Meet the artist behind the CBC hearts Kingston design
Constance Intounas shares what inspires her about the city that shaped her as an artist
Since launching last fall, CBC Ottawa's Kingston pop-up Bureau has set out to tell the stories of the city and create connections within the community.
Local artist and Queens University student, Constance Intounas has been making her mark on the city through her acrylic paintings and digital art creations. Below, she shares how Kingston has shaped her as an artist and the inspiration behind her 'CBC hearts Kingston' design along with a custom mural she and collaborator Francisco Corbett created for CBC Ottawa and the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
How did you get into art and become a creator?
I started making art at the start of the pandemic. It was pandemic summer, and I couldn't really find a job, so I had a lot of extra time. I had always been infatuated by art when I was little. I always really liked that I could use colour and make whatever I want and there were no real rules. I mean, there's techniques, but there's no one actually able to tell you ''that piece is wrong."
What is your primary art medium?
I started with digital artwork and then I eventually transitioned more into paintings and started doing acrylic paintings. So I do both digital artwork and creative paintings with acrylic.
How would you describe your style / art philosophy?
My art style is very flowy. It's supposed to really connect the community with one another. I incorporate a lot of eyes throughout my artwork and that's because I think eyes are very telling of an individual.
It's a very vulnerable part of the body and eyes are representative of everyone. It's how you interpret the world around you. I think that's the most important element of our lives in our world – the way that we interpret it in the things that we see and experience together. I incorporate that a lot into my artwork, and it's just colourful because life is vibrant and it's important to show that and show emotion and expression through my artwork.
How has living in Kingston helped shape you as a person and an artist?
I'm originally from Newmarket, Ontario. But I go to school here at Queen's University and I've been lucky enough to join the artist collective ForWorld Studios with six other artists.
I think Kingston has helped me identify myself entirely as an artist. It's provided me with the space to make art and the freedom to do so. The art community is insane here, there's so many people that I don't know that come out to support or show love to my artwork and it's really overwhelming in the best way possible. I just love Kingston for everything that it has to bring, whether it be the people, or the spaces that are available. Just everything around is very inspiring as well.
What would you tell the next generation of creators coming up in Kingston and beyond?
I think the biggest thing for me is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I just did it with the CBC painting, like in some senses I was so excited. But in others I was like, oh my gosh, like this is for CBC. This is a big deal. As an artist it made me nervous, but I feel like I've grown so much just because of this opportunity and I'm so fortunate for it.
The CBC Kingston pop-up bureau, led by CBC journalist Michelle Allan, launched in November 2021 and since has produced several stories such as:
- Eastern Ontario hospitals short-staffed because of COVID-19 spread
- Queen's review of policies on Indigenous identity claims rife with issues, say critics
- Sleeping cabins for Kingston's homeless fall short, critics say
- Kingston, Ont, has a profound doctor shortage. Here's why.
- Red tape keeps dying Kingston, Ont., man from getting care, daughter says
- Pandemic presses Kingston's need for social housing solutions
- After 14 years, boil water advisory lifted for most in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
- Historic tavern in Kingston, Ont, sold to Toronto condo broker