Make it a creative morning

My (brave) friend Rachael is doing a Creative Mornings talk tomorrow, on the theme ‘Make’, which I think is particularly suited to her. She’s good at talking about creativity and her work, so I know she’s got nothing to worry about. Also, she’s already conducted an interview with a man wearing a giraffe head, so how scary or distracting could the Creative Mornings audience be after that?

Rachael has made a creative journey from photographer, through altered book art, to paper cutting, and is now applying everything she learned along the way to intricate works in wood, 3 dimensional works in paper, and art installations. View her portfolio here.

And here are a couple of my crummy cellphone photos of her paper cut work, on display during the 2012 Culture Crawl:

2013 Mayor’s Arts Award

It’s always wonderful to see talented people receive recognition for their work, which is the case with the 2013 Mayor’s Arts Award for craft and design, awarded this year to jeweller Dominique Bréchault.

I’ve admired Dominique’s work since I first saw her piece, Homing Device, at the Museum of Vancouver’s Art of Craft exhibition in 2010. And since then I’ve enjoyed her writings on her blog, Metal + Mettle, which explores art inspiration, her process, and thoughts on the process of art making in general, as well as lovely images from her sketchbook).

Pigs + Society6 free shipping until Nov 17th

There is a free worldwide shipping offer on my prints on Society6 until Nov.17th 2013, through this link.


4-H pigs at the PNE

And, totally unrelated to prints, did you know there is a pig sanctuary in Mission, B.C. for unwanted ‘mini’ potbelly pigs.

I remember when there was the potbelly pig craze. And they were being touted as wonderful (small) house pets. And then people realised they weren’t so small, and actually required a lot of work, and unwanted pigs started showing up in shelters.

One day, when I was a kid growing up in a rural part of the Fraser Valley, an escapee potbelly pig wandered up our street and onto our driveway. It was huge. At least 200 lbs or more. Its belly dragged on the ground, folds of skin mostly obscured its eyes, its toenails were extremely long and curved upward, and were no longer being naturally worn down because the pig was walking on its deformed ankles, due to its body weight. The skin in its folds was red, angry and foul smelling. It was extremely friendly, and only too happy to follow us into the backyard while my parents located its owner (my brother and I desperately wanted to keep it). This was no house pet, and it certainly was not a mini pig.

And now the craze is ‘micro’ pigs. They are super cute. The piglets are adorable, and videos of them frolicking in the ocean, and walking into potato chip bags are all over YouTube. Pigs in general are super smart, and have tons of personality (I know, having raised the bacon kind for years). But it makes me sad to think of the percentage that are discarded, just like other more common pets like cats and dogs. As I’ve read on one breeder’s website, they cannot guarantee how small they will actually stay, and although they are wonderful pets and can come into the house, they should have outdoor living quarters where they can run, and root and do pig things.

As we move into gift buying season, think of sponsoring an unwanted animal through a shelter in a giftees name; or if pet ownership is in your future, volunteering at a shelter to find out exactly what is involved, or adopting an adult animal that needs a second chance.

tattooed bottoms & other interesting things


Dragon & koi tattoos, from Jonathan Vaughn Strebly’s 2011 talk on the stories told by tattoos.

I’ve just finished a fun little project illustrating some promo materials for the talented team who have put together this year’s Interesting Vancouver. The primary use is for the website, so that informed the format. They are intended as visual texture behind the content and were inspired by soundbites from past Interesting Vancouver talks.


High-flung soles, from Todd Sieling’s 2011 talk on his photographic obsession.


Drifting Bucket, from Tori Holmes’ 2012 talk on rowing across the Atlantic.

There are so many other great topics, with so many evocative stories I wish I had time to illustrate too, like: suits/armour/codpieces, iguanas, incarceration, terrified dancing dads, chocolate science, perfume science, beer, a transgender journey, foraging in the wilds of Vancouver, BC’s absurd liquor laws, and sex work in Vancouver, to name a few.

All the past talks are available through IV’s Vimeo page (where you might catch a glimpse of an actual tattooed bum).

This year’s Interesting Vancouver edition, taking place at the Museum of Vancouver, is sold out! As is the pre-talk dinner. If you’re interested in taking in next year’s Interesting Vancouver talks, subscribe to updates through their blog, twitter, or facebook page.