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OUTTALINE: A Toronto collective for creatives

BY MEGAN D’ANDREIS

To stand out from the crowd, you must first become part of it. Creatives in Toronto have become so common that the only way to stand out is to extend your connections in this constantly growing industry.

OUTTALINE is a Toronto based collective that revolves around music and the arts. Created by Conor Dunner and Peter Winarski, it has evolved into a well-curated art showcase with their event, Volume. OUTTALINE hosts Volume once every 3 months in collaboration with Only One Gallery, an art gallery in Toronto. The event showcases local musical and artistic talents and brings people together to network and bond over their shared interest, the arts.

Art on display at Volume 6. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Fall)

Justin Martin, member of OUTTALINE, describes Volume as a community building event as admission is free and all performances are volunteered. He and other members will come across artists and pitch them for Volume. Other times, people will reach out to them wanting to bring exposure to their work and talents.

“Some people are gems and we try to find them and make friends with them. It’s usually easy because it’s just a mutual love for the art. After hanging out with us for long enough, they see that we are motivated by the music,” says Martin.

Toronto artist Noita performing at Volume 6. (Photo courtesy Kevin Fall)

Other than hosting the events, OUTTALINE offers a variety of creative services such as music videos, video editing, photography, graphic design, production, studio rental, fashion production and mixing/mastering of beats.

At Volume, they get in house video footage and photography of the performances. Not only for their own promotions and use, but for artists to use for promotions personal growth.

Martin explains how Volume has helped a lot of artists gain attention and booking agents.

A big thing labels look for is concert footage. They need to see what their music does to a crowd in a large setting. So we’ll get footage of the event for us, but also for artists to put in their press kits.”

He speaks for everyone at OUTTALINE by saying “we just want to see all of these guys succeed.”

Currently, there are six members of OUTTALINE who all have different areas of specialties. While Conor Dunner and Peter Winarski are the founders, Conor deals with the business and finance side of OUTTALINE. Gavin Martin, Edmund Green, and Peter deal with logistics and audio, while Justin Martin and Kevin Fall are responsible for content creation and creative/ art direction.

Outtaline Studios is run by Justin Martin along with Kevin Fall and features a range of products that both Martin and Fall create.

“Products can range from clothes to videos to really anything. Between us, our skillset is wide.”

Right now, their products are targeted towards those in their early to mid twenties. “I want to make my stuff cool but also appealing to an older audience,” says Martin.

Martin and Fall make products that are minimal but have detail. Currently, they are only making one or two pieces at a time so there are never multiple of the same item. They typically visit a thrift store and create something out of used fabric.

“We go to the thrift store and pay three dollars for a massive curtain and get a shirt or two out of it,” says Martin.

From track pants to a jacket with a freezer bag collar, the limit to their creativity is endless.

Martin and Fall are generally self-taught in this field. “My mom taught me a thing or two, and my grandma taught me a thing or two. From there, I was YouTubing everything.”

Martin offers advice to people looking to join the creative community. He explains that you need to be prepared to put the time and energy into it. Between acquiring the skill set, showcasing your work and networking, it can be a long process.

“Don’t do it unless you really want to do it. You need to be prepared to do this for a long time before being able to sustain a living off this stuff and the only way to do that is to be motivated by your own love to do it,” he says.

It can be challenging to remain confident in the creative industry. People are constantly promoting their work and showcasing their talent. However, Martin reminds people not to be intimidated by other people.

“Just get better at your own work. The only person who you should be in competition with is yourself.”

He says that even he is guilty of this every now and then. “’I’ll look at peoples work think they are beating me. But there is no like finish line to this stuff. No one is beating each other.”

If u are passionate about the arts and you’re willing to do the work, the creative community can be an uplifting environment to be a part of.

“Be prepared. Other than that, go for it dude,” Martin adds.

To attend Volume and stay connected with OUTTALINE, visit their website and Instagram.

Written by
Megan D'andreis

Megan is a second-year journalism student at Sheridan College. She is passionate about lifestyle, beauty, and fashion.

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Written by Megan D'andreis

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