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In Evond Blake’s garage turned art studio there is one remaining easel. Atop it sits a lonely canvas - the paint still drying. The space is too small to accommodate his growing business and so he is moving to a new house with a larger space to make his new studio. “Two maybe three times this size should do,” he says, as he looks contemplatively around the nearly empty garage.

Blake is the exception and not the rule when it comes to street artists. Few who venture out at night to allies and subway lines with an aerosol can have parlayed that hobby into a career. It began with a childhood obsession with machines and cartoon robots, then as a self-taught graffiti artist in Scarborough as a teen and finally to an internationally respected multidisciplinary visual artist.


Blake who works under the pseudonym Mediah has left his mark on the streets and art galleries of Canada, Germany, Barbados, Miami, Brazil, and Spain. His formal training in digital media design and visual effects from Seneca College allow him to mix multiple media into robotics-inspired pieces of art. The result is a stunning abstract of bright colours that seem to twist and bank on route to a violent high-speed collision.

"I'd like to be (known) as an artist that is progressive and who's doing artwork which is unusual and that hits people on a different level. I'd love that to be my legacy," Blake says. "I want my work to hit people on a spiritual level."


These art pieces can be seen in many places just

minutes from Blakes townhouse in central

Scarborough. They are wrapped around multiple

story building such as the offices of Westbury

National or stretched across the southern planform

windows of Scarborough Centre's transit station or

even found on a family couch adorning a plush throw


"He's a very well-rounded artist," Tara Dorey says, the

program director at Mural Routes - a non-profit

organization that promotes public wall art. "Not only

has he the dedication to his practice as an artist but

he also understands the project management aspect

of creating a large-scale piece of work." 


As a teenager, however, Blake’s family worried about his prospects as an emerging graffiti artist. "I only had some sort of glimpse of a successful future," Blake says. "The kind of art I was doing (my family) thought was vandalism, ‘you can't make a living off this,' they said, ‘this isn't art!'… Nobody saw the vision of what I wanted to do."

In realizing his vision, Blake has risen to the top of this niche field within the Toronto and then international art scene. "In the graffiti art world, he had a lot of respect because he really is one of the first graffiti artists that has really stayed around and made a professional career around the art form," Dorey says.

Despite this recognition, Blake tries to distance himself from being labelled a graffiti artist because of the stigma that is still attached to it - particularly as a black man. "It can put you in a box. Even though I have professional skills, a client list, and a studio, it doesn't matter. It locks you in," he says. "But I can't deny that I come from graffiti culture." 

Perhaps this seemingly improbable journey was never in doubt if you believe everything happens for a reason – as Blake does. "It wasn't up to me. Sometimes things are in you - divinely put in you- and so that’s what you do," he said.

Blake sees the force and inspiration behind his art as ultimately spiritual. "There is so much dialogue (between this spirit and with the art piece itself) that happens when I'm creating, especially when I'm in the thick of it and when I'm really enjoying myself,” he said “My mind stretches, and there is a flood memories and different kind thoughts when I'm deep into my artwork, and there's this prayer happening at the same time.”

"It's an unusual three-way conversation that happens," Blake says, between this sprit, the artist and the artwork itself. With the shake of a spray can, these voices begin battle in a clamorous symposium hidden within this artist's mind - then out bursts his soul for all to see.  

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Westbury  National mural

to see a world in a spray can

And a heaven in a wild art 

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