Where Do We Go From Here

The talented creative team behind this beautiful short film (writer/director/producer Zachary Bennett and producer Meaghan Denomme) contacted me just as they were finishing the final cut, and were looking for a poster and DVD sleeve design.  In the film, the characters share the loss of someone close:
Set in a safe and unassuming Ontario suburb, the film follows seventeen-year-old Elliot (Atticus Dean Mitchell) as he learns of the sudden death of his older brother, Tyler. Flanked by his older sister, Sasha (Sophie Bennett) and Tyler's girlfriend, Abby (Nadia Litz), Elliot tries to find peace in the music Tyler left behind.
First-time writer/director Zachary Bennett paints an intimate and emotionally raw portrait of three lost souls looking for answers to a death that no one saw coming.  Where Do We Go From Here explores the inevitable transformations that a loss can bring to a life.
As you might imagine, the film is full of beautifully melancholy music, and it was important that that was reflected in the poster.  Zach sent me a few production stills of the image he wanted illustrated, which I did using digital collage.  Then, using a sharpened chopstick dipped in black ink, I wrote out the lyrics to one of the pivotal songs in the film. (I find that a chopstick gives me a really pleasing blobby and scratchy (yes, those are technical terms) ink line - even more so than a nib).  I then laid everything out in Photoshop.

The film is being submitted to a circuit of film festivals so please wish them luck.  I really think that more people should see this little gem (and I'm not just saying that cause I made the poster). If you're interested in knowing more, Meaghan has a great post about making this film on her delightfully entertaining blog Tight In The Knees.

For the nephew

Here's a piece my sister-in-law commissioned for my nephew Harris's room.  She told me that the room already had a "retro-British" type theme (union jack pillows, blue and red) and I took it from there.  The finished poster was 17" x 22" - a few inches larger than my own printer can print here at home - so for the first time I took my print to a commercial printer.  It was a bit of a nerve-wracking process (did I set up the file correctly?  Will the colours turn out okay?) but the folks at SML on Carlaw did an amazing job.

This "London theme" is timely as I am in the middle of planning a trip to visit my talented and very stylish friend Jenna from ahbon.ca who moved to Lyon, France at the beginning of this year.  On the way there, I'm going to spend a few days in London, just to, you know, see what all the fuss is about. I'm joking, of course.  I KNOW WHAT THE FUSS IS ABOUT. And I'm incredibly excited.

This weekend

art + Telegramme's custom framing = win

Tomorrow morning will find me putting up five of my "Toronto's My Home...and I'll Be Here All Weekend Long" prints in the very cute Celena's Bakery on the Danforth.  It's part of the Art of the Danforth - a really great neighbourhood art event that is happening May 20 (yikes, Sunday!) until June 10.  There are a number of fun events, workshops, and exhibits happening throughout that time, though none may be quite so entertaining (and logistically puzzling) as the giant paint fight that everyone is invited to.

My prints are part of the official Art in Stores portion of the event - a huge number of artists are being showcased in the local businesses from Greenwood to Cedarvale along the Danforth.  So I encourage you to explore this neck of Toronto, maybe pick up a baked good (or three) at Celena's Bakery, and see what the East End has to offer.

Also, I want to give a big shout out to Telegramme Prints - they did a spectacular job framing these and I couldn't be happier with how they look.

Communication Arts Annual!

More amazing mail today!

It's only May, and it's already been a pretty fun year so far. I'm well into my second month of my self-imposed hiatus from stage management, and I've had the gob-smacking pleasure of seeing one of my posters in both the Applied Arts AND the Communication Arts Illustration Annuals.  I've a good handful - the kind of handful that you almost have to use the other hand to help hold it closed - of projects on the go. I don't mean to sound braggy - I'm just THAT excited.

I can't wait to post more completed pieces of work as they are, uh, completed. (Hey, I'm an illustrator, not a writer).

I also wanted to say a BIG thanks to everyone who has commented here over the years since I started this blog.  Your encouragement and kind words have meant the world to me and given me a lot of confidence. I've said it before and I will probably keep saying it until someone points out that I sound really uncool when I say it: the internet is cool, yo.

Now go draw something!

Here's an engagement party invitation I designed for a couple who had a truly wonderful engagement story involving a frozen lake at the top of Montreal's Mont Royal, some skates and a bench. 

Also, the parents of the daughter just sent me this photo of the cake they had done (from Bobette and Belle here in Toronto - lucky!) Skates on a cake!

Applied Arts Magazine

I'm so thrilled to see my "Live from the Belly of a Whale" poster that I did for Mi Casa Theatre in this year's Applied Arts Magazine Photography and Illustration Annual. The magazine is full of work from such talented illustrators and photographers that I sorta can't believe I'm in here. Congrats to everyone in the annual: I am really looking forward to leafing through this issue and seeing all of the beautiful work.