Toronto is a breeding ground for creative minds from all over the world to come together, learn and perfect their ability to self-express. The positive affects of this “melting pot” culture are no more prevalent than in the visual arts community. I have been exposed to an incredible network of artists who all help shape the vibrant fabric of the city.
When thinking of the perfect person to do my first feature on—a person who embodies all of these qualities—I instantly turned to the Toronto-based graffiti artist Flips BSC (Blurred Sight Cleared).
Flips is a man of many talents: he is a gifted graphic designer, storyteller, tattoo artist and a whiz with a spray can in hand. His signature “Le Swirl Style” can be seen all over the city, and like all of his work, it’s about more than just the aesthetic. In his own words:
“Mirroring life, the swirls represent the state of flux that exists in life, a beautiful mess of movement and energy. At the heart of each line cluster exists a circle that represents the individual soul, linked to others through infinite ties. A grouping of swirls signifies a community bound by creativity.”
Flips also has an incredible connection with cannabis that both inspires and permeates his work. He speaks fondly of the vibe created around smoking and how it is perfect for spawning creativity and making connections between your inner and outer self:
“Smoking the herb allows me to settle in my own thoughts and evaluate what is important and inspirational through the examination of inner self. A lot of cool shit is hidden beneath the everyday hustle of people, looking within seems to clear that blur, at least for me…. Many of my closest friends I found through sending smoke signals. This is true even through my travels, I know some folks who don’t even speak the same language as me, but when we burn somehow the communication flows! Good or bad, smoking reveals peoples inner selves to others, and for me it has been a great way to spark creativity amongst the blunt of homies.”
This article merely scratches the surface of depth and vision put into each of Flips’ creations. It has been an enlightening journey getting to know him over the years, and I would encourage everyone reading this to check out his work and follow one of the city’s most spiritual artists.
Peace. Love. Unity.