Normally I'm too frazzled at this time of year to do any Christmas promotions but somehow this year - though I am still frazzled - I've also managed to put together some new products just in time for early Christmas shopping. Yes, I do consider November "early" in the Christmas shopping department. I've assembled a handy-dandy shopping list for you to peruse, along with deadlines to order so your gifts arrive in time! If you're looking for unique gifts that no one else will be giving, you're in the right place!
Back in April I had this crazy idea. I love receiving and sending mail. I love making small, personalised art pieces for people. Why not sell mail art subscriptions? So I did! I sold 3, 6, or 12-month subscriptions that included an envelope covered in 100% unique art and a hand-written, personalised letter. A handful of people bought them and I have spent the last 6 months making dozens of pieces of mail and sending them out into the world.
What a wonderful way to finish 2016 - with a project that I'm super proud of and can't stop talking about. I was happy to partner with the Dying Light Collective, partly because I got to work with my partner, Matt, and partly because they were able to make it look a lot better than I would have on my own. I was in charge of building the sculpture and they made the lights run.
2016 has been a strange year, hasn't it? The world went a little nuts and the news brought me to tears more than a few times. Professionally I also hit some bumps with cancelled workshops and low art sales. It would be easy enough to write the year off completely. But it wasn't all bad, and I think it's important to spend some time looking back at the good things that happened. Looking at all the projects I've worked on over the year remind me that even thought there's a lot that I want to do differently next year, I still have plenty to be proud of.
People often ask me if I studied medicine or biology when they see my work. And though I've never actually taken a biology class (I was more into physics in high school and university) I'm finding myself more and more interested in it. I was inspired to make these sculptures by the paper mache models I saw in the Mutter Museum of Medical History in Philadelphia, and spend a lot of time looking at anatomical diagrams and imagery. I'm still interested in physics and other sciences and get a huge kick out of art that is inspired by science. Maybe I'm too nerdy for my own good, but work like this gets my neurons firing like crazy with ideas and connections.
I just spent my weekend doing what I love more than almost anything: creating a piece of art that inspired wonder and joy in the people who saw it. I worked with my friend, Kristi Gurski, to create an art installation on a lamppost as part of Kaleido Family Arts Festival's '24-Hour Deck Out a Lamppost Competition.' It was a lot of work but I was so happy with how it turned out and I would do it all again to see the way peoples' faces lit up when they caught sight of it.
Last week I finished a commission for Edmonton's Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and their fundraising event The Courage Gala. The assignment was to create a 'map' that described what the proceeds from the Gala were able to achieve over the last five years. When I found out that they wanted me to use both maps and anatomy imagery, I was very excited—my two favourite things!. The project was a lot of work and I had to put myself under house arrest for two weeks to get it done on time, but I was happy with how it turned out. Here's how I put this piece together.
There's something about the repeating patterns of a mandala and the organic way that the designs unfold that is mesmerizing, meditative and addictive. In my Etsy shop I now have 5 patterns that you can buy individually, or you can get a pack of all 5. These are instant downloads, which means that as soon as you pay, you can download the files to your computer and print them out as many times as you like. Use them as a relaxing, meditative practice, or do them while you watch Netflix.
One of my favourite parts of December is taking time to look back over the year and celebrate everything that happened. It's something I only started doing in the last couple of years and I find that it is so worth it. I usually make a list of all my favourite memories and moments, and the accomplishments that I'm especially proud of. Then I think about what I want more of for the coming year, and start working on a plan.This year part of the recap involves looking at the creative projects that I undertook and appreciating everything that I made this year.
I spent the last couple of months working for one of my favourite events here in Edmonton. The Kaleido Family Arts Festival is an exuberant celebration of the arts that happens over a weekend in September every year. It started as a way to help make the neighbourhood safer and friendlier to artists and families. After 10 years it continues to grow, with music, dance, circus, theatre, art installations, and more. When they asked me to coordinate their installation competitions, I jumped at the chance to be part of something that I believe so strongly in.