Thursday, December 12, 2013

The 2014 International Photobooth Convention Announced!

Poster design by Meags Fitzgerald

I'm so insanely delighted to be one of the organizers for the next International Photobooth Convention! The other organizers are the gentlemen behind, Tim Garrett and Brian Meacham, and the president of A&A Studios in Chicago, Anthony Vizzari. These fellas have been integral to the photobooth community and I'm happy to be amongst them.

We haven't announced the programming yet, but it's shaping up to be an incredible event. Aside from getting to socialize with other photobooth fans/nerds/experts from around the world, there will be forums for technicians and artists, workshops, weekend long collaborative projects, film screenings, a book launch for Photobooth: A Biography, and some very special and extremely rare vintage photobooths!

The event is open to the public. You can RSVP on the event page of facebook:

And follow the convention news at


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Field Trip to Auto-Photo!

On Thursday this past week I took a day off from working on my book and made a field trip to Auto-Photo's warehouse! I've visited twice before and I'm continually blown away by how friendly and helpful the staff are. And by chance, Brian Meacham of was visiting Auto-Photo that day too! I hadn't seen him since the 2012 Int. Photobooth Convention. It felt like a little reunion.

Auto-Photo had a colour booth set up for me to use all day. The purpose of this trip was to shoot my next stop motion animation. This one will be short (about 35 seconds) and I'll share it online (unlike others I've made which can't be shared online because of terms set by film festivals.) The photo taking couldn't have gone better, we got all the shots I need and I think it will look really great once it's animated. I was assisted all day by my selfless friend Solomon.

The field trip was a wonderful break from my book work and reminded me of why I love the photobooth community so much. Editing and animating the little film will take many hours so I probably won't finish the piece until March, when my schedule opens up a bit.

Setting up the props- photos by my friend and assistant for the day, Solomon Krueger.
Inside the booth, outside the booth and my strips drying on my storyboard.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Montreal's Expozine past weekend was Expozine, a fair for indie and small press books, zines and prints. It was my first time at the event and I had fantastic time. I met so many great people and got to talk non-stop about my two favourite subjects: photobooths and comics. I even got to meet four other photobooth fans in person! 

I decided not to sell any of my own merchandise, instead I helped out at the Conundrum Press table. We put up a sign to promote my book's debut in May, which ended up being a great conversation starter (even if some people picked it up and mistook it for being a very large yet weightless book.)

The experience was very motivating! I still have many hours left of illustrating to go before Photobooth: A Biography is finished and Expozine was just the pick me up I needed. 

This photo was taken before the doors opened, it's misleading because the event was actually packed to the brim with attendees. I'm here with Dakota McFadzean, who's book Other Stories and the Horse You Rode In On launched this weekend. Photo by the mastermind behind Conundrum, Andy Brown.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Big Screen and Business Cards

Holy Mackerel. The last two weeks I had my hands full with moving. Almost everything else got put on the backburner. I recognized that for professional reasons, it's essential that I'm in Montreal until the summer of 2014, so why not make my stay here a little more comfortable? My place is in a prime location and is fairly spacious. I'm quite happy with how my DIY projects for my new room have turned out and I'll post more about those later. For now, here's a picture of my new work space.

 In other news...on Friday November 1st, Last Vegas, a film starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline, opened in theatres. It's exciting because the film features a replica of a 1950s photobooth, which is used by the characters in a flashback to their childhoods. The booth was made by A&A Studios in Chicago last autumn. I hand painted all the signage on the interior and exterior and designed the wrap around graphic.  As a little Easter Egg, I included a strip of pictures of myself on the outside of the booth, just so I can say that I was in a film with all those stars.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm definitely curious to see how my craftsmanship looks on the big screen. It was a really fun project to work on, I miss working with A&A Studios very much.

This week I received an exciting parcel in the mail. I ordered business cards from the British company, Moo. They're known for high quality, double-sided, colour cards, that can have up to fifty different images on one side. They're great for creative professionals because you can share a little bit of your portfolio with every card you hand out. I chose fourteen different images of my illustrations, my book and my photobooth art, so that they're tailored to the situation I'm in.

