Commercial General information Projects

T-shirt judgement day

I love merch.

But the overhead of even a short run of posters or t-shirts is just too pricey. So when a colleague told me about Threadless, a website where you post designs, and the ones that garner the most votes get printed, I decided to give it a try. “Kaiser Chick”, the cover image for my 2008 Primer exhibit catalogue has always garnered a good reaction from people, so I retooled that drawing as a t-shirt design. I’ve made the stroppy little fowl life size (three inches tall), and put him dead centre on a battle grey tee.

(February 11 update: The design didn’t survive the Threadless voting. I might print it myself sometime when I have the time. I like the little dude.)

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.