ARTIST, BUILDER, LEFT-WINGER
Self-taught, self-propelled, David is one of the world’s most sought-after artists and muralists, his designs seen on everything from NHL goalie masks to race cars to canvases he brings alive at global events. We chatted in his studio at the Hockley Valley General Store, where you can visit this high-energy artist anytime.
You’ve worked with local communities on a live-painting Games-related project.
The Games were about the communities, so how they envision where they live and play is an incredible viewpoint for me to tap into when I create these canvases. I’ll be a hand that swings the brush, but this is a team effort.
Why did you move to Hockley Valley?
I moved up here for a change. We fell in love with a property right on the Nottawasaga river, and the owner had multiple offers, but he knew that an artist would appreciate it. He called me and said you’d like this and that aspect of the home. And that was my first indication of what people were like up here.
What are people like? What’s the vibe?
The key word I’ve found is eclectic. You’ve got people who’ve been here through generations, you’ve got well-to-do-people, you’ve got the new people like myself, yet everybody is here to live a very simple lifestyle. You wouldn’t know who someone is, in their overalls, cutting down a tree. It’s because that’s who they really are. This is where you can be yourself.
Where you can be real?
That’s it. You have entrepreneurs, major celebrities, then you have the farmers. There’s so many different personalities, and you don’t brag up here, you just do your thing and enjoy.
Is that feeling contagious?
Look at it this way: I get lots of celebrities and athletes up here, and while some of the people here get a little starstruck, the celebrities actually get really impressed with the people and the lifestyle up here. They get starstruck.