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From drawing on the kitchen floor until falling asleep to creating mixed media self portraits with found and recycled objects, he’s always been meant to pursue a career in the art field. Let’s get to know the Instagram sensation Lyle Reimer, who took us through his upcoming projects and collaborations in this exclusive interview.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in the art field?

I’m not sure of the exact moment in my life where I made a conscious decision to pursue a career in the art field. Art has always been such an integral part of my nature that they seem to just have always coexisted. The thought of not doing something in the artistic field was never even a consideration. Some of my first childhood photos were taken of me asleep on the kitchen floor with a crayon still in my hand....literally drawing till I couldn’t keep my eyes open!

Lyle Remier

From drawing on the kitchen floor until falling asleep to creating mixed media self portraits with found and recycled objects, he’s always been meant to pursue a career in the art field. Let’s get to know the Instagram sensation Lyle Reimer, who took us through his upcoming projects and collaborations in this exclusive interview.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in the art field?

I’m not sure of the exact moment in my life where I made a conscious decision to pursue a career in the art field. Art has always been such an integral part of my nature that they seem to just have always coexisted. The thought of not doing something in the artistic field was never even a consideration. Some of my first childhood photos were taken of me asleep on the kitchen floor with a crayon still in my hand....literally drawing till I couldn’t keep my eyes open!

Lyle Remier

I love turning what’s perceived as garbage into something new, with a couture spirit.

How did you develop your innate creativity?
The development of your own creative voice is an ongoing journey that needs to be attended to on a daily basis. Striving to bring to life all the random imagery that’s inside my head is part of my everyday. As soon as things feel formulaic or like there’s a recipe, it looses its beauty, enjoyment and sense of wonder. I will continually be on a mission to explore my own way of creating and will embrace all the many mistakes along the way. I find so much beauty in ‘mistakes’. I can’t imagine a day not creating or working on something in one form or another...I’m at my happiest when I’m working. It’s in the constant dedication to creating that you find your personal voice and strength.

When and how did you start taking self portraits?
I began taking self portraits on April 27th, 2013. A dear girl friend was over at my place and we decided to play make up and dress up. A couple glasses of wine, some great music and the bathroom shower was turned into a photo studio! That evening, something was sparked and I knew that I wanted more of this amazing experience. Now, creating mixed media self portraits is my one and only drug of choice!

Did you have goals or ambitions when you created your Instagram account?
There was never any grand, master plan when I began sharing my work on Instagram. It really was an opportunity for me to share with others, in a very honest way, the random creativity that’s part of my being. I believe that when you create from a honest place, rather than creating for a purpose of recognition or some form of notoriety, the essence of the work is pure. I was really amazed when famous individuals started following and commenting, because it was never part of the inner dialogue or mission to seek them out. I still feel incredibly honoured and grateful to everyone who supports my work and showers me with kindness.

Speaking of Instagram, your bio reads: ’If you see it, I made it using entirely found and recycled objects’. Do you consider yourself an ‘environmentalist’?
II never adopted the title of ‘environmentalist’ but, when I look at my own artistic practice, it certainly is a label that fits. I love turning what’s perceived as garbage into something new, with a couture spirit. Seeing the life of an object be extended on its journey before the inevitable landfill is something I also cherish.

With over 136K followers, you built a large following on social media. How do you react to online criticism? Do you feel any sort of responsibility towards your followers?
I (knock on wood) rarely have online criticism. I feel that people generally are incredibly kind and supportive of what I put out. It saddens me when I see how people can stand behind anonymity and write hateful messages to others, and thankfully I personally haven’t had to deal with that. I do think, though, that people who are true admirers won’t let those negative comments get in the way of their enjoyment. I feel that a pseudo relationship is formed between myself and my ‘followers’, and I take their support very seriously. I try to respond personally to as many messages as possible, but unfortunately I can’t attend to all. I’ve made some amazing friends from all over the world, who started as followers on Instagram, and then we took the plunge into a friendship in real life!

What’s your main source of inspiration?
Inspiration is the 20 million dollar question! It comes from the most unlikely sources, at the most inopportune time, and keeps me always on my toes! I think the key for me is to never judge the source of inspiration and truly be open to it all. It can come from an empty tube of toothpaste, an expired container of milk or the Fall 2019 Dries Van Noten show.... it’s all fair game!

Can you take us through your creative process?
I wish that I could lead you through the process, but honestly I don’t even know how it happens...it’s like a stream of consciousness, I work so quickly so I don’t miss any little idea that pops into my brain. I never know what things are going to look like: they aren't mapped out prior to, but I’ll just know when it’s done and the photograph needs to take place then. After hundreds of images are taken, I shower it all off and then begin to write the character stories that accompany each look.

