Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Humpday Digs | 2.26.14

Just short of being creatively titled 'Humpday Humpables',  Humpday Digs is a new feature I'll be keeping up with on the blog. My intention is to share with you whatever has recently tickled the chin of my fancies or gotten the wheels of my thinktank spinnin'. Maybe it'll do the same for you! Plus, everyone needs a little pick me up on Wednesdays. So grab yourself a beer (or a coffee, depending what time of day it is for you), kick back and take a look at the glorious things the interwebs have revealed to me this week!

• This really incredible artwork by 'Hi', see more here.

This post by Bethany from Love Grows Design about business lessons that can be learned from the Olympics!

• My friend sent me this poem by Sylvia Plath the other day and I find it weird and intricate and beautiful.

'People Think You're Good at Art if You're a Weirdo" Speaking of 'weird', a thought provoking (albeit short) article about how weirdness and being an artist go hand in hand. Which leads to tons of other questions on many many tangents. Does your art have to be weird in order to garner some attention from the public? Does your art have to be 'weird' to be original? Define weird and original now, in this world where so much has already been done?
It's a bottomless can of worms...

This London Grammar album. London Grammar is a British band which is good, because if they were from anywhere else I might feel inclined to send them an unsolicited list of alternative name suggestions. I've been listening to this album on repeat! I'm normally not drawn to female vocals, but this girl's got pipes that I would liken to Florence and the Machine and brings out my most melodramatic facial expressions as I sing along loudly with gusto (hey, I live alone at the moment, so whatever dude) not to mention my totally cool interpretive dance moves (I repeat, I live alone...). It's rad and you should definitely take a listen.

What cool stuff have you found whilst poking about the internet lately?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pattern: Exotica

I am excited to share my first ever tile-able pattern with you guys today! When I put it all together and trialed it as a pattern swatch, I immediately longed for Costa Rica and Pina Coladas (but no dancing in the rain, there's been more than enough rain here, major rain overdose), hence the title Exotica.

It was really really nice to just draw again. Should I have been working on assignments instead? Maybe. Yes. Definitely. But doodling and then bringing these doodles together on photoshop and turning them into a pattern? Totally satisfying, totally worth it!

What do you guys think of this pattern? Have you ever tried making tile-able patterns before? They're pretty fun, it's kind of addictive!


psst. this print is up on some Society 6 goodies now! Click here!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paris // Love & Stuff

I promise this post isn't going to be a total cheese-fest; you will not be tempted to empty your stomach of its contents whilst reading this. In fact I'll barely mention love at all. The title of this post is a total misnomer. Pinky swear!

Valentine's was a great night. I joke that it was a romantic lovely evening in the 'city of love' but really, a group of us went out and called it "Vacation's Day" instead as it was the last day of class before a two week holiday. No complaints though - we found a really cool bar with Moroccan inspired decor and delicious (but pricey) cocktails, then moved on to a cheaper bar, and just generally had an adventure and it was a blast!

Yesterday I went to a Stefan Sagmeister exhibition called "The Happy Show". I loved it! I have a whole new appreciation for Sagmeister and his design work. I'll dedicate a post to the happy show another time as it was such a cool experience and really got me thinking.

After the show we explored the venue it was in, which has a public work space and library and video game area and was just generally design focused and SERIOUSLY cool. What was cooler is that people there were actually using it! There was this interactive set up where you could spell out phrases. Someone had written out "Happy with my girl *insert name here*", so I opted to write out a phrase of my own dedicated to the current love of my life, my puppy back home, Oliver. Whom I miss very very very much. I'm in total animal withdrawal. You should see me ogle over the puppies I pass on the streets. It's embarassing, really.

I've even skyped Oliver the other night! Though our conversation wasn't particularly in depth or lengthy...

(Pfft, no, those aren't my parents behind him holding him up to the webcam...)
I'm pretty sure that right there is the embodiment of puppy dog eyes. Ahh he's my faaaavourite, I miss him so so much...

This is quite a disjointed post,  I guess I just wanted to pop in really.

ps. Look! I only mentioned 'love' about once a paragraph! See? Nothing too sappy here. Except maybe the part about Oliver. But he's a dog so it's ok right?

Friday, February 14, 2014


Hey look, an illustration! Yea, I still do those sometimes. A lot actually! Mostly for school and most things unfinished, but stay tuned for some cool thiiings. This one's just a quick burrito doodle for the sake of a bad valentine's day joke....