Next weekend is Expozine here in Montreal. My publisher, Conundrum Press will have a table and I'll be there promoting my book and handing out these new cards. Photobooth: A Biography doesn't come out until May, but it's never too soon to meet people and make some new friends in the same field.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

All Work and No Play

I haven't written a post in almost two weeks. Normally when that happens it's because I'm insanely busy, but in this case, it's because the stuff I've been working on can't be shared publicly yet. Since June, when I received a grant which enabled me to work on my book full time, I've been putting in long days at my desk. And honestly, the last few months have had their high and lows. I feel privileged and grateful that everyday I get to write and draw and I don't really have a boss to report to (but instead a friendly and supportive publisher.) On the flip side, I'm almost always alone and most of my human connections take place online. In the grand scheme of things, I'm okay with this because I see it as a trade off. When my book comes out in May, I'll have a few very social months while on my little book tour. In conclusion, lots of work now for lots of play later.

Last month while I was at a party (a rare occurrence) I met a writer and we got to talking about our books. Not before long we discovered that we share the same fear. Occasionally, I'll feel doubtful about my work, especially if I haven't seen another human in a while and the food I've been eating is of the frozen variety. My reoccurring daymare (daydream+nightmare) is that I am in fact Jack Nicholson in The Shining and the "genius" book I've been working on is discovered to be nothing more than a mad person's ramblings. I was relieved to learn that this is a common fear and that the best thing to do is to just  keep on working... and maybe make some friends in the city you live in too.

Its actually been tough to keep the book underwraps. One of the main reasons I decided to pursue illustration as my primary career path over a life in the fine arts is because I feel that human relationships, collaboration and community are a big part of it. I like the accessibility of illustration and question a lot of the institutional constructs of what art is supposed to be. This is also why I chose to switch from making art for a gallery- which can only be in one place at one time, to making a book- that can be read by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Connecting with an audience feels very satisfying, like inserting the last piece in a 5000 piece puzzle. As far as my book goes, I'm only about 3,467 pieces in and I should be getting back to work soon.

But after all that, I can't not-share something, so here is a newer Photobooth Portrait* of a booth that is still active in Berlin. (I made it in colour, though the version in the book will be in grayscale.)

copyright Meags Fitzgerald 2013
*The Photobooth Portraits are full page pieces that are drawn in a style that reflects the personality of the booth. These pages standout from the otherwise more comic-like, line based drawings of the rest of the book.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Poetry Festival Design

In August I finished a logo, poster and t-shirt design for the Victoria Spoken Word Festival, which will take place in March. This year's theme is storytelling, so I focused the concept around a team of characters I designed based on traditional archetypes with unconventional twists. We made colour and b&w versions of the designs. Everyone at the festival is a dream to work with, I'm really happy to have had this fun project!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Over the Moon!

Last week was the week of good news!

Firstly, I found out that five of my works are runner-ups in Creative Quarterly most recent (33rd) competition in the student/ recent graduate illustration category. As a runner-up my pieces will be featured on their online gallery for four months in the winter.  

Secondly, on September 29th my  film LaCuna screened at the Edmonton International Film Festival and won the Jury Prize for Best Animated Short Film. This project was a huge time investment and is more experimental than most of my works, so the recognition means more to me than most accolades.

And thirdly, two professional creatives, who's work I deeply admire have written quotes in support of my book, Photobooth: A Biography. Illustrator & comicbook artist, Jillian Tamaki and author & CBC's host of Wiretap, Jonathan Goldstein both wrote some kind words for me. 

“Photobooth: A Biography is an impressive and ambitious project. A deep exploration of an unexpected topic that is in turn historical, journalistic, and personal.”
— Jillian Tamaki

“Fitzgerald has created something that’s more than candid personal memoire, more than carefully researched cultural history — she’s created a work brimming with that rarest of things: love. That I should use such a word to explain a young woman’s feelings for photobooths certainly sounds improbable and maybe even a little crazy. And that’s precisely why this book is so wonderful.”
— Jonathan Goldstein

Up top is my "author's portrait" and below is the book cover. More information can be found at my publisher's website

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tauro Tauro Animation

In February of 2010 I was drawing a lot of mystical bulls. I was doing a self-made residency of sorts in Northern Saskatchewan and I came up with an idea for a stop motion photobooth animation using the imagery. Fast forward to May 2012, I shot the photos for the animation at the Auto-Photo Warehouse during a visit to Montreal.  Over the last year I edited it in my free time, and finally two months ago I asked Aaron Read, an incredible multi-disciplinary artist, to score the animation with his dreamy sounds. 

