Tag Archives: drawings

spring sketchbook snaps

6 May

Last week consisted of a lot of spring cleaning, but it also yielded tons of much needed creativity. Because of this, my sketchbooks saw a lot of love. I’ve been trying to just doodle and sketch more, as I tend to over work a lot of drawings due to my obsession with detail and texture. Simplifying my illustrations has been fun.Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 12.11.43 PM Although of course, I can’t stay away from meticulously drawing animals, and so a few more excessive renderings have started to emerge. Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 12.12.36 PMSome new pieces in my ongoing collaborative sketchbooks with Anika Starmer, Patterns & Paws, have started to come together. Stoked to finally have a bit of time to devote to these beauties so I can mail them back to Maryland soon. Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 12.12.02 PMWhat have you been drawing in your sketchbook?

spoiled at the mailbox

19 Apr

Another week has flown by and as always, many creative envelopes have come and gone… so without further ado, here’s another tasty mail art post coming at you… First on the docket, is a very special package I sent off to the UK for Jules Young (aka @muddleduck). The sweetheart e-mailed me about purchasing some of my buttons that I had posted about earlier. My etsy shop isn’t open yet, but I was more than happy to fill this order! She picked a dozen of her favorite buttons, and I sent them along with the mail art I owed her.Someone else finding buttons in the mail was my very good friend Nick Ooysten, who is the king of restaurant flare (if you haven’t seen office space, GO WATCH IT NOW). For the past 3 summers while working at the Scotty Burger, he has worn a golf hat adorned with pins. Each year his “flare” grows, as more and more people (including myself) have gotten in the habit of gifting him badges for his hat. So, what better way to kick off his return to another summer grilling season than with a brand-new set of one-of-a kind buttons! @andytgeezer has this blog called my real wall. He says “I got fed up of posts on my facebook wall, so I thought I’d close my facebook account and get back to my blogging roots. So I set this site up to receive REAL post. From REAL people.” FUN! I was happy to send Andy a maple leaf plastered Where’s Waldo postcard (who I’ve been informed is knwon as Wally in the UK). Andy also happens to be a newlywed, CONGRATS!My little zine finally arrived on Katriona Chapman‘s (aka @katchapman) doorstep, although I have no idea why took it so long. However, I’m very happy it made it there safely, because I got Kat’s lovely trade in the mail last week. A set of her stickers printed by moo, a small illustration print with a note scrawled on the back and a super cool self-illustrated coloring book! Gotta love interactive art; it was a fun piece to discover. Melanie Chadwick‘s (aka @meelybeeblog) zine trade also arrived. She is an avid tea lover and inside a UK golden stamped envelope, were some rad paper goods that were proof of this fact; a hand-drawn zine all about various teas and tea time treats. It is an absolute gem and I’m thrilled to add it to my bookshelf. I was also graced with two tea-lovin’ postcards, one I will of course keep, the other will make its way into my mail art circuit. Also a trade from Helen MacDonald (aka @jollygoodstudio) arrived. She was far too generous in her trade for a zine. Honestly, I felt like I got bombarded by goodies: two pin-back buttons, a fabric brooch, three postcards and a lovely note! Not to mention the COOLEST stamps ever! what, WIZARD EDITION? WITH DUMBLEDORE!? sick.Speaking of being spoiled, Jessica Mack (aka @brownpaperbunny) needs to slow down! We already did a zine trade (one of her book themed zines for a mountains made of fur zine). But then, after my zine arrived in her post box, she decided to send another envelope! THEN, after discussing how we should be doing mail art on the regular, she sends AGAIN! The third envelope hasn’t arrived yet, but honestly, do I ever get to write back? haha. The second package shown here included a suicide bunny post card, colorful animal stickers, a lino-cut card, a fashion illustration and a wee note were in there. My reply to all of these envelopes, including the one yet to arrive, has an awful lot to live up to!Jeannine Saylor (aka @saylor_made) sent a very personal envelope to me. Almost too personal: we’ve been having ant problems (which the landlord has hopefully eradicated this past week) so she decided to send an ant adorned envelope! I guess Jeannine finds joy in my misery… what a cheeky little thing haha. Inside however, she made up for her slight jab, with 9 adorable cards telling me more about herself, sparkly bug stickers, and a really nice illustration of a long row of town houses done in ink and watercolour washes.A long awaited envelope from Anika Starmer (aka @aisforanika) made it’s way from Maryland with a sizable stack of tasty treats. Seed packs from the 80’s featuring old world woodcut images, a funky turquoise oval pattern collage, cutsie weather stickers, oragami, a maryland postcard, a white feather hidden inside a kraft envelope, a “sketchbook” filled with small blank water color papers, and a card printed with an anikaesque pattern. Phewph, did you get all of that? No wonder it took her so long to send this thing off to me; she kept adding more and more awesomeness until the envelope was bulging. Mariana Lobao (aka @minawolf) made her first attempt at mail art and was beyond successful! The second I stumbled upon her work, I was said ‘we HAVE to trade.’ I kicked things off with a wolf themed package and her reply came in this delightfully decorated envelope! There’s so much to love it’s hard to decide where to start, but the obvious choice is the Kate and Will flag, which is now proudly handing in my front window (their wedding is on the eve of my birthday, I’ll have you know. I’m sure it’s no coincidence…haha). Inside there was also plenty of postcards, a sweet note, a Jaguar Shoes fold-out posters, a book sampler, an a/p lino-cut print, a rad bear collage and a colorful bears versus wolves drawing. Wow, I’ve got to add a few of these beauties to my studio wall.Allison Sommers (@allison_sommers) was another one of my zine traders and her lovely reply showed up! Her work is so clean, professional and creative, i mean else who has glossy die-cut bicycle riding mouse stickers with their promo website floating down the tails? So sick. Plus I love the MINI ‘mountain made of fur’ drawing she made for me (I shot it next to a penny so you could appreciate it’s adorable minute stature). Wicked trade. Jamie Maddalena (aka @sendmoremail) is a big lover of mail, like myself, so it didn’t take long for us to decided to start exchanging mail art. I started by sending her a copy of mountains made of fur and she replied back with two wonderful vintage stamp packs and a green rice paper letter typed on a typewriter! So cool. These beauties are definitely going to find special spots in my sketchbooks or possibly even on some very lucky upcoming mail art letters. As a sucker for classic Canadiana, those found objects totally fit the bill.Now do you see the reasoning behind the title? I was spoiled at my mailbox wasn’t I?

