Catching up with Justin Maas

We’ve spoken with Justin Maas about his art a few times over the years and a couple of our readers have asked us what he’s up to now!

Q~ Hi Justin, thanks so much for speaking with us again.

A~ My pleasure, thanks for asking me back!  

Q~ Its been a little over a year since we spoke last, can you tell us about some of the interesting things you’ve been up to since then?

A~ Well, like everyone, its been a very strange 14-16 months but I am fortunate that as a visual artist, i primarily work alone in my studio anyway, so a lot of the “normal” things I did before the pandemic continued through it.  Certainly some large projects were dropped with businesses losing funding etc but others came out of the blue and were very interesting.

Q~Can you tell us about some?

A~ Of course!  The biggest one was a really tight deadline piece that I did for the NHL team, Montreal Canadiens.  It was earlier this year (2021) when their captain was reaching the 1000 game milestone.  The team approached me & asked me if i would create a custom piece for this celebration.  It was a bit of a shock because I am a fan of this team (he’s one of my favourite players) so I was well aware that he was close to this milestone… I believe he had played 992 games when they contacted me.  

Q~ Oh wow, so a tight deadline?

A~ Yes… you can say that again!!  As I spoke with them I did the math & realized that I had roughly a week to get it done.  I knew that, if he stayed healthy, his 1000th game was in less than 2 weeks but I had to get the drawing couriered to Montreal in time for them to frame it & get it presented! 

Q~ But you got it done?

A~ Yes! Actually with a few days to spare. I was probably most stressed about the courier taking too long or the framer taking too long as this was still a time of major lock down across Canada so there were a lot of variables in play but in the end it was ready a day or two before they presented it to him on ice.

Q~ That must have been pretty cool to watch?

A~ It really was. Hearing my name called out by the announcer at the Bell Centre is definitely not something I ever expected! As a kid I would have liked to have heard it as a player, mind you, haha. 

Q~ Thats really cool. What else have you been up to since we chatted last?

A~Well, a lot of private commissions – that really is my bread and butter.

Q~ Private commissions for celebrities?

A~ Both celebrities and “non celebrity” – i hate to use that word, or “normal” people – lol.  I treat all my clients the same. Celebrities have the same pricing and deadline as “regular folk” lol. 

Q~ Can you spill any names of the celebrities you’ve done work for recently? 

A~ Ha ha… probably not.  I can tell you there are some grammy and academy award winners with my art on their walls but a lot of this stuff is private (kids, deceased family members etc) so I have to respect that.  I made the mistake of mentioning a commission many years ago & that particular actress was inundated with artists offering their services so I have been very careful since then. 

Q~ You’re still doing your daily updates on instagram?

A~  I am. Thats actually still one of the main ways I get my name out there & find new clients

Q~ Can anyone commission you?

A~ Yes, of course! I have clients from all over the world, of all sorts of different backgrounds. And I do offer everything from very simple sketches (inexpensive) to much more finished colour pieces that, obviously, are more costly.

Q~ Do you have any big projects coming up that you can talk to us about?

A~ Im just finishing up a very large animation project (different for me for sure!) for a production company in LA. I also have been talking with my publisher about possibly doing another book in the near future.  Its been a funny time though –  there’s a lot of uncertainty in case things shut down or hit restrictions again – so some projects are proceeding slowly or on hiatus.  Im hopeful that they wont, and the projects will go through but you have to be ready for any eventuality. 

Q~ How can we catch up on what you are doing in the future?

A~ I always direct people to follow me on instagram since i try to do an update there every single day. www.instagram.com/maas.art    I also offer weekly tutorials at www.patreon.com/maasart   and I do have Facebook and Twitter (Maasart for both) 

Q~ Thanks so much for speaking with us again!

A~As always, my pleasure!

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