Happy New Year to You and Yours

Toss away the old! Step into the new!
I hope 2014 brings shiny baubles of health & happiness to you and your nearest & dearest.

A couple of holiday cards

These animals are ready for the holidays (even if maybe the rest of us aren't) and are now available as cards in my Society6 shop.

Illustrations for Thousand Islands Playhouse, 2014 edition

I was so pleased to work with the Thousand Islands Playhouse again this year on the images for the plays they'll be producing in 2014. Last year I developed a colour palette for the company to use across their marketing materials, and last year's images stayed pretty much within that palette - a lot of blues and oranges. This year we added a bright teal to the palette, and then we decided to feature some of the brighter yellows and greens that we hadn't used as much last year, and push the palette a bit further. Sometimes I think the best thing about being a designer is that you get to break your own rules. (Sometimes).

You can check out all of the descriptions of the plays here, and I believe that season subscriptions are already on sale. I have to say, it's a beautiful spot, right on the water in Gananoque, and they're doing some great theatre. Check it out!

Bird Brain - Young Company Touring Show

Driving Miss Daisy

The Importance of Being Earnest

Educating Rita

Jake's Gift

She Loves Me

The Ugly One

Waiting for the Parade

November Calendar

A rainy, blustery calendar for a rainy, blustery month. Happy November!


When you're half a month late with your monthly calendar illustration, you're allowed to make the worst puns, right?

At the end of September, I moved into my very first solo apartment. I blame the move for many things, the least of which being the fact that I wasn't able to do my monthly calendar on time. I'm a big fan of excuses, it's true.

My new place is quirky and weird and I'm getting used to it slowly (weird hot radiators, too many bugs, strange smell, barky neighbour dog) but having a place of my own is really incomparable. I'm so lucky to be doing what I love and able to pay the rent.

Comedy of Errors

Here's some recent work for Nightwood Theatre's Lawyer Show - a wonderful annual fundraiser that gets Toronto's legal community up onstage and acting Shakespeare.  If you're a lawyer and you're itching to tread the boards, maybe you should audition, hmm?

September Desktop

I suppose I have transit on the brain: last month I read Taras Grescoe's Straphanger, which is a fantastic book about city life around the world and the transit systems that keep it vibrant (or at least, that's how I read it). I also watched a fascinating video made by the company that's building a new underground line in the north end of Toronto. Tunnel Boring Machines are...insane.

I don't own a car, and I don't see owning one anytime soon. I have a bike, but actually it's sitting quite flatly in my backyard at the moment, and will probably sit there until I work through my trust issues with Toronto drivers. I actually really love to walk. If I know I can get there in 45 minutes with my own two feet and a good podcast in my ears, then that's my first choice.

But walking doesn't make for the most scintillating of illustrations.

Happy September, lovely people.


I'm posting this a few days early as this morning I'm off for a much-anticipated vacation full of swimming, eating, reading, and hopefully as little computer interaction as possible. (Oh, who am I kidding...)

Stay cool, July

This wallpaper is dedicated to Michelle, who thinks I should blog more. And who I think is right.

Happy July!

It's gonna be May.

I had the windows in my apartment open all day and all night yesterday, and, as I was listening to the birds, and my neighbours' kids (they were jump-roping (jumping rope?) honestly - when was the last time you saw kids actually doing that) and my neighbours' dogs, and cars, and roof repairs, and high heels tip-tapping by, and garbage trucks groaning up our steep street and gobbling up our trash, the parp of air brakes as punctuation... I realized that I had missed the sounds as much as light and air of spring.

Welcome back.

But I swear, if that creepy ice cream truck with its warbly mechanical tune parks itself across the street from my house every day from now until September, I may go crazy.

April Desktop

Happy April.  It feels like it's been a long time coming....

I heard on the news a few days ago that someone has filed suit against Punxsutawney Phil for predicting a short winter.  Poor little groundhog. (But, seriously, get it right next time, kay?)

My one year anniversary...of work!

The closing performance of the last show I stage managed was exactly one year ago.  Which means that I have been working for myself for...exactly one year. (Okay this is not *exactly* true: there was a two-week coaching gig I had at the National Theatre School and there was a small week-long workshop sometime last fall but...this is much more poetic, right?).

So I tallied up all of the projects I had completed in the past 365 days and made this simple, colourful chart.  I was surprised to see that I've done more Print Ads than anything. This chart is funny to me, though - while the Print Ad blocks look like a big chunk of work, each ad took very little time to do. Something like Visual Identity (the last block) would have taken hours and hours, but since I've only done one of them it gets only one little square of space. It would be fun - and a whole heck of a lot more math - to redo this chart with estimated hours spent on each project. Oh gosh, I *am* a nerd.

I've been so grateful for the work this past year. I just wanted to take a moment and acknowledge that. It's on days like this I feel that maybe, just maybe, I can pull this whole thing off.

Happy Norooz

I was commissioned a few weeks ago to design an invitation for a Norooz, or Persian New Year party! Part of the fun was the research (yes, I'm a nerd) into the colours and symbols most associated with and important to the festival.  The person who commissioned the invitation also wanted it to reflect her personal leanings towards the modern, so I was happy to give it a bit of a contemporary twist.  I also nearly fell down a rabbit hole of paisley patterns, but that's maybe a story for another time.

