PHOTO CREDIT: Megan Jenkins
Chats with Sandeep Johal @ Her mural: GIRLS ARE FIERCE LIKE TIGERS
I've lived in Mount Pleasant for over a decade. I currently live a few blocks away from my mural, which is located at a transit hub I use pretty consistently. To see it on an almost daily basis is pretty special.
It was important to me that the mural had a South Asian aesthetic to reflect my heritage. There are so few South Asian artists here (for many reasons, but the main one being artists aren't encouraged in my culture) and I wanted it to inspire other South Asians who are aspiring to work in the arts. The lady on the tiger originally came from a drawing I did at a residency at the Anvil Centre in New West last year.
Favourite things about painting the mural?
One of the best parts of painting this mural was meeting so many South Asians who came by to say hi and support me. I felt honoured to be painting a mural for VMF and scared, nervous about such a big wall, especially since it was my first outdoor mural. But, I did it, with the assistance from friends, and now all I want to do is paint murals all over the place — walls, ceilings, floors, stairs, wherever. I feel so much more confident. The press I got during the mural fest has also led to different opportunities and helped me propel my career forward, which I'm eternally thankful for.
The fact that VMF exists is a win. Supporting local talents, exposing the larger community to artists, giving everyone access to public art, and beautifying otherwise bland or under-utilized spaces is only some of what VMF is doing to make Vancity better. The fact that VMF is working towards 50% of the artists being female, supporting Indigenous artists, and first time muralists is pretty awesome. Oh, and the artists get paid! :)