Saturday, July 31

Into the Woods

Or just into wood? My inspiration post for this week features natural wood. The reason why is because the other day I stopped at The Paper Place and bought a few things. They had these small, paper thin sheets of birch in three different sizes. I bought the middle size, and I intend to make beautiful miniature drawings/paintings/collages/illustrations on them. Then, after a little more wandering through the store (which houses an overload of things cute and beautiful) and entertaining a little sugar high on macarons from Nadege, I also bought a little blank wooden bracelet. They are plain and unfinished so that they can be decorated. I wondered whether the work I do would translate to jewelery, so I decided to give it a shot. Of course, I'll post as soon as I finish whatever I manage to do on it.

The wooden bracelet (still naked for now) and one of the little birch cards, also naked.

And now for other people's stuff:

I've mentioned Charmaine Olivia before, but I love her paintings on board. I also love doing paintings/collages on board, and since completing one is my goal for the weekend, I figured I'd post one of hers.

This brooch from Veer is so cute and design-y. And since I'm having a little love affair with design lately, I thought I'd post it. Most of their merch is type based and after about two years of ogling their online shop, I know it's just a matter of time before I buy this. Or a typography themed t-shirt, or typography themed coasters.

And how could I not love these little guys?

Coffee Headache

Unrelated to this weekend's post, I started off the day as I do every Saturday - with a hot black cup of coffee. What I failed to remember was that I haven't had coffee for a week so the caffeine made me jittery and gave me a killer headache. I powered through, though, and managed to get a bit of work done.

My first five by seven for today. It needs more but I don't know what.

The second. Not the best photo, unfortunately, but I didn't want to put all of that into my scanner. This is one of the ones that is going to be going into a shadowbox, and I'm excited to see it all finished. It was nice doing a bit of beading and embroidery again - I'll have to keep it up. I've got yards of fabrics and many little containers full of beads just waiting to be used. I haven't attached the text yet because I'm not sure exactly where I want it to go.

On another, unrelated note, the weather has been wonderful lately, and finally it's not humid! I was actually cold in my apartment this morning, which hasn't happened since I first moved in in May. I woke up around five and put a blanket on the bed! I was so excited to be cozy under my feather duvet I could hardly get back to sleep!

Monday, July 26

...And new for this week

Two quick sketches for today. I know they're not as finished or polished as most of the work I post, but I gotta say, it's nice just doing lazy doodles in my sketchbook again. I haven't really used a sketchbook for maybe two years now, because all of the small scale drawings I do end up being finished completely. I also have to say, It's nice doing a landscape again. I used to love, love, love drawing landscapes like the one above but it started to get a little old. Oh well, landscapes are making a comeback (as far as I'm concerned).

I also wanted to post some of my work in progress. I've gone on and on about this show so I figured it's time to actually show how it's coming along. As you can see, it's a bit of a departure in size from most of the work I normally post, but it's been fun working on a larger scale. This particular drawing is 44" x 30".

Working for the Weekend

I had such a busy weekend. It was a great weekend, but crazy busy and I didn't get much done. On Saturday, I threw a birthday party for my favourite boy, and the theme was Cake vs. Pie (as in, which is better?) I'm a cake person, through and through - whereas his allegiance lies with pie. As does that of his foodie brother, who took my idea for the theme as a personal vendetta against me and my cake loving ways. Needless to say, I spent Saturday night in a sauna of an apartment, surrouded by good friends, and in the throes of a serious sugar high. Saturdays have been worse.
On Sunday, I gave myself the entire day to work, but instead just cleaned my apartment and then went to friends' place for steak tacos. Again, Sundays have been worse.

Now, however, I'm already catching up on lost time and looking forward to spending the weekend (I know it's only Monday) working and getting stuff done.

Now, I really enjoyed putting together last week's "inspiration" post, so I thought I'd do it again, this time along a theme. I've really been getting into books lately, specifically artist books and handmade books, so I'm posting some of my recent favourites.

This lovely book also happens to be a pinhole camera! Cute and useful. I found it here.

This darling little book (and the how-to) are found here. I recently worked at a library and used to use these little due date slips to write to-do lists on. Now I kind of wish I'd held onto a few so I could use them for the covers, like on these ones. Oh well. I'm still determined to make a bunch of these little books.

I recently bought a copy of this zine from wonderfully talented illustrator and animator Julia Pott. It is more beautiful in person. I'm in love with the cute, chubby animals and the heartbreaking captions. I guess I'm a sucker for heartbreak. Also, I'm already wondering how I can get my drawings to translate into the zine/book form.

Monday, July 19

Case of the Mondays.

I think I may be getting too old to use the floor as my studio. My back is killing me. On the plus side, I've finished one large drawing, and am nearly done a second. I've also done a new small piece (above), so the weekend has been a productive one. Even though tomorrow is Monday and I've got a busy-as-hell week ahead, I can start the week comfortable and confident in the knowledge that I didn't just waste away the days in front of the television.
I also had an impromptu photo shoot of my greeting cards so that people could get an idea of how they actually look, rather than just the scans.
It feels good to be busy and productive, and I'm glad that things seem to be coming together. I've got three large pieces for the show off to be framed later this week, and I'm also involved in a second upcoming show! Next weekend I've got a birthday party to host, but I'm hoping to compensate for the lost time during the week. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 17

Images to keep me Inspired

Since I've been getting myself into high gear in order to get work done for the show (or, ore importantly, in time to be framed for the show), I've been thinking a lot about where my inspiration comes from. I've decided to post some images and links so that I can share some of my interests. I also figured it might help me to compile some of these things in one place so that as I'm working, I can refer back here and feel...I don't know, more creative? The work that I do differs - in some ways greatly - from each of the artists below, but I find their work compelling. I've really enjoyed compiling all of the images and links for this post, so I think this is something I'd like to keep doing on a (semi?) regular basis.
After hitting "publish post", I have to go straight back to work - but this has been a fun, inspiring, and much needed distraction.

