Saturday, January 30, 2010


I'm not sure what this is or where it came from psychologically, but I finished it just a moment ago.
A random musing.
I was about to leave the studio for the night, but felt like I wanted to mess around a bit with some paints and other scanned-in layers of drawings that I already had in my computer. It's funny, but I spend so much of my time conceiving ideas for my commercial assignments and then executing them; having my head inform my hand essentially, that it's refreshing to do the opposite and just allow myself to create some random piece from thin air.
Zero concept.
But it's okay.
Doodles are okay!... and fun!
Okay, I'm out.
Happy Saturday night!

Friday, January 29, 2010


As I mentioned in a previous post, 2010 has really begun on a bit of strange footing; not in a negative way whatsoever, but in that I'm beginning to explore new possibilities within my (art)work. I've been weary at times about sharing (new) work that I've done online mostly because a huge part of me is not fully committed to them. Another reason is that because competition is so ingrained in my being that whether or not the image is being entered into some creatively competitive forum, I will essentially create this environment within my head. At times I feel as though it takes away from the joy of image-making; this constant wondering about the relevance of my images, will it sell?... is it contemporary? does it resemble too much, the work of someone else, who is alive or dead?
Consequently, a part of me wants to therefore, hold onto the images, until they are ripe for an audience to harvest them, or until i am ready to harvest them myself, and then display it amongst the rest of the work that I've done up to this point. But from my limited experience, I've realized that I will never be entirely
ready, or fully perceive when will be the proper time to put these images out into the world. I'm sure that there is a business logic about how to do this, that perhaps if I create some sort of outline, and some sort of time line, and adhere to it, then following that formula will result in some sort of positive return.
The art of business?
The business of art?
The illustration market is changing.
No, despite rumours, print is not dead. And I think that editorial illustration will be alive and well, and it's not just because Apple has released its
I-pad ***snicker -- snicker*** But with all of these new networking sites, the ability for many people to participate, interface and interact online, how does that affect illustration?
I don't know the answers.
For me, it's become a new learning experience.
Not knowing can be a good thing - change can be a great thing.
It's only that the growing pains make me think that I'm treading along the wrong path.

As per the images shown above, it is the process and final image for my submission on I'm aiming to try to get it printed. So if you have any time or interest, please click on the thumbnail below to vote it in -- and thanks!
Follow Me - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More
The illustration fell under the theme "Create The New Trend," and so I did a literal interpretation of the sentence. Soojin Buzelli, who is the Creative Director of Plansponsor and Planadviser magazines, and who is also one of my favourite art directors, approaches art direction in this manner, by assigning us a general summary of the content of an article, or by just giving us the title of the story that we have to provide an illustration to.
In this case, I chose to replace the word trend, with the expression
follow me. Moreover, the first sketch that is shown above was originally an unapproved sketch for The Atlantic, which I tweaked (yes, there can be a shelf life for even those drawings that end up on the cutting room floor - so don't throw them away; they can be either reused or reworked!) As I continued to draw I thought about using the lightbulb as a metaphor for enlightenment. Through even more sketching I arrived at the idea that I could change components of my drawing to make it more relevant ie. our push towards energy efficiency. As a result, the head of the lightbulb ended up transforming into a China-bump, as I like to call it.
Long-winded explanation.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Day 2. Loft is done.
Now I finally have a home for all of boxes.
I've always been a pack rat, but this time I swear that I'm going to try to at least sift through some of my things and throw them out.
I've always been keen on keeping my drawings, for nostalgic purposes, for lectures to show my process, but honestly some of those drawings are really just scribbles on coffee stained sheets of paper.
Short entry today.
Gotta get back to work.
It's been a good start to 2010.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My studio is undergoing somewhat of an overhaul. I moved here almost a year ago after having shared a studio space in Manhattan with my great friends, turned into family, Yuko and Katie. However, it was only since the fall that I've been finally trying to settle in. Half empty boxes have claimed their space, edged along the side of the wall; my cooler lined with plastic grocery bags is my makeshift garbage bin (remind me never to offer you cold beer at my studio), and my air conditioning unit left in the hallway by one of my neighbour's, with a note attached in an handwritten scrawl, "FREE! TAKE ME! FREE!"
Words that I like to hear.
We set to build a storage loft for all of these boxes (maybe I should sift through them again, to see if I can empty out more things), but it has been somewhat of a trying experience. From our trip to Home Depot on Saturday, where we were told that they do not deliver on weekends, although teasing us above our heads was a huge store banner that read, "We Deliver Everyday!"
Home Depot, I think that you need to reinvestigate your customer service standards.

