So a few weeks (oh god, has it really been a few weeks already?) ago my partner and I took part of London (Ontario)’s Anarchist Book Fair, I believe the 3rd Annual. This time around it was held in At^lohsa Native Family Healing Services. First off, wow this space was FANTASTIC! It was roomy, bright, and had a variety of spaces for workshops, and even an eating area. In retrospect I wish I had taken more photos of the beautiful architecture and details of the space. This was our first time with a table at an Anarchist book fair, and honestly we weren’t 100% sure how we would do. Technically speaking, I don’t consider myself an Anarchist (I don’t subscribe to formulas yo), and have some pretty mixed views on politics and social structure. When forced to label myself (or my art) I usually settle on Existential Naturalist. Anywho, the book fair was actually quite successful. It is always so re-assuring to have positive feedback from others, it makes the work feel that much more satisfying. I want to congratulate my partner on completing a second pamphlet zine, and nearly completing a third!
Also at the book fair, an artist collective called the Beehive Design Collective had a huge, and beautiful mural up for display. They also sell poster prints of these (double-sided that gate fold open! super super cool!). They also had someone talking about the metaphors and meanings of the pieces, which were actually really thoughtful and well planned. I always appreciate art that has symbolism and meaning that doesn’t make me roll my eyes. They have a lot of neat patches and their webstore is sliding scale to help with the pocket-book. I highly recommend checking out their website here.
I really par-downed my display for this event, since we were going straight from the book fair to our annual street party, fireworks bananza Burn the Kids. Plus being a book fair, I wanted to focus on paper products. For this event I did have a new item, a series of original drawings in mini glass bottles. I filled the bottles with little precious stones and rocks that I have collected from different parts of Ontario. I called the series Keeping It All In (Ontario). I think I will make a Behance project for these guys (or I suppose I should say gals), with more information.
So this past weekend, my partner Hrafn, and I had a table a local art bazaar and street festival. This isn’t the first Rag Bag bazaar I have taken part in, and certainly won’t be the last. It reminded me that I need to start posting on here more often, because surprise! People actually want to be able to find me online, and see my new work online (or I suppose work that I have now finished). So, I’m going to try to at least update everything I have online and maintain this blog with WIP updates more often. Also, please feel free to contact me through e-mail anytime with inquiries about items you have seen at festivals or custom ordering.
Now, on to the Bazaar… It was an up and down sort of day. It was insanely windy, which meant that my display had to be very flat, and very weighted down (seeing your art get blown onto Dundas street doesn’t make your stomach feel too great as it turns out). I think it negatively affected some sales, but I just tried to be encouraging for people to pick items up. Unfortunately my always openness for people to touch resulted in disaster… even though I never suggested for this particular child to touch (he picked up some of our mini zines and alien crayons and thought they were free and tried to walk away with them..), he then proceeded to pick up my most recently finished doll (one which I haven’t properly documented) and literally rip her arm off. Jerry tried to catch up with the kid and mom, but they were quick to flee after the incident. :( I guess this means I will have to keep my dolls farther back and only allow adults to touch (with a stress on being gentle). The sad part is, is that my dolls really are not that delicate. I have dropped them at home, or have had Dante pull them off of a table (or pushed ahah), without any breaks. But I’m confident I will be able to fix her arm, luckily it is covered by clothing at the break. But in good news, I sold the last two catopi from my series, the last prints for a few designs, and most surprisingly (and most painfully) I sold Diana and Lapin. Diana and Lapin were my first finished clay doll set, and part of a larger story I have been working on for some time. It was incredibly thrilling to have someone love her enough to take her home!! I hope that wherever she is, she is being admired.
The biggest “reveal” of this show (I always try to have at least two different and new items at a show), was the hand bound book I put together. It is 24 pages long, includes one longer story, multiple fragments, bird girls with floating islands, space cat comics, and some sneak peaks for other ideas I’m working on. I learned a new binding technique, and hand stamped each cover. I received a lot of positive feedback about these and look forward to creating I am filled with ghosts vol. 2. I will be posting more about this release on my Behance page within the next week or so. My partner also created a new zine for the Rag Bag, it is called Alone. He also learned new binding techniques, and he even added belly bands. I have to admit, I’m pretty damn proud that we both finished our books on time, though it did result in us literally have two hours of sleep before!
This whole winter thing is starting to get to me, I admit. I love winter, and enjoy going out in the snow, and I understand the importance of having healthy seasons. But I’m cold now, and I am really looking forward to the spring. The main thing about winter is that when I’m cold, and I’m inside, it makes me want to sit around doing nothing. Which leads to me.. well sitting around doing nothing. But I have been trying to combat these winter lulls.. I’ve started painting again, something that I am still unsure about whether I even enjoy or not. I’ve been designing some new dolls, and realizing that some of my other dolls are not yet complete.. I have some new ideas though for my Persephone cloth doll, which mostly includes creating a full costume for her, and my mermaid doll, which simply needs more detail work and possibly work on her wig. I posted a picture of my mermaid on my Behance page as a WIP here too. I still need to take proper shots of all the cats I made last fall… and the next Rag Bag is in a few weeks! Gah. I just never have enough time! But in the mean time, here is a WIP shot from a series of tiny paintings, the paintings are 4″ x 6″.
