Simon Charles Raskina is a creative and hardworking Toronto-based artist who markets and sells his own artwork. He is the owner and founder of SimonArt.
He has been selling his art for six years now. He saw a glimpse of the artist he could be at the age of six, when his grandma gave him a book about how to draw comics the Marvel way. Then in grade eight, he took a painting class, where he was assigned a project with watercolors. He had never used paints before. The moment his paintbrush touched the canvas, he fell in love. Somehow, it seemed like he had been painting for years. He subconsciously knew technique, shading, pressure and color. He felt like he was free from the world, that he had found his own superpower.
Simon sold his first art piece when he was only 16-years-old. It was a vibrant abstract titled Music’s Edge. After high school, he thought that he had to go to university for art, so he applied and got in to York University’s fine arts program. But he found himself bored there. He realized that he already knew how to paint, what he didn’t know was how to make the world know about his talent.
So, he went to Seneca College for marketing and business management. While at Seneca, he competed in the Ontario Marketing Competition, where he placed 5th out of 24 schools. He graduated at Seneca College with his Marketing and Business Management diploma in December 2014.
He says that during his time at Seneca, he gained a greater understanding about distribution, networking, time management, product orientation and promotion. But most importantly, he says he learned that he excels as a marketer because he doesn’t think like one. Instead, he thinks like an artist. He thinks outside the box.
Simon completed his first wall mural when he was 19. After being limited to canvases in high school, Simon says he felt it was his responsibility as an artist to tackle a more challenging space. His mural was of life size superheroes and their villains- a testament to his childhood. It took him four weeks to paint two 16 x 7ft walls. He says that finishing this mural was a milestone in his artistic life.
Last year, he went backpacking in southern India for four months to explore the area’s art scene. While there, he met and learned from local street artists and visited churches and art galleries. Simon also studied under classically trained Bengal artists at a sculpture factory, where he learned the art of fiber glass sculpting. Creating three-dimensional art gave Simon a broader understanding of proportion and realism and inspired him to push himself to greater heights as an artist.
Simon paints his perception of the world around him, taking in influences from the music he listens to, such as punk, heavy metal and classic rock and smudging in to every brush stroke. He has painted animals, people, landscapes and abstracts. His paintings can be distinguished by his use of psychedelic colors.