If you or someone you know is in need of a custom invitation this coming Spring and Summer, just email me at kinnon [at] kinnonelliott.com for a quote! I would love to hear from you.


I've been living with the phrase "Toronto's my home and I'll be here all weekend long" swirling around my head for years now. I even named a series of architectural buildings prints using it (though it is sadly impractical and may have to be retired). It's from Matthew Barber's song "Dust On My Collar" and, in it, he repeats the line three times, singing with such joy and determination. I've always felt it was a bit of an athem: No, I don't live in the city and escape to the country on weekends. No, I choose to go out and explore and wander and get lost in amongst my city's buildings and neighbourhoods. I want to live here, and I want to live here, warts (and stuck streetcars, and raccoons, and traffic) and all.

Speaking of those architectural prints, if you happen to live here in Toronto, you can now buy them at Telegramme Prints! Telegramme has long been one of my favourite print shops here in the city, so I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that they've joined the Telegramme family. 

March Desktop

We are living in a world of slush right now, and here in Toronto it's a bit early to be wishing for green (we'll still get snow until April) but I can't help myself.

Dear Spring,
Hurry hard.

Your pal,

A Valentine's Day Infographic

As a fun exercise, I did a little research on Valentine's Day - spoiler alert not one of my favourite holidays - and made this infographic.  Enjoy!
You can also see it on my website.

Always Write Notes To Yourself

I was looking at my bookshelf this afternoon and saw Laurie Rosenwald's great New York Notebook - half blank notebook, half insider's guide to fun stuff in NYC - and took it down to flip through, when  a handful of business cards fell out from between its pages. Apparently, I had gathered a few from stores and restaurants (okay, honestly, mostly restaurants) I had liked when I was last there with friends in 2010. 

What I had completely forgotten was that I had written little notes on each of the cards - notes to remind myself why I had picked up that card, notes that captured that particular moment in time, there, in New York. I don't know if they'll be evocative to anyone else, but they were so delightful to me. I can picture each and every one of these places. 

Some of the notes are very straightforward: I ate this here. Some are a little naive (did I really call Williamsburg dirty?), but all of them make me smile. 

"amazing shrimp burrito here between the Intrepid and the East Side Tenement Museum on St. Patrick's Day, 2010" 
Two friends and I visited the warship Intrepid and then, before doing the Tenement Museum tour (which I highly recommend) randomly chose this place for lunch and it blew. our. minds.

"Breakfast with the whole gang here - the most delicious lentils and goat cheese fritters. I let J try some and she ate nearly a whole one (I had 3 total) so I took an extra bite of her sandwich. March 20/10"
Even when you're on vacation, there's always time for a little spite.

"Too many ribs. A stone and lofty warehouse space with bbq to melt over and all I will remember is I got the shakes after eating too many ribs here. Can't wait to go back! March 19/10"
Those ribs were as big as my face.

"A necklace-chain of leaves became mine at this store in Williamsburg. The design, furniture and clothing stores were just the sort of style I wish I could afford. Strange, dirty little neighbourhood - I guess all of its pretty things are behind glass (or having a latte on Bedford.) March 19/10"

"Everyone else was tired or turning in for the night, so I took myself out for ice cream (Dulce de leche to die for) and wandered the West Village, buying books and marvelling at all the life spilling out of restaurants onto Bleecker Street. March 20/10"
Even on group trips (especially on group trips), it's important to have solo time.

"I had a delicious Reuben here (are Reubens Ukranian? I didn't think so) but it was a welcome stop on what became an epic foot tour of the East Village. March 18/10"

"Beautiful decor of tile, glass, fluorescent light tubes and numbered bottles. J and I had drinks (a Dark & Stormy for me, a New York sour for her) and talked about the way life was better here. March 18/10"

Always, always, always write notes to yourself.

Illustration Friday: Myth

I'm having a smite-y kind of day. Did you know that yesterday was Blue Monday, the saddest day of the year?  Smite! Smite! Smite!

Phone Case

My new iPhone 5 case just arrived from Society 6 (sporting one of my Keychain illustrations). It's a particular kind of thrill, seeing something you drew on a physical object. Note to self: get into surface design...

Butcher Sings Baker

This past week I've had the absolute pleasure of working on this poster illustration and design for Shannon Butcher, a jazz singer who lives here in Toronto. This Hugh's Room show in March will be Shannon's take on the Chet Baker songbook, so I had a lot of fun sketching concepts while listening to Chet's albums and researching 1950s jazz posters. Also, I looked at a *lot* of photographs of trumpets. Can I just say this: foreshortened reflections on a shiny, round surface? Yeah.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the result. (Am I allowed to say that?)  It was fun to mix a kind of  romantic whimsy with hard angles and geometric shapes.

Other things to check out: Shannon's website, the Hugh's Room website, and the link to the Butcher Sings Baker Facebook event. You should go!

Illustration Friday: Ocean

I can't remember the last time I posted anything for Illustration Friday, but it's definitely been on my mind for a while. I'm not a resolution-maker, but I would like to make better use of my free time. The weekly topics from IF are great practice for quick, loose illustrations on a theme, and I need to start doing more of them.