Sara Cwynar's design work makes me wish I had done a degree in design. Well, it's not just her work that makes me wish that, but it certainly helps.

Noel Rodo-Vankeulen and Rob Canali's Atmospheres & Illuminations book project is an in progress work that I had the pleasure of seeing an early version of when I had class with both of them this past year. The photographs are of many different things, but are all light and ephemeral - of things that are fleeting, such as clouds in the sky or the reflection of light in a mirror. They combine original photographs in colour and black and white - and almost exclusively analog - with found images. Even though I moved well away from photography this year, I still (and will always) find those that can do interesting things with it to be inspiring.

Lately I've been using a lot of text in my work, and like Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" ongoing series, it has had to do with relationships. The relationships in my work are always ones that are ending, or just on the verge of ending, so the optimistic nature of these works is always fun to see. Reading craigslist missed connections in real life is always a little depressing, but she turns them into something whimsical and hopeful.

I can't remember exactly how and when I came across Kate Wilson's Etsy, but since I've been on a bird kick lately, her work has been great to look at. It's so whimsical and beautifully done. I have never seen birds look so cute, not even in real life. But then again, I've never seen a bird with a cupcake on it's head.

Speaking of birds, I found this image on a blog I frequent that features photography in many different styles, from many photographers including the blogger herself. The blog is in Dutch, so I generally have no idea what her posts are about. Luckily, her posts always feature tons of great phtos of hip European people and places for me to ogle. I chose this photo because I my post last week about my (lack of) studio. I feel like if just had a sweet yellow room with birds all over the place I'd be set.

Another room for me to wish i lived in. Don't get me wrong, I love my apartment, but lack of time and money makes interior decorating another one of those things that I just kinda dream about. I like to think I won't be poor forever, but at least looking at pretty pictures is free! I found this pretty, symmetrical little gem here.

Charmaine Olivia's beautiful paintings and illustrations are always a pleasure to look at. Her portraits and figures, such as the one above, and her patterning and animals are always a joy to look at. I enjoy how the figures have a certain level of realism (most likely the hyper-detail in the facial features) that makes her work quite striking when combined with her gorgeous stylization.


I'll be posting my regular stuff tomorrow. I've been drawing all day (with less to show for it than I'd hoped) but I'm spending the rest of the evening, and all day tomorrow working on show stuff too. I've also very recently (aka Thursday) made a huge decision concerning this coming year, and my future in general. I'll go on about it more when everything falls (a little more) into place. I've had a lot on my mind in last few days, but the show isn't getting any farther away. So, until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 11

Another Fast Weekend

Weekends have been going by so. fast. Probably because weekends always go by fast, and summer always goes by fast, so weekends in the summer must go by extra fast. Must be it. On the plus side, I've started work for the show. The top two posted here are going to be part of the twelve five by seven illustrations in the show. I want them all to have a 3-dimensional component to them, and then to be framed in shadowboxes. So, 2 down, 10 to go! The nice thing about working in this size is that they are (well they can be) quick, and they don't take up much space.

My apartment is studio-less. A one bedroom with two people, two cats, and no air conditioning is not the most conducive to clean, organized, stress-free creativity. The nice thing is, we've got an air conditioner being delivered tomorrow and I've staked out a corner of the living room where I've built my nest of workspace. I'll explain that. Never having had a proper studio space, I've had to adapt. I usually lay all of my supplies (watercolours, pens, pencils, papers, fabric, sewing machine, and glue) in a semi-circle on the floor with an empty spot in the centre for me to sit in. Then, I add a big glass of ice water and a mug of coffee and the nest is complete. I have spent hours and hours, sometimes all-nighters, in this set-up. My back is usually sore the next day, but it works for me.


A wonderful friend of mine recently had the idea that I get greeting cards printed of some of my drawings and offer them for sale, both on my Etsy and at my upcoming show. This works perfectly because I have a lot of friends who like my work but are, like me, poor students and can't afford my original works. The cards are beautifully printed and the colours are true to life, so if anyone were to buy them, it would almost be like having the real thing!
I love the way they turned out, and am hoping to get more as soon as possible (well, as soon as I figure out which drawings to use next, and as soon as I see how popular these actually are).

Anyway, I just thought I'd share. I was so excited during the entire process of making these - from choosing which illustrations to use to excitedly speed-walking home from the post office to open up the box.

p.s. - you can buy them here :)

Sunday, July 4


The poster is done! I finished it earlier this week and put some finishing touches on it today. Once again, there is still a long list of things on the go (namely all the the work that is supposed to be going into the show), but it's nice being able to cross at least one thing off the list.

That said, it's Pride Week here in Toronto, and the parade is today. With all of that colourful excitement going on outside my door (I live almost literally on the parade route), I need to go outside in the sunshine and enjoy it. Happy Pride! (or just Happy Sunday for non-Torontonians)