And what's the actual message behind your artworks?
I want to grant people an opportunity to ponder their own limitless possibilities of transformation and what can mean to them in their own personal life journey. I want people to stop and reconsider all the mundane things of everyday life and see there’s a story behind them and beauty can be found in the most unlikely places. I want people to have an emotional reaction that’s authentic to them and also to be transported into a random world that’s bursting with imagination.

By the way, do you feel like you belong to a creative family?
I absolutely believe I belong to a creative family! I have found my tribe sprinkled all over the globe and, every time I meet one of them, I’m immediately grateful that our paths have crossed. Some of my favourite things about doing what I do are traveling all over the world, meeting my tribe and expanding my own view. So many amazing souls have come into my life and I feel a deep ‘kismet connection’ to each one of them.

Lyle XOX: Head of Design’, your first book, was published in April 2019 by Rizzoli. Can you tell us more about the project?
The book was on my bucket list, so being able to have a collection of my works sitting on my coffee table truly feels incredible. It was a labour of love and having the opportunity to work with industry leaders Rizzoli, Fabien Baron and his amazing team, Viktor & Rolf and then to have Linda Fargo and David Hoey of Bergdorf Goodman support the book launch was an absolute dream come true! The book is a collection of old and new works, each accompanied by personally handwritten character stories, along with pages that breakdown some of the many insane and random contents in each one of them.

Last summer, you collaborated with Italian brand Moschino and its creative director, Jeremy Scott. What do you remember from such an experience?
The Moschino experience started with a photographer, Marcus Mam, who’s a dear friend of Jeremy’s. Marcus reached out to me and proposed the idea of shooting together. Moschino sent a giant box of ‘garbage’ from the atelier in Milan and I created the looks here in my Vancouver studio. Then, they were all packed up and sent to LA to shoot at Jeremy’s studio. The whole team was beyond lovely and treated me so kindly, giving me the space I needed to create. It was such a pleasure to work with down to earth people who celebrate art in all its forms.

What’s a project you’d like to dedicate your attention to?
I will be turning my attention to a certain collaboration with a designer for their September show. The next several months are going to be jam-packed with creating, traveling and working with some of the very best in the industry, who I have so much respect for. I also have a gallery show of large scale prints coming in September in Canada and it will continue to pursue the gallery life in different areas around the world.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself happily doing what I’ve always been meant to do. Working on projects on my bucket list and collaborating with people who inspire and push me to new boundaries. I’m happy about having the opportunity to do what I love to do and I will try to capitalize on that for as long as I possibly can!

Lastly, what’s a question you’ve always wanted to answer but never been asked?
Favourite music video of all time? Hands down, it would be ‘All Is Full of Love’ by Bjork. Chris Cunningham helped bring to life a work of art that gives me goosebumps every time I see it! Pure Genius!

How did you develop your innate creativity?
The development of your own creative voice is an ongoing journey that needs to be attended to on a daily basis. Striving to bring to life all the random imagery that’s inside my head is part of my everyday. As soon as things feel formulaic or like there’s a recipe, it looses its beauty, enjoyment and sense of wonder. I will continually be on a mission to explore my own way of creating and will embrace all the many mistakes along the way. I find so much beauty in ‘mistakes’. I can’t imagine a day not creating or working on something in one form or another...I’m at my happiest when I’m working. It’s in the constant dedication to creating that you find your personal voice and strength.

When and how did you start taking self portraits?
I began taking self portraits on April 27th, 2013. A dear girl friend was over at my place and we decided to play make up and dress up. A couple glasses of wine, some great music and the bathroom shower was turned into a photo studio! That evening, something was sparked and I knew that I wanted more of this amazing experience. Now, creating mixed media self portraits is my one and only drug of choice!

Did you have goals or ambitions when you created your Instagram account?
There was never any grand, master plan when I began sharing my work on Instagram. It really was an opportunity for me to share with others, in a very honest way, the random creativity that’s part of my being. I believe that when you create from a honest place, rather than creating for a purpose of recognition or some form of notoriety, the essence of the work is pure. I was really amazed when famous individuals started following and commenting, because it was never part of the inner dialogue or mission to seek them out. I still feel incredibly honoured and grateful to everyone who supports my work and showers me with kindness.

Speaking of Instagram, your bio reads: ’If you see it, I made it using entirely found and recycled objects’. Do you consider yourself an ‘environmentalist’?
II never adopted the title of ‘environmentalist’ but, when I look at my own artistic practice, it certainly is a label that fits. I love turning what’s perceived as garbage into something new, with a couture spirit. Seeing the life of an object be extended on its journey before the inevitable landfill is something I also cherish.

