Vivek Shraya, Artist & Author

Vivek Shraya, Artist & Author

Vivek is an artist and author living in Toronto.

What is your morning routine?

6 am: Wake up. Check my socials. Gym. Stretch. Smoothie.

Tell us about your career path

My artistic path began with music. I started writing songs when I was in my early teens and then moved to Toronto to turn music into a career. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite pan out, so I diversified. I explored other art mediums like literature and film and now I am a multi-disciplinary artist.

What challenges do you or women face in your industry?

My challenges have been largely tied to how my gender is further complicated by my race. When I arrived in Toronto in 2003, my then-manager told me that labels don’t sign brown artists. Fourteen years later, this remains mostly (and frustratingly) true. This is just one example of the many barriers that women of colour face in the arts. We are tokenized, under-represented, and under-compensated.

What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?

Don’t be the next anyone! Every arts arena is swamped with artists trying to be someone else. Find YOUR OWN voice by exploring what you are drawn to and committing yourself to developing a craft.

How do you separate work life from your personal life?

I take long naps.

What inspires you?

A well-planned and executed project rollout. Recent examples include “Lemonade” and Fenty Beauty.

When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?

Yesterday, I indulged in an XL cheese and garlic pizza. This is also how I plan on bypassing the cold and flu season.

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