General information Projects

Shanghai scooter sketches

When I visited Shanghai two summers ago, I was impressed with how scooters and bicycles were used as real machines, whether carrying massive loads of salvage or delivering precarious towers of flowers. There is a heady dialogue in Toronto about bicycles and greener forms of transportation, but in Shanghai you see how a two-wheeled city actually functions.

I shot a ton of photos with the idea of using them for an art project later on. I now have an exhibition planned for the second half of 2011 at my favourite art clubhouse, the Niagara Artists Centre. The show will mostly be gouache and ink drawings, but I am still making material and technical decisions. I want to convey the motion, the clutter, and the humidity of the street scenes, so I have been leaning towards working on wet papers with soluble inks. It is exciting to be processing a show from scratch, and I will post more reports as the work progresses.

Commercial Projects

This book is gorgeous!

Last September, I met with Toronto real estate agent Kate Watson to discuss a book project. Kate’s promotional material has always utilized standout graphics, so I wanted to build on that while adding my own style. We wanted something fresh, but also something that clients would hold on to.

We decided to create a pocket guidebook to Toronto real estate, featuring drawings of her clients’ actual homes. Houses are identified by neighbourhood (neighbourhoods are a big deal in Toronto), and the 32 page booklet includes invitations in the form of retro-looking coupons, complete with “cut here” lines.

For the ink and gouache house drawings, I worked from a variety of sources including MLS photos, my own reconnaissance shots, and even some Google Street View searches. The biggest challenge turned out to be not the homes, but coming up with ways to refer to the other half of a semi-detached house, or the show the huge trees in front. I didn’t want to deny the reality of the Toronto streetscape, but I needed to emphasize the right house! Some of my favourite drawings from These homes are gorgeous! are featured below.