So, I’ve been working on finishing a few things.. such as this Monster High Ghoulia Doll that was my very first MH doll I found used. I’ve painted and re-painted her face a few times so I knew it was time to create her into a full, new character. I got this particular doll at a steal ($1), thanks to the fact that she was sans arms. This was the inspiration for what to do with her.. I considered making her more traditional lady arms, but was unsure how to do the jointing to allow them to move still.. and in comparison to “real” MH arms, I thought they wouldn’t look very good. But then, inspiration hit me in the face with a brick.. a faint memory of a stunning scene. I remember watching my sister play the PS1 game Parasite Eve. At the beginning, there is an Opera scene of a beautiful young woman, and suddenly everyone explodes, except for her: her arms explode and out burst these huge scythe like hands. So, this doll’s name will be Eve. With this weird, old memory in mind I started creating. She still needs more work, but I couldn’t hide her from the world! (Also, I purposefully decided NOT to look up Parasite Eve during the design and creation, I don’t really remember what the original Eve looked like, but I wasn’t really interested in creating THAT character, just a character inspired by it!).
Last year, I was excited to have a full commission request for Christmas. I knew it was going to be a challenge, and I took a lot of time to really work on the design and approach. I have never made an AmerIndian style doll before, and to be honest, would normally be something I somewhat avoided (I live in an area with a lot of Native Americans, and tensions on occasion run high). But, since this was for a little girl with an AmerIndian heritage, I couldn’t say no. I’m thrilled that I did decide to go for it, I think she turned out perfect. I’m really proud of her, and think that she is one of my more successful dolls overall. Let me know what you think of her entire photo set over on Behance.
Okay, so I’m finally getting around to posting Anomelope, the custom finished Monster High doll that I gave to my sister for Yule. She started as an Abbie Bominable, and after looking at a few of her customs online.. I knew that I had to make her beautiful, with big eyes, and that hair HAD TO GO. All of the Abbie customs I saw made her into a bitch looking ice queen (which I guess is what she is supposed to be) but I wanted to give her a fresher personality. I hate tinsel hair on dolls, it looks cheap, it doesn’t feel nice and frequently little pieces fall out every time you touch it (very true with this girl). Being the first fully finished Monster High custom that I’ve done, I’m really happy with her. I wasn’t able to sand her joints down, due to the fact that she is covered with a thick layer of glitter, BUT the glitter already made the joints a lot less noticeable than other Monster High dolls. I was concerned about removing her face paint, and wasn’t sure how the glitter on her face would work.. most of it came off with the paint, but a nice thin layer remained, so her face is still a little bit sparkly (to still match her very sparkly body). I also had no problem simply painting over the glitter on her body to add her “tattoos”. I had sewn her dress, petticoat and arm bands. Her *new* hair is a LIV wig, that I was lucky enough to find in a thrift store one time. On the other hand, pulling out Abbie’s old hair.. was tiresome. It took a lot longer than I expected, and I definitely pinched a nerve in my thumb (it felt tingly and painful for a month after). It makes me re-think wanting to do a full re-root. But at the end of it all, I loved doing this doll, I love how she turned out and I look forward to working on more (uh hello Miss Swamp Honey that I just got for my birthday..)
PS: Curious to see Abbie’s before? Check out this post from last March which includes a shot of her when I first bought her! Thanks for reading.
A few months ago I was lucky enough to win a blog contest over at Palette et Ribambelle, for a small hand-made stationary set. I’ve been following her blog for a while now, she has a really nice, simple but eclectic style. I was really excited to receive something from her, and oh wow did she send a lot more than I expected! In the original contest post it only included the booklet of mini stationary (I think?), but I also received two cards, and a really neat pencil that was made with magic (I think).
Inside the booklet are pockets filled with small pieces of paper, old-fashioned tags, simple shapes, some stickers, festive sayings, and more. I plan on making beautiful gift tags, packaging, and paper art with all of the pieces. I also love that she encourages you to cut up and destroy the book itself while you are creating. I haven’t opened the cards yet, so I’m not sure if they have anything inside or not.. I guess I should open them? I also included a shot with a 2 x 4 Lego Brick to show just how beautifully small the kit is, and how tiny some of the patterns and paper pieces are. That particular Lego Brick has been made into a key chain by my partner, with Lego that we found on Christmas day, literally outside on the road. Thank you so much for having this blog contest Pascale, you have a very lovely style that translates well into this small kit, and the pencil was a unique addition along with it.