Arts·Q&A

For the next month, this is the embroidered face of CBC Arts

To make our August profile pic, street artist Shalak Attack swapped the spray cans for thread.

To make our August profile pic, street artist Shalak Attack swapped the spray cans for thread

Shalak Attack is August's logo artist. (Shalak Attack)

Every month, we feature a new take on the CBC Arts logo created by a Canadian artist. Check out our previous logos!

Who's that girl? According to the artist, she's "defiantly free" — a "colourful poem of flowers [and] sunsets."

And she's also the face of CBC Arts — at least for the month of August.

Toronto-based street artist Shalak Attack contributed the design. As a muralist, she's left her rainbow trail in every continent but Antarctica, but she swapped the spray cans for an embroidery needle on this particular assignment. She shared a few thoughts about the project over email.

Name: Shalak Attack
Homebase: Toronto

Let's talk about your design! What inspired your take on the CBC Arts logo?

Colourful portraits are something that I have done since I was very young. I think someone who knows my work would see this piece and recognize it was one of my creations.

Why is colour so important in your work?

Colour was always my escape, my rebellion. I felt my most complete — at peace and satisfied — when I was using bold and intense colour. It's an integral part of my being.

Clandestinos's Winnipeg mural. (www.shalakattack.com)

A lot of people might be familiar with your murals, but how long have you been working with textiles/embroidery? What drew you to that medium?

Textiles were always part of my life creatively. My Abuelita Hilda would sew our clothes when we were children and we learned at a very young age how to use a sewing machine. Later, I would alter almost all of my clothing to make it unique and fit better. I would sew my own stuffed animals, etc. In university, I took a fibre art class and my eyes were opened on how I could take fibres to a next level.

About 2-3 years ago, my artist cousin Alejandra Monreal came over for a creation session and she introduced me to embroidering. I instantly loved it and started making a bunch! Posting them, I received such great feedback and started making more and exhibiting and selling them.

What's the project you're most proud of?

This is definitely a tough question. Each one makes me proud in one way or another. One that stands out with a handful of emotionally impacting projects is a mural I did with my partner Bruno Smoky. (Together we create under the name Clandestinos Art.) In 2016 we were invited to Winnipeg for the Wall-to-Wall mural festival and a solo art exhibit at Graffiti Gallery, where we created a massive mural dedicated to the missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Find Shalak Attack's mural series "Frozen Memories" in Toronto at the King St. E/Adelaide underpass. (www.shalakattack.com)

Who is the last artist you discovered online?

So, I'm really bad with names, but to tell you the truth, after being approached by CBC Arts I went and checked out your Instagram page and found a waterfall of amazing Canadian artists! I started following several amazing artists and I recommend that others check out the CBC Arts Instagram page to find them, too!

What work of art do you wish you owned?

Imagine owning a Frida Kahlo piece? It would be too good to be true! I've loved her since I was a child and our mom introduced us to her work and life story. Her passion and struggle to keep creating throughout her physical challenges is very inspiring, but also her unique artistic style and voice are on another level!

Where can we see more from you?

Definitely on the local streets of Toronto, but also all across Canada, the U.S., Latin America and Europe or virtually on my website or Instagram (@shalakattack)!

A closer look at Shalak Attack's embroidery. (Shalak Attack)

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