Vish Purgass is a creative entrepreneur and multi-disciplinary artist.

He's a digital designer, ink artist and diehard surfer who is proud to call Nova Scotia home. Vish settled on the Eastern Shore (just outside of Dartmouth) via London, England and a one-month stint in Vancouver. 

He says "there is an energy here that doesn’t really exist anywhere else. There's access to the ocean and nature that's relatively untouched. More importantly, it's the people that make me want to stay." 

Tonight at Bodega, Vish is popping-up with his newest collection of artwork and apparel: The Assembly of Ink.  

He is our first artist-in-residence and the first local designer to bring his creations to the Elizabeth Brown Common Space, a dedicated area within the shop that is available for short-term rentals. To kick-off the new tradition, we interviewed Vish about his creative process and a few behind-the-scenes truths, like his secret point of pride and the most awesome thing he's ever done. Let's take a look...

1. What does your workspace look like? Where do you make things? 

I'm so transient, I’ll work anywhere. My studio is usually wherever I can spread out my artwork and tools. I’m very mobile. I could be anywhere, but these days I'm usually at a desk that’s in front of a big window that’s looking at the ocean. 

2. How do you feel when someone buys your art?

That process is enriching because you’re sharing. I love sharing with people, especially with my ink work because they’re completely one-of-a-kind pieces. watching someone pick a piece out, their soul gets through that. I like knowing that unique piece is going to live on with someone else. Sometimes they’ll send me a photograph of what it looks like framed, because I have no idea what it’s going to look like. I have no idea what to expect. 

3. When was the last time you felt stuck or uninspired, and what did you do?

The last two months — January and February. I know in that place because the starting point is hard to initiate. You feel heavy in the head as well. You don’t feel light at all. 

What did I do? I meditated. I observed science. I went inwards to explore what’s happening inside of me and, not really trying to analyze but just kind of experience it all. I head out into the wide open space of the beach and be free, almost, and eventually stuff starts to come to you. 

4. What are you secretly most proud of? 

It’s a secret!

I guess I’m proud of my staying power — in a place where it’s very hard to make a go of it, in my times of almost packing my bags and leaving, I haven’t. I’ve stuck around. Having that grit to keep going despite hard times. 

5. Where do you think that comes from? 

I apply something that I read a while back “whatever you think, think the opposite.” I’ve been applying that in my design world and my spiritual world. Human nature is that we tend to run away from things. So I try to remember that and when something happens, you towards it and face it and experience, whether it’s good or bad. Only good things come out the other side. 

6. What's the most awesome thing you've ever done? 
Move to Nova Scotia. There’s the vulnerable side of that, where you have no idea what to expect, coming from the UK. Also snowboard. And I've driven across Canada and back, that was pretty awesome.
7. Where would you love to see your work showcased by the end of your life? 
All over the world. Globally, for sure. 

Last but not least, the lightning round!

  • Are a morning person or a night owl? Night owl. 
  • Beer or wine? Beer. 
  • Do you prefer to fly solo or be part of a team? Collaborating, for sure.
  • The beach or the mountains? Can I say both? 
  • Thing you love most about living in Dartmouth / Nova Scotia? The people. 
  • What was the last thing you Googled? Sushi — just to look at the pictures. 
  • On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being dead inside and 10 being non-stop fireworks, how inspired are you on an average day? 8 or 9. 

Come see The Assembly of Ink at Bodega and then connect with Vish online. 

Instagram: @vish.purgass