Justyn Smith Talks About Painting


I tend to surround myself with extremely talented visual artists, and Justyn Smith is no exception. He is a Canadian artist that currently resides in London, Ontario. Although Smith experiments with the type of art that he creates, he primarily uses hand made stencils and spray paint to recreate recognizable characters from graphic novels and movies. His incredible eye for detail when it comes to recreating these figures has gotten him a booth at the Forest City Comicon for the past two years.  In addition to visual art, Smith also studied Graphic Design at Fanshawe College. 

Slightly Less Terrible

BRIANNA BENTON: What made you decide to study Graphic Design?
JUSTYN SMITH: In high school I wanted to design video games. I took coding classes for a few years. I always made my projects look pretty but they wouldn’t work because coding made zero sense to me. Eventually my teacher got so tired of it that she told me I couldn’t go on next year. She put me into commtech where I got to use Photoshop and make videos. It was a dream come true. All I had to do was fail before I found what I loved.
BB: How did you get into creating visual art?
JS: Honestly, it was just one day I saw some spray paint videos and thought, “man I could do that.” Then I tried it out and it was absolutely terrible, but I had a lot of fun so I kept at it. So here we are today, slightly less terrible.

BB: What’s your favourite style of art?
JS: I really appreciate people who can craft things with precision, such as drawing or glass making. eally thick solid lines or just some magical looking sphere made from molten glass. It takes a lot of finesse that I don’t posses and I envy the people who can do it. 

BB: What styles have you been experimenting with? Are there any styles that you want to try but haven’t yet?
JS: Recently, I have really been into this kind of smear technique with paint, you put a bunch of cool colours in crazy patterns and then cover them up in black. Then you take something and wipe it all away and they smear in a way where everything blends together. You can check all these out on my Instagram. As for styles I want to try is super detailed paintings that require ten or more stencils to make amazingly rich imagines with so much depth.

BB: What are your career goals? Do you plan to incorporate art into your career?
JS: I would love to have my own business where I can use my paintings to promote other companies. Making specific art for large companies and one of a kind pieces for marketing campaigns. Just having my name mean something to someone. As long as I can give someone something original and unique that they can afford then I’m living the dream.
BB: Any advice to new artists?
JS: Just don’t stop. Push yourself and always try that thing you don’t think your good enough to do yet. I know you all have something you’d love to do but you don’t want to ruin it by not being skilled enough. Make a bunch of garbage, who cares if it looks bad the first time because it’ll never look worse than a blank canvas, whatever your canvas may be
Also, no matter what you do you will never be another artist, its okay to appreciate their art but you will always have something they never will, and that’s your own style. Everyone is different, its easy to compare diamonds but none of them will shine like you do.

BB: Where do you have your art displayed or on sale?
JS: Anything I have can be bought directly through me on my Facebook page or through my Etsy. I do custom orders and will paint anything I can get my hands on!