David Anthony – Brushstrokes on a canvas

David Anthony- Brushstrokes on a canvas

As said, murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums, art beautifies- be it a blank canvas or whitewashed walls. Meet the man behind your favorite instagrammable restaurant walls- David Anthony (or David ji, as he likes to be called), the muralist from Canada specializing in South Asian art.

David has united all walls with art, from Indian culture to Pakistani, with themes ranging from Bollywood to Bhangra and Paan shops to Hakka restaurants. His creativity knows no bounds as he picks up fabrics and jewels to adorn his paintings for the desi work’s sake.  He is fascinated by South Asian culture and pours his passion into learning and understanding it to take his art to the next level. You, yourself can also make use of this personalized wall art at custom canvas prints canada to match with your décor style.

To know more about his journey to the bigger canvas, read through his interview with Storiyaan.

David Anthony- Brushstrokes on a canvas

David Anthony- Brushstrokes on a canvas


Questions and answers

Tell us the story that drew your passion to be a muralist?

Initially, I had no intention of being a muralist but when I first walked into a Pakistani restaurant with a desi comic book- the owner insisted I paint a mural. Another Pakistani came in the owner’s absence and lured me into painting his restaurant. From there a Pakistani banker introduced me to an Indian contractor and as they say- the rest history hai!

What are the various themes that you majorly work on and which among them is your favorite?

Desi Murals are by far my favourite murals as they have so much more life than other themes. When I painted my Pasoori mural, for the first time I felt that I have put a piece of my soul into it. The second was when I painted the Hakkalicious, I felt like I created a real piece of art through the mix of stylized, realistic and traditional elements.

As you specialize in south Asian art, share with us some interesting facts you encountered.

Among the few facts that come to mind is that mathematics originated in South India. The mural from Hakkalicious of a desi girl riding a Chinese dragon was inspired by ‘Bahar-I-Danish’ written by Shaikh Inqyutallah Kambu of Delhi in 1651. In this illustrated manuscript, there is an image of a merchant’s daughter riding a water dragon.

Another intriguing image of Lord Krishna was provided by a Gujarati fan, in which all the gopis were bathing in the Yamuna and Krishna was running away with their garments.

When was the first time you professionally painted murals and what was the outcome?

In 2018, I created my first mural for a Pakistani restaurant, which everyone adored. The mural featured Imran Khan in his cricket glory days, Noor Jehan, and Nushrat Fateh Ali Khan, and reflected the beautiful but lesser-known side of Pakistani cultures.

Share with us the time that you had faced some roadblocks and overcame them victoriously?

My friend Hitesh from Daal Roti restaurant asked me to paint his restaurant during construction. The situation was bad as there was no AC or electricity, or water in the peak of the summer heat. I remember I worked for 17 hours straight to finish it. During my college days, a lot of people resisted when I wanted to paint Desi Art- they even tried to fail me.

Since you have a huge knowledge of North Indian culture, South Indian Culture, and Pakistani culture with themes, what is your biggest takeaway from all of these?

I discovered that, despite regional and cultural differences, humans are very similar. Gujaratis and Rajasthanis, for example, have comparable cultures, and their clothing and behaviour are extremely similar due to the region in which they live. In summary, people living in the same location have a lot in common.

As you wish to expand your artwork to the next level, what are some of the expectations your services can promise to meet?

Through my murals, I wish to transport my viewers to a different time and place by incorporating more 3-dimensional elements and objects. I aim to make my murals more akin to movie sets.

What would be your special message to our readers?

I will just say be open to anything and have no fear. You never know what you find.


  1. Your mantra in life- Just do (if you do something, something happens but if you do nothing, nothing happens).
  1. The person whom you look up to the most– My father.
  1. Your biggest milestone- Getting a chance to paint in a restaurant called Tamasaha.
  1. One skill you wish to have –I wish I could sing.


To connect to David Anothony and explore the artistic side of life, click on the Instagram linked to this feature.


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