Speaking of which, happy valentine's burrito day to all of you! Hope you're celebrating it with someone special. That someone special could be chocolate and wine (or a burrito...) no shame in that! None whatsoever so long as you enjoy!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Paris // Little Paris Gems .o1

Would you believe that I've been here almost a month and have yet to see the Eiffel tower or Notre Dame or any of the big tourist traps attractions? Part of me just isn't in a rush; I have two weeks of vacation coming up, and another 4 or so months left here after all. The other part of me has just been falling in love with the lesser known Paris. I'm really digging the little places and hidden gems that don't immediately come to mind when you think 'PARIS!'

These two aren't particularly little, of course. Place de la République is actually quite big and plays a starring role in a Coeur de Pirate song, but unless you know a bit more about Paris you probably haven't heard of it. It's about 5 minutes away from my apartment (and 5 other minutes away from a delicious bagel place, which is where I was waddling home from with a full belly when I happened upon it). It was Sunday and the whole plaza was ridden with skateboarders and a band playing some jazz music, and little kids and people. It was very alive, which is nice on a Sunday here since most places are closed and it can feel quite quiet (quiet by Paris standards anyway). We walked around it and giggled at the kids who crashed their tricks and fell. I think the sheer number of people falling all around us is what made me laugh, it just kept happening at every turn, each fall followed by the characteristic ohhhhh's of teenage boys hanging out together and the melodramatic clutching of the knee (or elbow, or ribs) by the fallen.

Then there's the Marché aux Puces (this one is St Ouen)! Now THIS is what I remembered from my previous trip to Paris when I was younger. It's the biggest flea market I've ever been to, with everything from clothes to antique furniture to postcards to taxidermy to african masks... just everything! And lord knows I love some vintage visual stimulation; it's like design porn! Little trinkets and old things that have such esthetic appeal, all laid out like that! Maan I love it! I bought myself some post cards, some with actual writing dating back to 1927, and some old portrait prints. I couldn't resist! We also only saw part of the market, so I'll definitely be headed back when the weather's nice again to explore the rest of it!

Yup, Paris is pretty cool I suppose. Still crossing my fingers for some nicer weather though! Today there was some hail, and the french students in class were all bewildered. Meanwhile I'm sitting there all "Ha... how cute. Come spend some time in Canada sometime...". I hadn't had my coffee yet, so I guess I can be allowed a bit of sarcastic grumpiness, right? Hehe.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Paris // City and Colour Concert

In case you haven't heard of him before (which would be odd? but being in France where he's relatively unknown makes me prudent) City and Colour aka. Dallas Green is a really really really REALLY talented singer/songwriter dude hailing from Canadaland. He's one of my all time favourites and I was initially so disappointed when he came out with a new album and was most likely touring while I'd be out of the country....

Well fast forward to a month ago when I realized he was doing a European tour and would be in Paris while I am here. Then replay the moment when I realized how small of a concert it'd be compared to what it would be like in Toronto, and that this was going to be very very cool.

It was even cooler than I expected. I was ONE person away from the stage. I was SO close and had no cumbersome tall folks in front of me so I had a great vantage point to watch from. I'm not particularly fan-girly about celebrities (unless it's Ryan Gosling in which case you'll have to excuse me) but being so close was really quite surreal.

He's also better live than he is recorded - is that possible? Apparently, yes. His voice makes me weak at the knees and I could just melt right into his songs. If I could permanently live in a City and Colour song, I would. Not in a weird way... maybe a bit weird. I just love his music a lot ok? Ok.

So that was my incredible night, still feels a bit like it was a dream! If you haven't ever heard his music I implore you to do so! Some personal favourites; "Little Hell", "The Girl", "Death's Song", "Northern Wind", "Against the Grain".


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Paris // Recovery Walk

This weekend I have unfortunately come down with quite the cold - ick! I admit I became very disenchanted with everything in my few days of restricted vocalizing and limited breathing abilities and was being a total grump.

Today though, I felt I had enough air passage through both nostrils to muster up the energy for a little walk. Besides, I actually woke up to sun peeking through my window this morning, and I couldn't miss a (rare) sunny day in Paris.

I am sooo glad I did! How can I still feel disenchanted with things when there's so much magic in something as simple as a giant blob of thin soapy water? These bubbles were quite impressive, as was the building I found the Bubble Guy next to:

Hotel de Ville! I can't believe I can walk barely 15 minutes from my apartment and feast my eyes upon this remarkable hunk'a architecture. Today in the sun it was especially special, but maybe I was just seeing the world through fresh, glittery rainbow lenses, happy to be out of my apartment and to see blue skies for once. This city is so rainy, my two Scottish friends (other exchange students) actually commented that it has been raining here more than it has been in Scotland. Now that's saying something.

I call this one: Paris, the city of Love. Creative right?