Fortunately we drove there, and were able to, with sheer brawn and some wits, strap down the wood onto the roof of our car and fit the remaining panels in our trunk. And with care of a chinese danseur balancing a pirouetting ballerina on top of his head, we drove these beams of wood back to my studio.
On Day 1 we could only get part of the frame of my loft up.
Everything seems to work in theory.
Nothing is easy.
Unfortunately our drill has seen the end of its days. after drilling the third bean into the framed that was attached to the wall, it stopped working as effectively.
The rotation of the bit was so slow that it could barely puncture a waterbed.
Stay tuned for Day 2.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Here's a direct link to my talk at FITC in Toronto last April 2009. I was invited to speak at FITC's conference which was devoted to Flash, moving image, motion and interarctive art and design. I wrote briefly about my experience on my blog, and you can find it a few news items below this under FITC Toronto (posted April 29, 2009); however, again this is a direct link to my lecture on the Adobe TV website.
I was very surprised and flattered that I was invited to speak at this 3 day conference, as well as on a panel with fine artist, Camille Utterback, Jared Ficklin (Frog Design), Dr. Whohoo, Shaun Hamontree (MK12), and Craig Swann (who moderated this discussion) because my work, although mostly done digitally, has no motion component. Still, I tried my best to speak moreso about my process, not necesarily focusing on a how-to method of creating my illustrations using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but rather sharing my portfolio and revealing some my thoughts and experiences which are related to my studio practice, and how my work has evolved over the past 9 years.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I know that this is a bit too early to post, but I wanted to show some drawings that I completed for my Valentine's Graphic T's. 2010 has been a great ride so far - I mean, only 3 weeks have gone by since the new year, but I've been ultra productive.
December was pretty slow, however, I figured that since magazines oftentimes couple their November and December issues together that that was the reason for the slowdown. Editorial projects make up the bulk of my work so when my phone doesn't ring as often as I'm accustomed to, then I do get a bit anxious. That's the life of a freelancer. Still, that's no reason to stop working. Regardless of whether or not I'm working on commissioned projects, I feel that it's necessary for me to continue to work on self-initiated ones, even though they might never be seen by anyone. I have some friends who are Illustrators who believe that creating 1 personal piece every 2 weeks or so is a good habit to keep, while another friend of mine makes it a purpose to create 1 personal series per year. However frequent or infrequent you decide to spend on personal projects, I think the important thing is to realize that that it's necessary to continue to work even when you're not expected to do so.
I sound as though I'm lecturing.
I'm not. I'm just tired.
I digress.

Anyway, these drawings that I've been creating, although somewhat random, has really ignited some creative fire inside of me. Once I get into the motions of drawing, and revising, and drawing and revising these images, I completely forget about time.
Ride the wave. Ride the wave. Inspiration doesn't always show itself.

I arrived at the studio today at about 9am... it's midnight now... sure, I took a dinner break, but for the most part I chose to cloister myself in my studio.
I'm tired.
Really tired.
I wrote more, but realized that it wasn't making any sense, and so I erased it.
Time to take off and regroup tomorrow.
I'm working on a commissioned piece over the weekend, due Monday.
It's a fashion piece.
My fingers feel like jelly and my brain has probably shrunk to the size of a raisin.
I've got to get out of here.
Be back tomorrow.
Good night!
Oh, and here's the link to my V-day products on

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I recently (as in, last night at 3:00am) uploaded some of my illustrations onto the website Artsprojekt. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Artsprojekt is linked to Zazzle, an online social network that allows its users to create, transfer and print their (art)work on a variety of materials. This is super interesting to me being that I am constantly seeking new ways to retain "freshness" within my studio practice. Trying to figure out just what works and what doesn't on a T-shirt is still unknown to me; I'm using this experience with Artsprojekt as a testing ground. There are certain limitations at this point, one of which is that the image can only exist at a restricted size, and within a certain space. How do I, therefore, create an image that is approximatelty 8 x 10" and sits somewhere on the top half of a shirt?
So far, my approach has been to just create things that I would want to wear, or would like to see my friends and niece's and nephew's wearing. I'm trying to silence the demons in my head who are telling me that everything's been done before...
But has it really?

I guess I have to practice what I preach to my students; limitations and restrictions can be a good thing because it forces you to think of a less obvious solution to a problem.

The illustration that I decided to employ as one of my first t-shirts was a drawing that I did for James Ramirez at MK12 for the website It was an online poster exhibit which allowed users to download the images for free. The theme was Man vs. Nature, and I wanted to do a cheeky take on the subject matter. The original drawing is ink on watercolor paper, approximately 22x30" (i think). Looking at the drawing, it might appear that the process was tedious, but in fact it was very cathartic and meditative. The repetition of the bees and mice and birds became easier to draw as time went along.
So wish me luck in this new venture, and check out my store on Artsprojekt; here's the link:


Monday, January 4, 2010

NEW WEBSITE...(again)

With a new year comes new possibilities and...a new website.
The recession is still looming and my pocket book lighter than ever, and as a result, I decided to invest, yet again, in the "Dummies" series of books to try to learn how to hand-code my site using CSS and HTML instead of hiring someone else to do it for me. Needless to say, as a semi-luddite, I could only get to a certain point in my hand-coding, after which I resorted to "clicking and dragging" my site together with Dreamweaver. Many thanks to my friend Elaine, who helped me answer as best as she could the questions that I had in regards to coding. Phewf! And now it's over to you... enjoy the old work as well as the new pieces. Happy New Year!