It's been four years in the making and Tauro Tauro is finally finished! I've submitted it to a couple of film festivals, but honestly, I don't know if that's the best route for it. (It is a very experimental and niche little film.) So, pending on the success or failure of those submissions, I may just post the full video online for anyone to enjoy. For now, here's the poster!

And for anyone in Edmonton, my animation LaCuna is playing at the Edmonton International Film Festival this Sunday at 1pm at Empire Theatres downtown.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

T-shirt and Poster Designs

In the last six weeks I wrapped up designs for five different theatre and music related festivals and shows. I'm able to share three of those projects at this time.

The first is a t-shirt design for SPUNK, which is the Zurich Improv Festival. Their existing logo uses a rhino, cowboy and balloons. We wanted to keep the same elements so I re-imagined them and came up with this variation.

Secondly, I collaborated on these five posters for Instant Theatre's new season of shows. The photographs are by Dylan Maher, the concepts are by Alistair Cook and the drawn elements are by me. I had a lot of fun coming up with the hand-drawn text for these. 


And lastly, I made the t-shirt design for Improv Camp again this year. My first ever illustration job was for Improv Camp 2009, and I've made one or two designs for the camp every year since, totalling seven designs. It's interesting to see how I've grown as an illustrator using these shirts as markers. 

This year, I came up with an island with areas named for famous improvisers. The ensembles at the camp are also named after famous improvisers, so the shirt was a way of acknowledging each ensemble too.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Self-Portrait for UPPERCASE

Last week I received my copies of UPPERCASE's Work/Life 3 book! I'm delighted with how it turned it and so happy to have been involved with this project. (Read more about it here.) I'm halfway through reading it and honestly it's been comforting to read about how other illustrators cope with the highs and lows of this sorta unusual job.

The book is a great resource for illustrators, artists, designers and art directors. You can buy the book here

My assignment for the book was to "Draw a view of your desk featuring items of biographical importance." Here's a look into my process, from sketches to print tests to the finished piece!

The finished piece!

 My spread!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

UPPERCASE's Work/Life 3 is Ready!

I'm still waiting for my physical copies in the mail, so for now this teaser will have to do!

Work/Life 3: the UPPERCASE directory of illustration from uppercasemag on Vimeo.

My illustration does appear in the video, but it goes by mighty fast! I'll have to wait for the actual thing to get a good look at how it's turned out.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I assembled these photos in the winter and just remembered them. The pairings of pictures are from 3 months of paper, chemical or filter tests I did at A&A Studios in Chicago.

The Model 11 booth is in the showroom, where vintage and antique cameras are on display, so I often grabbed one to pose with when taking a test strip.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Couple Tidbits

Wow, it's been a while since I have updated my blog, which is definitely a reflection of how busy I've been lately. I've got lots of news that I'll be able to share at the end of August/ start of September. For now, here are a couple tidbits.

I'm really excited to say that my animation LaCuna is an Official Selection of the Edmonton International Film Festival and will be screened on Sunday September 29th, as part of their "In Our Own Backyard" programming. I made a simple website for LaCuna,, and this short video on the Making Of LaCuna. Personally, I love to see behind the scenes stuff.

The Making of LaCuna from Meags Fitzgerald on Vimeo.

Right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on some material for my publisher, Conundrum Press' catalog, which is a preview of their upcoming books and recent backlist. For the catalog, I drew this "author's portrait" of myself.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Best Podcasts List

I listen to eight to fourteen hours of podcasts and audiobooks almost everyday. Without them, drawing at my desk by myself gets very dull. Friends frequently ask me for recommendations, so rather than responding individually, I made this categorized list!

I recently counted and I’m subscribed to over ninety podcasts in iTunes, all of the ones I listen to are free. This isn’t a list of everything I listen to, just the ones that I feel are consistently good quality.  I’m going to keep this list updated as I find new ones. And I’m always looking for more to enjoy, so leave your recommendations in the comment section!


