Montreal’s Studio has maintained a small but tight operation for over a decade now. It’s consistently put out solid videos showcasing some of our favorite Canadian underground talent. Andrew McGraw, and more recently Zander Mitchell, are primary examples of this. In addition, the brand’s visual aesthetic has always stood out.
V： I really like the aesthetic of the brand. Clean and refined. Where do you draw inspiration from?
J： I guess my whole life has bled into it. I did a creative arts college program for a couple years after high school and my grandfather was an art director and a painter. He art directed magazines in the fifties through the seventies. And he did old school layout, like all cut and paste and I’d watch him do that. I think it’s just my personal taste over the years. The older I got, the more my tastes went a certain way in the things that I liked and then I just pulled from that. Once I discovered Paul Rand and Saul Bass and all these graphic designers from the forties, fifties, and sixties, that really got me excited because it was a style of design that seemed timeless. And sometimes it’s just whatever, like going through my two-year-old’s books or old store signage, Laura has great taste, she’s always giving me good ideas. I’ll just get inspired and go from there. Growing up in the nineties too, like old World Industries and Girl and Chocolate and all that stuff was what I grew up on. So it’s just a mishmash of all these different things.
V： I read that your parents were beatniks.
J： I guess hippies, yeah. Well, my grandparents were the original beatniks, my mom’s parents. My grandfather is from Leeds, England, and my grandmother is 100% Lebanese from Newfoundland, Canada. They met in the forties. My granddad was right out of the show Mad Men, that type of person. Really creative, really smart, drank all day, smoked cigarettes all day and smoked weed when no one smoked weed and ran a gay magazine in the fifties when that was a really risqué thing to do. So they raised my mother and her two sisters with a ridiculous amount of freedom and creativity. They were really into the arts as well. So yeah, that just bled down into my mother and then my mother became a singer/voice actress and she’s still into it. So definitely the arts were encouraged and I was supported in anything I wanted to do.
V： That’s interesting. Really forward thinking.
J： Yeah, they’re really into movies and music and we grew up like that; really into all the arts. And then going to school, I really focused a lot during my creative arts program on film. I remember when I was in my late teens, I thought I just wanted to make movies. Even though I’d barely done anything but I was so pumped on movies from the sixties and seventies, which all led into skate videos I guess.
Read the full interview here.