Monday, May 20, 2013

One Year of Mail Art - March + April

Since last June, I've been sending monthly mail art to the same four participants. Each month has a theme, includes two puzzle pieces and a few letters on the back of each envelope, which will spell out a message with all twelve months and the arrangement key.

March's theme was Trompe L'Oeil and included mirror tricks and anagrams. This was a tricky one to put together as I was preparing to move.

April's theme was Ponies and Pansies, inspired by flowers and horses. It included two collages and a recipe for dandelion cookies on pressed dandelion paper.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Improv Shirt Design

A few weeks ago I wrote an article, The Role of  Improv Apparel for The Way of Improvisation, a new online resource for the improv community. I've designed over two dozen shirts for improv companies and festivals and gradually learned what makes a good design and how important that is to improvisors. 

One point I make in the article is that the shirts we wear sorta act as our resumes, letting people know where we've performed, studied, taught, etc. They're also important as keepsakes for festivals and markers in our improv careers. 

My friend and Atlanta improvisor, Rene Dellefont, has taken this to another level. In the last couple years he's got two tattoos designed around imagery and concepts from shirt designs I did, both for Improv Camp. Here are the originals and Rene's tattoos (click images for info about the tattoo shop and artist.)

Something I didn't include in the article, is how cool it feels to see people wear the designs I made! I've made two shirt designs for the Canadian Improv Games National Festivals, for 2011 and 2013. It's so neat to think that hundreds of students from across Canada have a piece of my art in their dresser drawer.

A couple times now, once in Toronto and once in Montreal, I saw somebody walking down the street in one of my designs. The world is so wonderfully tiny.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Illustrations for She Does the City

For the last few weeks I've been doing illustrations for She Does the City, an online magazine based out of Toronto about women's issues and urban lifestyle. The assignments for SDTC and their second website SDTC Teen, have been challenging but also rewarding. 

This first assignment was about rape culture and the issues and aftermath surrounding the author's rape. The article can be read here.  

The next piece was for She Does the City Teen, the article was written in response to the death of Rehtaeh Parsons about the effects of victim blaming and of cyber bullying, the article is here

Most recently, I made this piece for a book review of Drunk Mom: A Memoir by Jowita Bydlowska. The book is her account of her first year of parenting as an alcoholic, which was triggered after three years of sobriety by one glass of champagne after her son's birth. SDTC's review is captivating as it's authored by a recovering alcoholic, it can be read here.

As always, you can follow my illustrations by liking my facebook page, Two Hands Two Crowns.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Royal Birthday

Last Friday was my birthday and I was happy to celebrate it in Montreal. My sister hosted a really lovely brunch for me and I got spoiled with a few antique gifts that I thought I'd share here.

Firstly, I asked for this Air Mail envelope back in October and was delighted to receive it from my grandma. I haven't done much research on it, but it's the only black striped Air Mail I've ever seen. It's definitely from Austria but has American imagery on it.

For the Winter Solstice, I got this tin from my Aunty Annette, it's a very detailed and rare tin of George V and Queen Mary (Victoria's grandson and Elizabeth's grandparents). At the time it was the oldest in my collection. It spurred my interest a couple weeks ago to look for others from the same period.

After a not-so-subtle hint to my mother, she 'surprised' me with this little delight. It's from the Coronation of Edward VII and  Queen Alexandra in 1902 and originally held chocolates. (Edward was Victoria's son and the father of George V). Perhaps mostly strikingly, teal was a very uncommon colour on British monarch tins and the reds have held up well.

Next, I bought this one of George V and Mary for myself. I hadn't planned on it but an unknowing seller on eBay listed it for only $8 (in antique stores, this would go for about $75.) It's from 1911 and is incredible condition.

And lastly my grandmother got me this little gem (also an eBay steal) of again the Coronation of Edward VII and Alexandra.  It's so tiny and precious and is my favourite of the bunch.

In between Prince William and King Edward VII, I have tins from six generations of the royal family. The only British monarch that I don't have a tin of is Queen Victoria (they're aren't any that pre-date her reign.) I was researching her  and searching for deals online when I decided to take a little break from this collection and save that last piece of the puzzle for next year. It will be something to look forward to.

You can see some of my other tins from this collection here.