With over 136K followers, you built a large following on social media. How do you react to online criticism? Do you feel any sort of responsibility towards your followers?
I (knock on wood) rarely have online criticism. I feel that people generally are incredibly kind and supportive of what I put out. It saddens me when I see how people can stand behind anonymity and write hateful messages to others, and thankfully I personally haven’t had to deal with that. I do think, though, that people who are true admirers won’t let those negative comments get in the way of their enjoyment. I feel that a pseudo relationship is formed between myself and my ‘followers’, and I take their support very seriously. I try to respond personally to as many messages as possible, but unfortunately I can’t attend to all. I’ve made some amazing friends from all over the world, who started as followers on Instagram, and then we took the plunge into a friendship in real life!

What’s your main source of inspiration?
Inspiration is the 20 million dollar question! It comes from the most unlikely sources, at the most inopportune time, and keeps me always on my toes! I think the key for me is to never judge the source of inspiration and truly be open to it all. It can come from an empty tube of toothpaste, an expired container of milk or the Fall 2019 Dries Van Noten show.... it’s all fair game!

Can you take us through your creative process?
I wish that I could lead you through the process, but honestly I don’t even know how it happens...it’s like a stream of consciousness, I work so quickly so I don’t miss any little idea that pops into my brain. I never know what things are going to look like: they aren't mapped out prior to, but I’ll just know when it’s done and the photograph needs to take place then. After hundreds of images are taken, I shower it all off and then begin to write the character stories that accompany each look.

And what's the actual message behind your artworks?
I want to grant people an opportunity to ponder their own limitless possibilities of transformation and what can mean to them in their own personal life journey. I want people to stop and reconsider all the mundane things of everyday life and see there’s a story behind them and beauty can be found in the most unlikely places. I want people to have an emotional reaction that’s authentic to them and also to be transported into a random world that’s bursting with imagination.

By the way, do you feel like you belong to a creative family?
I absolutely believe I belong to a creative family! I have found my tribe sprinkled all over the globe and, every time I meet one of them, I’m immediately grateful that our paths have crossed. Some of my favourite things about doing what I do are traveling all over the world, meeting my tribe and expanding my own view. So many amazing souls have come into my life and I feel a deep ‘kismet connection’ to each one of them.

Lyle XOX: Head of Design’, your first book, was published in April 2019 by Rizzoli. Can you tell us more about the project?
The book was on my bucket list, so being able to have a collection of my works sitting on my coffee table truly feels incredible. It was a labour of love and having the opportunity to work with industry leaders Rizzoli, Fabien Baron and his amazing team, Viktor & Rolf and then to have Linda Fargo and David Hoey of Bergdorf Goodman support the book launch was an absolute dream come true! The book is a collection of old and new works, each accompanied by personally handwritten character stories, along with pages that breakdown some of the many insane and random contents in each one of them.

Last summer, you collaborated with Italian brand Moschino and its creative director, Jeremy Scott. What do you remember from such an experience?
The Moschino experience started with a photographer, Marcus Mam, who’s a dear friend of Jeremy’s. Marcus reached out to me and proposed the idea of shooting together. Moschino sent a giant box of ‘garbage’ from the atelier in Milan and I created the looks here in my Vancouver studio. Then, they were all packed up and sent to LA to shoot at Jeremy’s studio. The whole team was beyond lovely and treated me so kindly, giving me the space I needed to create. It was such a pleasure to work with down to earth people who celebrate art in all its forms.

What’s a project you’d like to dedicate your attention to?
I will be turning my attention to a certain collaboration with a designer for their September show. The next several months are going to be jam-packed with creating, traveling and working with some of the very best in the industry, who I have so much respect for. I also have a gallery show of large scale prints coming in September in Canada and it will continue to pursue the gallery life in different areas around the world.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself happily doing what I’ve always been meant to do. Working on projects on my bucket list and collaborating with people who inspire and push me to new boundaries. I’m happy about having the opportunity to do what I love to do and I will try to capitalize on that for as long as I possibly can!

Lastly, what’s a question you’ve always wanted to answer but never been asked?
Favourite music video of all time? Hands down, it would be ‘All Is Full of Love’ by Bjork. Chris Cunningham helped bring to life a work of art that gives me goosebumps every time I see it! Pure Genius!

I have found my tribe sprinkled all over the globe and, every time I meet one of them, I’m immediately grateful that our paths have crossed.