About the Artist

I was born and raised in Winnipeg. My father was an artist and I always looked up to him. I started painting in high school, but all of my work is self taught. While in University, I decided to pursue a career in art instead of what I was studying at the time. All of what I've learned is through exploring feelings through paint. Every colour has a feeling and feelings create a path that I follow, and from this path my style emerged. I began to receive visions that I would then paint. From the paintings I would learn different techniques that I would carry over into other paintings. The fun whimsical nature of my art is an outward expression of how God created me! I really do feel that each one of us has something unique to offer this world that is directly from the heart of God! I currently work full time from my home studio, taking on commission work as well as creating new originals. ~ Josiah Koppanyi

The Painting Journey

It all started in the summer of 2016. I was 27. This was the first time that I met Eric Olek owner of Friday Knights, when we both got the opportunity of a life time: we got to co-own a pop up shop downtown! This was the first time that I stepped out as an artist full-time. This Downtown Biz opportunity really propelled both of our entrepreneurial journeys forward in a big way. 

Here is a quote from the very first article I was interviewed for:

"Being an artist was always this airy-fairy idea that was like, ‘yeah that would be really, really great, but completely impractical.’ "

He studied education at university but continued to paint.

"That’s what I really, really liked. That’s when my soul came out," he said. "It was like I was able to be me."

Koppanyi quit university and rented a gallery space on Arlington Street. Syvixay reached out to Koppanyi and offered him the chance to move into the space on Portage Avenue.

"This is the first time in my life where all of a sudden, this airy-fairy dream I had as a kid is not airy-fairy anymore — it’s tangible, and it’s actually selling," said Koppanyi.

In those early days it was a very exciting time for Eric and I, we met a lot of new people together. Eric taught me a lot about how to maintain a self run business in this day and age, and we really became good friends through this. After the first pop-up term ended, Eric found another pop-up opportunity through centre-venture on Graham Ave by The Bay downtown. We decided to go in on the shop together 

344 Graham was our shop for that season. It was in this space that I got commissioned to do one of the biggest pieces I had ever attempted up to that point in my life. It was 8'x4', and was a giant building scape.

The Painting Process

For the art I create it is about balancing aesthetics. The balance of painting is about listening to the feeling and giving the painting what it needs. In a painting, illustration has a feel, colour has a feel, and both of these together communicate a feeling. The balance is in following the feeling. “Listening” to each painting and following the rules that are created. The more sensitive I am to listening to the "voice of the painting” created through illustration and colour pairing, the better the painting will be. When I start, the canvas is empty and the possibilities are limitless. The moment I choose a colour, the possibilities shrink. The moment I put that colour on the canvas, the possibilities shrink even more. And so, ‘rules’ are decided. Listening to what colours the painting needs is following these rules. The other side is the inspiration, the drive, the mood; this is what initially starts the ball rolling, but I cannot let it take over a piece. The balance comes with listening to the canvas.