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Success Stories and Supermarkets: Jake Bull on Finding Prestige Post-Art Vancouver

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Represented on multiple continents, armed with international recognition and succeeding in the face of the starving artist stereotype, Jake Bull is one bright creator who has emerged from Art Vancouver with offers from India, Mexico and other countries just a tad warmer than here---even in what is already shaping up to be a summer full of hot weather.

And yes, Bull happens to live directly above a supermarket.

In fact, it is precisely these unique elements which can often provide an unlikely creative spark for the two time exhibitor, whose involvement in the show and accompanying events has only furthered his artistic endeavours and global presence.

“Inspiration is everywhere, all the time,” says Bull, whose eclectic repertoire includes everything from a vibrant painting of Superman eating soup, to a wrestler behind a hand fan, to blue hands clutching Elmer’s Glue, the quintessential elementary relic.

All it takes is one look at his Instagram page to garner a sense of how the artist uses acrylic paints and graphic art techniques to showcase a playful imagination often described as pop art. It’s a wonderfully strange world that juxtaposes the ordinary with the sensational, where Batman is wearing a paper bag over his head and a banana is transformed into the Fruitloops logo---the latter being a potential nod to his unique living situation, where “some profound idea about life and death will pop up when [he’s] buying a loaf of bread."

Unsurprisingly, Bull enjoys finding connections in the world around him and using familiar imagery in creative ways to symbolize his musings. In his own words: “Inspiration is everywhere, all the time.” It is this mantra that best speaks to his gift for unearthing miracles from the mundane, or perhaps the wisdom that suggests the two are not mutually exclusive. Either way, Bull’s talent is evident in his eye-arresting paintings; kaleidoscope canvases which tell audiences that anything can be interesting in the right colour.

But although his gallery has gained significant traction in the last few years, Bull’s transition to the art world has been a gradual one. Originally from Leicestershire, England, Bull spent 7 years working as a graphic designer creating work for a number of global brands before moving to Vancouver, his place of residence for the last two years. It’s a decision he credits as pushing him to “focus on [his] art more than [he’d] ever done before.”

“It’s only after I’d moved to Canada that I sort of drew a line in the sand,” Bull admits, before going on to give a grateful shout out to his colleagues and supporters in the lower mainland. “The Art Vancouver community has definitely motivated me over the past couple of years."

In November last year, Art Vancouver exhibited some of Bull’s work at Art Asia (South Korea), where it was spotted by the Modern Art Gallery of New Delhi. Bull subsequently consigned a painting and achieved his first gallery representation. Most recently, at this year’s Art Vancouver, Bull’s work was picked up by accompanying exhibitor, Ovalo Gallery of Mexico City, who returned to Mexico with several of his colourful paintings, canvassed proof that creativity thrives in technicolour.

Follow Jake on instagram: @masterzendo


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