“A Day in the Life” with Montréal Filmmaker TolyAK

TolyAK graduated in 1996 from the film animation department and has worked on and off in the film industry. This low-brow artist, the movement founded by Robert Williams and Coop, art often borders on the extreme but always has regard for showing the way things are at a given moment in time although often taken as fantasy, and borrows from comic book art exposing as far away as Zurich(Artbox) 2019 & Barcelona 2021. TolyAK has had some success in showing in Cannes short film corner with a film called “Ascention” and winning best animation at Cannes World Art Festival 2023. His book “All Purpose” is currently being marketed through Writers Branding. You can find his experimental films at the Cinematheque Quebecois, distributed through the CFMDC and his books at the Bibliotheque Nationale archives.

TolyAK – Photo by: Jerome Bertrand
Location shoot for goin ape 2
My guitars
S. Huddlestone in location studio shoot for goin ape 2
TolyAK and mother
Making toast for breakfast
On a regular day
Outside a shoot location for goin ape 2- Ergatikos Silogos


Which ’hood are you in?

I live in Chateauguay, Quebec- but was born at the Jewish General Hospital and grew up partly in Parc X.

What do you do?

“I sometimes paint as if possessed by the mad spirit of Norman Rockwell-painting family portrait of something a little a skew from reality and delving into the absurd.” – TolyAK

I am a classically trained artist who has decided to paint in a cartoon genre-specific comic book style of the 90s Dark Horse Comics but still lending toward original concepts of old 1950 B-Movies like “Der Blu Engel” (Sternberg) and “Faster Pussycat Kill- Kill” (Russ Meyer) In this melee of style I manage to mish-mash some meaning from life having grown up in kitchens among gay men, ex-convicts and men with Toxic male syndrome and later being raised by Hip
pies in B.C.

I also analyse the basic intricate movements of paint, from portrait to landscape with a refined sense of humour akin to that of a woodpecker, some might say having had over 50 exhibits around the world, paying strict attention to now cliche art forms of classical Greek Art and bringing a modern sometimes extreme perspective.

Perversion of power | Dear tree | Power of a line

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a follow-up to Goin Ape-Goin Ape 2, a B/W retrograde anti-hero film in which many Montreal talents have donated their time and locations, like Josa Maule at MSOPA. You will be able to find my cartoon work on Amazon Prime in the coming weeks, Canadian Gothic were licensed as well as two features on TUBI, which I make on my kitchen table while taking care of my mum, who is pretty old but feisty.

Also, I am working on another album with Kendal Zier under the band name ZMOG-Blind To The Abyss, whose (unmixed) version of a video already won special award of merit in England, UK Animation & Music Video Festival for which you’ll be able to find links to on TRPNF websites totallyrealprobablynotfake.com; and made a painting ceramic tile contribution to Montreal’s Children’s Hospital wall mural project for sick kids, for which I have a weakness for.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work online on my website, Wix and Artists in Montreal, and also at Usine106u on 160 Roy St. in Montreal.


About Demian Vernieri 398 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.