TDAT x UPPERCASE Map Competition – MATS Showcase

I recently did a post on my “Curiosities of Toronto” map showcased on the wonderful website They Draw and Travel. I submitted it for an illustration competition they are putting on with the fabulous UPPERCASE magazine (closed now, but results tbd) for which the artists created a map of curious and unusual places where they live or grew up. There are so many lovely submissions, and quite a few of them are from my lovely MATS friends. I decided to do round-up post so you can check out all of the Bootcampers’ wonderful submissions! Here you go :)

So Much to Do in Manitou, Colorado by Stephanie Olivieri
Gibsons, British Columbia by Jana Curll
Welcome to Bremen Altstadt, Germany by Tessa Rath
Purple Mountain Majesties in Colorado Springs by Wendy Brightbill
DC LOVE by Susanne Kasielke
Greater Providence, Rhode Island Hot Weiner Tour by Jill Howarth
Curiosities of Toronto, Canada by Ashley Lotecki
A Tour Along the Kamo River in Kyoto, Japan by Reika Hunt
What’s so great about Portsmouth, UK? by Jen Burbridge
Cincinnati, Ohio by Brooke Albrecht
My House in Forest Hills, Queens, New York by jane sanders
Adelaide, South Australia by Kate Mason
A Beautiful and Magical Visit to Prague, Czech Republic by Petra Hämmerleinova
Orlando, Florida: Beyond the Mouse by Lori Weitzel
A Grand Adventure in Japan by Nicole LaRue
Magical Serifos by JOANNA CHRYSOHOIDIS
High Towers in Stockholm, Sweden by Anna Berger
LeRoy, NY, Birthplace of JELL-O by Jennifer Wambach
Portsmouth, New Hampshire by Shannon Hays
Fanciful Map of San Francisco, California by mary rachael schafer

Good luck everyone!

“Curiosities of Toronto” Map – They Draw and Travel

My latest illustration piece is showcased on the wonderful map website They Draw and Travel! It’s called “Curiosities of Toronto,” and showcases some unusual and lesser known places to visit around the city which I think would be fabulous for both locals and visitors to Toronto to check out! I hand-lettered the entire thing which was fun but challenging – I think I may need to look into font creating software because lining every single letter up and spacing them is a huge amount of work! But still so very fun :) I am really digging illustrating maps right now, so let me know if you have any suggestions for future locations or collaborations.

The image below is just a small preview, but you can see the full-size version on the website here!

UPPERCASE Magazine – Surface Pattern Design Issue!

I recently had the most amazing news.. I was chosen to be one of the 100 designers for showcase in the new Surface Pattern Design Guide issue of UPPERCASE Magazine – issue #21!

It is a huge honor to be included in such a coveted magazine alongside all these amazing artists, some of which I have admired for many years, and many of them my MATs classmates! The magazine is going to be given out at Surtex in May (for those of you that aren’t familiar, Surtex is the awe-inducing surface pattern trade show that every aspiring designer dreams about showing at some day), but is also available in a variety of bookstores and retailers – even Chapters, where I was able to pick up mine! You can preview an online version here, but the text isn’t fully readable. I’m on page 67!

Uppercase is an independent Calgary-based magazine that is a unique and fabulous read, and runs entirely on subscriptions. If you are interested in subscribing, they have an awesome deal right now – $15 off a subscription with the discount code USPDG2014.

Underwater Pool Party! – Spoonflower Update

I have exciting news! My Underwater Pool Party! fabric design made Spoonflower’s top ten this week! One of the best things is getting to see samples of the printed fabric posted right away by the lovely SF staff and I think it turned out pretty great (I posted them below). This was a limited palette challenge with a very interesting combination of colors, but I think the top ten designs make a lovely complimentary package. If I was a quilter, I think the fat quarter bundle this week would make an amazing kids blanket! My design is for sale here and the bundle of the winning fabrics is available here, but only for about a week. Come join the pool party!
Possibly the most hilarious fabric close up ever… Hello little guy! :)

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 2014 – “Create”

The time has come again for The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap! Organized by the ever inspiring Beth Kempton of Do What you Love, the swap is now in its 7th year! I have the most fond of feelings towards Do What you Love as they have organized the amazing and life-changing courses I’ve been taking. I had a fabulous experience participating in The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap for the first time last year so I knew I definitely wanted to join again :)

This years swap theme is Create, which can be interpreted in any way choose but we do need to include some type of stitching. Additionally this year we have been presented with the additional challenge of some type of paper integration or use in our postcard. Now, you might think – ‘Hey! Postcards are normally made of paper, that shouldn’t be hard.’ But sewing and paper are not always the best of friends so it was something I needed to think on how to best integrate without destroying my sewing machine ;)

My interpretation of the theme was all manner of creating artwork or handicraft with all kinds of tools that this can be aided by – pencil, sewing machine, whisk, hammer, etc. The quote I came up with is true to my life – “to create is to breathe.” I am constantly creating! I decided that the physical process I used last year was one I wanted to continue developing. I did pencil sketches and then drew out my original illustrated artwork digitally.

Once I finalized the vector artwork, I selected some of my coveted stash fabric (same fabric as I used last year) and ironed on butchers paper to once side in order to make it stiffer. Additionally, I used painters tape to adhere the fabric/butcher’s paper combo to a normal letter size page so it would feed much easier through the printer. You can see below that I printed two copies, just so I had a backup!

By hand, I did a variety of embroidery stitches to add color and a more tactile impression of the lettering and tool icons. I decided the paper elements I added would be small enhancements in the actual artwork, blending them with the embroidery. I did small drawings on little sections of paper and then machine sewed them down (top of the whisk, top sewing machine, glue label, hammer handle, pincushion bottom, and flower). I think it works together rather well! It allowed me to add artwork and lettering that would be much too small to hand stitch.
Once I finished the front, I created some hand drawn paper stamps and stitched them to the postcard back so it would be a bit more fun. I then stitched front and back card together and I had a brand new post card!

I can’t wait to send off my creation to my partner (partners are randomly assigned) and to receive their design in turn! Snail mail is the best, especially when it’s something cool like this!

Lilla Rogers MATS Bootcamp – February

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In February I started taking part in Lilla Rogers Bootcamp! Each month for six months, we are given a professional project brief and have a few weeks to work on it. At the end of the month, everyone’s designs are showcased on Lilla Rogers actual agency website in a special gallery! Pretty awesome!  Beyond getting to stretch my creative muscles, it is so very lovely to in a new vibrant community and seeing all the new work pop up. If you can believe, there are over 550 other artists!

February’s theme was cuckoo clocks! It was a bit funny, as I had actually been working on a pattern collection with a similar theme. Because of this I needed to consider how I was going to go in an entirely new direction from that as well. I started with doing rough pencil sketches for the mini assignment, basically the “lead up” to the actual design brief from Lilla.

The actual project was to make a phone cover or case using our cuckoo themed artwork. A phone cover has a shape and size that is not suited to all manner of artwork so I decided to create a placement graphic versus doing a repeat pattern of some kind. My design is titled “Double Decker Cuckoo Cottage” :) My interpretation of the cuckoo clock was in a more rustic way, as a woodland cottage and the forested environment it would be found in.

You would not believe the amazing array of adaptations from the group of artists in Bootcamp with me. Wow! I definitely recommend you go and see for yourself, you can check out the February Gallery here on Lilla’s website (mine is on p 5 if you were curious!).