Thursday, 29 March 2012

James Street North.

Wednesday March 27 was a perfect day for exploring downtown Hamilton on James Street North. This area is particularly known for the growing arts community, especially with its bi-weekly ArtCrawl, held on every other Friday. There are many galleries, shops, and art stores to browse and look at, as well as a great variety of restuarants to eat at of all different ethnicities. While exploring, there were many interesting stores to go into. Some of the ones I went into include Mixed Media, White Elephant, The Mulberry Coffeehouse, and the gallery, Hamilton Artists Inc.

Out of the many stores, I fell in love with the quirky vintage and homemade shop, White Elephant, owned by Hollie Pocsai and Jane LaBatte. You can learn more about the two women who own the shop and the shop itself by clicking on the link. I loved the atmosphere of this store, friendly, warm, and homelike, and there were so many unique items to buy! If you are ever looking for something truly special and original, this shop is perfect for you.

If you ever find yourself in Hamilton, I would highly recommend you take the chance to explore James Street North and all the wonderful shops, galleries, and restaurants you can find there. It is a great example of how Hamilton is becoming more and more an arts community with amazing opportunities for young creatives. 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

True Love.

Last week, the word from Illustration Friday's website was 'intention'. There are several ways a person can interpret this word, and I chose to use the definition of a person's plans or designs, in particular, man's intention in regards to marriage.

Above, you can listen to the song 'January Wedding' by the Avett Brothers. This song inspired me this week, since I recently bought tickets to see them this coming spring. I was also inspired by the illustration below, by Robert Jones from Women's Day Magazine, February 1961. I love the simple colour scheme he has used in this artwork, which I hope to emulate by only using white black and one other colour. 

My concept for this illustration came to me rather quickly. I wanted to create a portrait of a couple on their wedding day. But since I am not too skilled at drawing faces, I decided to draw them from just the chin down. Here is a quick look at my original drawing. 

I have a new found love for painting with my Wacom tablet, so I decided to create my illustration digitally this week, in Photoshop. Below is my image before incorporating text. 

I really like the simplicity of the image, and how it still has a hand drawn quality to it. The text I decided to add from the song 'January Wedding' is this line: 'True love is not the kind of thing you should turn down, don't ever turn it down.' I hope you enjoy the final t shirt design!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Emotional Labour.

What exactly is emotional labour? Well, as Seth Godin says in his interview on Spark, emotional labour is  'difficult work that other people don't feel like doing' or 'the act of connecting to another human being and making a change even if it's not easy for you to do in that moment.' So what does this mean for artists and designers? One example, is this, right here. Blogging. Many people who are trying to make a name for themselves in any business attempt to do so by starting a blog, which can be intensely personal, time consuming, and oftentimes unvisited. Why keep blogging if no one is going to see it, some might argue. And the truth is, over time, the emotional labour that you have put into your blog will be compensated. And that's true for anything you may post on the internet in regards to emotional labour. The more you share, give and take initiative, the more opportunities you will find, and the more attention you will receive. Seth Godin says it nicely, 'There are huge opportunities to those who refuse to settle.' Another great point Godin makes is this, 'If nobody knows your ideas then they are worthless. But if lots of people know your ideas then they want to hire you [to come give a speech, or read a souvenir edition of your book].' So if you ever feel like your attempts at sharing your ideas are worthless, keep going. You will be rewarded. 

I thought I would also share some websites that I find inspiring, and that use emotional labour to share with the world important messages and ideas. 

The first one is Postsecret. Postsecret is a community art project where people mail in there secrets anonymously. Every Sunday, they update there website for 'Sunday Secrets'. There are also many books that the creator Frank Warren has put together. These postcards can be heartbreaking, humourous, interesting, but all of them inspiring. Postsecret connects people together, and creates meaningful content for all viewers. 

Another great website is #The50. This is a perfect website for any students who aspire to join the creative industry. The material that this website consists of is very relevant and worthwhile. If you are a creative person and ever need some good (and free!) advice about succeeding in the industry, I would highly recommend you check it out.

I am going to share one more website, which is a free font website. is a great website for any person who loves using interesting fonts in their designs and layouts. And the best part is, they are free! If you are a artist, graphic designer, or in the creative business, free is ALWAYS good. Which is why I really appreciate websites like this that share their resources without cost. 

I hope you enjoyed my take on Seth Godin's idea of emotional labour. And I will leave you with one final quote, 'The future belongs to people who take initiative.' I challenge everyone to do exactly that, take initiative! And see what kind of rewards find you from doing emotional labour. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Desert Landscape.

My first attempt at digital painting, it was a lot of fun! I created this landscape in Photoshop using my Wacom tablet. I feel like there will be many more digital paintings in my near future. And the best part is there is no clean up afterwards!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

As a kid growing up, one of biggest influences in the world of illustration was Brett Helquist. This was most likely due to my obsession with the books, 'A Series of Unfortunate Events', which Helquist illustrated. I thought I would share a small sampling of his work here. I love the use of light and dark contrast, as it creates a lot of drama and excitement in the artwork. I also love the texture and sketchy line work Helquist uses in some of his pieces, as you can see especially in the first two illustrations. Hope you enjoy these fantastic illustrations!

Check out Brett Helquist' full portfolio online at