Street artist INSA brings optimism to life at MURAL Festival
Sonnet uses technology to cultivate positive change in a traditional industry, and provide a superior customer experience. In addition to insurance, countless other industries are adapting to users’ needs by incorporating technology – one of which is, surprisingly, art. (You may just have to see it to believe it!)

Sonnet uses technology to cultivate positive change in a traditional industry, and provide a superior customer experience. In addition to insurance, countless other industries are adapting to users’ needs by incorporating technology – one of which is, surprisingly, art. (You may just have to see it to believe it!)

Over two weekends in June, we watched the unique intersection of technology and art come to life at MURAL, Montreal’s hottest street art festival. We had our own mural created by renowned graffiti artist, INSA, who designed a custom GIF-ITI piece – INSA’s specialty – in the spirit of our optimism campaign.

We caught up with INSA at the festival to speak with him about integrating technology in his art, and get his take on optimism.

 

How did you get started in graffiti? When did you know you wanted to devote your life’s work to it?

INSA: When I was 11, my mom gave me the book Subway Art, which is like the bible for graffiti artists. I would practice doodling and drawing and then at around 13, I started doing graffiti in alleys around Leeds where I grew up.

By the time I had moved to London in my late teens, I had made every aspect of my life about painting graffiti – I knew it was what I was going to do forever.

What first made you interested in GIF-ITI?

INSA: After doing a lot of painting and travelling, I noticed that art was being seen and shared online, more so than in person. I was consuming art on my phone, using it to search images of exhibitions, and I just had this moment when I knew that I wanted to make art that lived better online.

Using technology to make an experience better is something that Sonnet is pursuing for the insurance industry. What have your experiences with insurance been like?

INSA: As I’ve gotten older, I travel a lot and I have kids now, so insurance is something I think more about. I feel I have more responsibility, so I don’t have time to fill out a bunch of paperwork – I want an experience that’s quick and easy.

Sonnet is built around a central human truth: optimism. How did you approach working optimism into the mural you created for MURAL Festival?

INSA: I wanted the mural to reflect that being optimistic means there’s always a new day. I tried to capture that essence as a new season – a flower opening, a new birth, a new moon.

The flower opening represents birth and new life. Then there’s the black moon revolving, again linking back to new life. I have three children, and they are my optimism.
The world turning is a reminder of the connection to time passing. The older I get, the more reflective I am of time and realizing that ultimately, we should value the time we have. The man running is really showing that life and time do not stop, we keep going. It’s a very simple message to keep going and be positive.

As an artist, what do you try to keep in mind when working with art and technology?

INSA: I think it’s important to keep a human touch. It would be easy for me to just create my designs all online – but I think it’s important to have that hand-painted mural. There’s a need for a human element in art.