contemporary, and playful

Meet Thrush Holmes, a Toronto-based artist, entirely self-taught in painting and mixed media. His work is spontaneous and experimental, blending traditional artistic themes such as nudes, still life flowers, and poetic landscapes with a punk sensibility. His art redefines contemporary by his varied and inventive use of materials (spray paint, neon light, driveway sealant, and oil stick), which elevate an aggressive exploration of romance and mythology. Holmes' work is found in permanent collections worldwide including the Elton John Aids Foundation, Sony Music, Dreamworks Studio, and Def Jam Records, among others.

We sat down with the busy artist Thrush Holmes to ask a few questions.

Q: What inspires you?
A: There's no particular thing that inspires me the most. I don't wait for inspiration to arrive; rather I just get to work. The notion of still-life, and working within a specific framework, has occupied my attention for a long time. Flowers are a marked tendency for me because they're universal and seductive. Through repetition of the same, I'm able to find permutations. I explore other common motifs as well—nudes, landscapes, etc. 
 
Q: What inspires the medium and materials you choose, particularly the use of Neon? 
A: I am a painter first and foremost. I began incorporating neon into my work 11 years ago. It's become very familiar to me and I treat it much the same way that I do paint. I'm not overly precious or pretentious with it, nor is it an afterthought. Creating a balanced and interesting relationship between multiple mediums is something I'm quite comfortable with, yet it's always exciting.
 
Q: Explain your creative process.
A: I'm in the studio most days. I do not wait for divine intervention. I just get down to business, regardless of feelings or worries. As a result, there are many flaws. If I'm loose but confident, it will show in the work—the paintings will appear effortless and honest. If I'm not, that will show in the paintings too. I usually work on several paintings simultaneously so that all my effort is not exhausted in one piece at any time. They can take anywhere from an afternoon to a year to complete. Sometimes after I've worked on a painting, I put it away and don't look at it for months, then revisit. Certain paintings benefit from an incubation period. Others benefit from being executed spontaneously and confidently without too much analysis. 

We hope this inspires your creative energy to create and decorate your suite to reflect your personality and joy for life.