beloved bears – collaborative post

16 Apr

Bears have been on my mind lately; surfacing a lot in my sketchbook and in new prints. Back in February I created a collaborative blog post about book collections, printed pages & the places we keep them, and since then I’ve been looking forward to doing another. With bears on the brain, I asked artists and bear lovers to submit a image, photo or poem (along with a quote if they like) about their love for these adorable mammals. Bears: a source of endless furry fascination, wondrous creatures steeped in folklore, myth and history, majestic beings of exceptional size, strength and stature. They are an animal that everyone has had an intimate experience with: as little children gripping tight to stuffed teddys or as adults marveling in a wild bears’ power and beauty. How can you not love these incredible beings?My ‘submission,’ (apart from the title picture at the beginning of the post) is featured below… I am in the midst of creating and producing a line of notebooks and stationery to sell on my etsy shop, and the other night, I finished printing my second edition of original hand-printed moleskine journals. This newly finished edition is part of the series which is first inspired by pattern/texture and then paired with animals (the deer with a filigree heart was the first edition). Why am I talking about my moleskine prints? Well, because this new edition’s animal is, of course, A BEAR! A circular pattern that resembles pores, micro-organisms, etc is printed as the background in a bright red ink onto the kraft brown cahiers. A gorgeous black and white grizzly bear stares upward curiously at the hovering black circular pattern. I’m just as happy with this set as I was with the deer edition. I can’t wait to print more animals and soon have people lovingly jot down thoughts, feelings and sketches inside these one of a kind notebooks.