-99% Invisible
-PRI/WYNC: Studio 360
-NPR: Tiny Desk Concerts (VIDEO)
-PRI/WYNC: This American Life
-NPR: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
-CBC: Q with Jian Ghomeshi
-The Walrus


-WNYC: Radiolab
-Freakonomics Radio
-NPR: Planet Money
-TED Radio Hour
-HSW: Stuff to Blow Your Mind


-HSW: Stuff You Missed in History Class
-CJSW: Today in Canadian History
-LearnOutLoud: Great Speeches of History
-History of Photography


-CBC: Under the Influence
-Grammar Girl
-MaxFun: Put this On (VIDEO)
-MaxFun: Sawbones
-From Scratch 
-HSW: Stuff You Should Know

-MaxFun: Stop Podcasting Yourself
-Hang out with Me, Myq Kaplan
-MaxFun: Jordan, Jesse GO!
-MaxFun: My Brother, My Brother and Me
-Earwolf: Comedy Bang Bang
-MaxFun: Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident


-NPR: Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me
-MaxFun: Judge John Hodgman
-MaxFun: International Waters
-APM: Wits


-CBC: This is That
-CBC: The Irrelevant Show

-The Moth
-MaxFun: Risk

-MaxFun: The Memory Palace
-PRI: Selected Shorts
-CBC: Wiretap
-Slate: Stranger than Fiction
-Librivox: Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece

-Savage Lovecast
-MaxFun: Throwing Shade
-Life on the Swingset

-Bitch Radio
-MaxFun: One Bad Mother
-HSW: Stuff Mom Never Told You

-Escape from Illustration Island
-Etsy: Handmade Portraits (VIDEO)
-Big Illustration Party Time
-Paper Wings

Friday, July 19, 2013

12 Questions

I feel very lucky to have been invited to participate in 12 Questions, an award-winning arts & culture blog with a twist. Each featured artist is asked the same twelve questions and can respond with whatever medium they choose. It's been interesting to read all the answers!

You can find my responses here,  I made four little illustrations for the piece. I made this one in response to "Cat person or dog person?"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Festival Design!

I recently finished up these designs for posters and social media for the Vancouver International Improv Festival. The Artistic Director, Alistair Cook and I conceived of this idea of Regions of Improvisation. I drew inspiration from maritime signal flags, which at their core, like improv are just about communication. I designed fourteen in honor of the festival's 14th year. I owe thanks to my brother Tiegh Fitzgerald, who's also an improvisor for helping me finalize the regions' names.

I did a t-shirt design for the festival as well, but I think we're keeping that secret until the actual event.

Right now I'm designing the visuals for another festival, illustrating some posters for a theatre company and working on a couple t-shirt designs. It's been fun!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ten Years of June 23rd!

Today is a special day! It's been ten years since my friend Emily and I took our first photobooth pictures together.  Before June 23, 2003 I had only used a photobooth a handful of times. Something about that particular day inspired me to start actively collecting/ art making.

By June 23, 2004, Emily and I realized how fundamental those original pictures were to my collection so we decided to re-enact them and we've been doing it ever since.

After high school, I moved to Calgary and Emily moved to Halifax, so we started taking the photos bi-annually, during our winter breaks in Edmonton. We also took long distance photos, where we took our halves respectively and sent them to each other. In 2011, I moved to Halifax, where Emily still lives, which made the series a little simpler.

This is my half of the collection, Emily's pictures are of us with big smiles and with monster faces. This year we took the photos early when Emily visited Montreal, it was the first time we ever took them twice in a row, because as you can see, the booth was in need of a chemical change in the second last photo.

It's sad to say, but in two years colour photobooths will almost entirely disappear. (The paper hasn't been manufactured since 2007 and it's projected to run out by summer 2015.) But I'm hopeful that Emily and I will find a way to keep our tradition alive.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Drawing is Good For You

I've been busy working on my graphic novel but I still have time built into my schedule to work on illustration and design jobs. Here are pieces from some recent jobs.

First up, I did a tshirt design and the website graphics for Wormbug, a short film made by Arlen Konopaki. The film is dark with a surreal twist, which, inspiration-wise, was a fun change for me.

Next up, I made a logo and a few graphics for a new improv company starting up on the east coast.

And lastly, I made this poster for a series of shows at Bad Dog Theatre in Toronto. Their season is baseball themed and while drawing this I realized that it was the first time I had ever drawn anything sports related and only the second time I've ever drawn dogs. (The first time was for another job for Bad Dog.) The black frame is their design.

I'm working on a few really fun jobs right now, some of which will be ready for the end of June, stay tuned!