Now that I’ve broken the ice, so to speak, please meet a few more fantastic bear lovin’ artists and friends who were kind enough to participate in this collaborative post:“My only personal experiences with seeing bears is in a zoo or in a documentary. In both scenarios I’ve been truly captivated by their large forms, strength, coordination, playfulness and intelligence. My fondest bear memory is of a polar bear swimming at a Zoo, playful and seemingly happy. Rolling in the water, pushing off the glass near the spectators and jumping in the water with such enthusiasm. Ideally, all animals should be in their natural habitat, so I find documentaries the most fulfilling viewing experience. One of my favourite documentaries showed a mother and her two cubs emerging from their den. The mother was teaching the cubs how slide down a steep slope and it reminded me of kids tobogganing after the first big snowfall. The documentary also brought attention to the effect global warming has on their survival and how vulnerable these strong creatures are. In both memories I find a human connection to these animals which deepens my love and reverence.” –Jeannine Saylor  (aka @Saylor_made) “In the world of animals, bears represent stability and strength, yet they also stand for innocence. They are cuddly yet ferocious and it is this duality that draws me to them. Bears have a history of appearing in the folklore of various cultures such as “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” and “Bearskin”. In many bear stories the beast represents something that is not as ferocious as it first appears, but is a complex character misjudged by its rough exterior. Many of us don our own mangy bearskins in an act of preservation, yet, like the beasts of these folktales, we all hope that someone will see through our protective hide for what we really are and love us for it.”-Melissa Mandel Allison Braun (aka @goatnglory) “Black Bears are sweet and curious animals. They have color vision and eat mostly berries and nuts. Go bears.” – Johnny Dimas (aka @Federales) “I put this together from a sequence of photographs I snapped at Berlin Zoo and I’m quite pleased that I did it all by my big self. I could watch him all day. I find it difficult to put into words why I love bears. They’re so amazing and majestic and have the most adorable wee ears. Looking at photographs of them never fails to make me smile, which is why I collect and save the best images for my bear Tumblelog” –Michelle Ashton (aka @zbyshka) “I’m thinking this is the start of a whole stamp series of bears. They are such beautiful animals.  Sun Bears are my favourite of all bears. They’re found it various parts of South East Asia and spend much time in trees. A gorgeous orange yellow fur patch round their neck means they don’t need to shop for bling. Numbers are declining due to horrendous actions such as poaching them for fur and bile (the bile is for medicine despite there being a synthetic substitute). Panda’s are of course well known. There is no question that they are adorable. But short of thick rimmed glasses and a pocket protector – I can’t draw them with anything but vacant stare.  Pandas are an endangered species. They have a low birth rate and can’t contend with the loss of habitat. These stamps are based on my illustrations & are hand carved from soft rubber.” –Chantal Vincent (aka @Chantal_Vincent) & her etsy “I’ve only ever seen bears in the zoo ,where they always look rather sad.  I’d like to think of them escaping into the world and enjoying life.  I imagine they’d spend their time having parties and watching Harry Potter movies. They would probably just wander about looking for a cave to sleep in but you never know.”-Helen MacDonald (aka @JollyGoodStudio) Dionne Kitching (aka @dionnekitching) “I quickly managed to knock something together between my uni work, saw your post re-tweeted by a friend, so i decided to give it a go. The words in the bear say ‘big cuddly warm best friend'” –Stuart Herrington (aka @sherrington) “So I lived in Yosemite National Park for four years. We know all the typical bear residents & name them. (Deer, too, & squirrels….well, the animals are one of the main sources of entertainment) (Anyway…)  One day the shuttle bus comes up to a stop & there is Shatze, a huge golden brown bear sitting on the bench, eating potato chips out of the bag, just like one of the tourists. The bus driver stopped, opened the door & called out the stop. All the tourists on the bus went a little nuts, either from fear or else got crazy with the camera. Shatze intelligently decided to wait for the next bus. Isn’t nature great!?” –Kye Sangha (aka @kyesangha) & her shop Iona Bruce (aka @iheartdotdotdot) Harriet Gray (aka @harrietgray) & her etsyMariana Lobao (aka @minawolf) Eurico Sá Fernandes (aka @heurico) “Growing up I would stay alone, I could never get along with my family so I spent much time playing with stuffed animals. Making up stories with them, we even made planets and guilds. It was an entire universe. I credit my teddies for expanding my imagination, making me believe in the supernatural. Bears sure have a soothing effect, warm and strong and somehow a supportive illumination coming from them. They’re just wicked-best.” –Thuraya Lynn (aka @thurayalynn) Michelle Lasalvia (aka @pirichi) “Ode to the bears that stole my loaf of bread when I was camping. They snuck up behind me while I was playing cards with my brothers. I heard a plastic bag rustle, turned & saw the pair high-tailing it into the darkness.” –Anika Starmer (aka @aisforanika) “Panda bears, brown bears, polar bears, gummi bears. I love them all!” –Krispy Alz (aka @kangaru) “Bears are funny and majestic at the same time and for that, they rock. Also, I can relate to their ginormous appetites : ) This drawing is inspired by the state flag of California, where I currently reside – but here, the bear is facing the opposite direction as he is already on his way back from IN-N-OUT, a popular West Coast (and my favorite) burger place.” –Toni Rica (aka @tonirica) “Say “hello” to Bernard the Bear!” –Brigette Poniewaz (aka @enchatedowls) “You can use those little bears i sent you in mail art! I saw a baby bear in yosemite & he was so cute & playful. <3” –Kimi Kobashi (aka @kimikobashi) Marcus Jackson (aka @luckyjackpress)

Thanks so much for reading, and an extra big thank you to all the bear lovers who participated! Your bear loving comments are welcome and encouraged. Please do visit the linked websites of artists whose work you really enjoyed or connect with them via twitter.