February 2011

Baited Hook Gets Blogged!

Hey Rube Designs posted a shout-out to my MONKEYS!
Thanks Rachel


It all began with...

337Huron Waves David BrownHuron Waves 16x16, 2008 by David Brown – image from encausticcollage.com

Approximately 15 years ago I was invited by some of my OCAD classmates to go to an event at the Mockingbird called “SpeakEasy.” The SpeakEasy website explains explains itself  as “a monthly gathering of Toronto’s creative community. It’s an opportunity to network, share ideas, and

finding courage

317Deborah Uman Sures 1dreams & desires, by deborah uman-sures

With one eye on the road and another on the sky I begin my day. There are looming grey clouds just to the right, hanging over Lake Ontario. I wonder if this was a bad idea. I am driving to Cobourg, to meet with a former teacher of mine – a teacher who taught me to be brave. When I reach Port Hope a dusting of snow has already coated the ground.

I have not seen deborah uman-sures since I graduated from The Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in 1998. She was a tough teacher but my favourite teachers have always been

Chalk Talk

313chalk typeCustom piece for a wedding reception, by Dana Tanamachi

The design firm that I work for during the day is SOS Design Inc. The main client that I work with is Dancap Productions, a company that brings live musical productions to Toronto. One of these shows, which will be in Toronto  in December 2011, is Memphis.

The key art for this show is quite vibrant and I was interested in finding out who created the look. In doing a bit of research I discovered Dana Tanamachi. She designed the Memphis poster while working at Spotco (Art Direction by Darren Cox. Photography by Jason Bell).

While looking at her website I found what she is most known for… her unique talent for chalk typography.

The Monkey Maker

This weekend was a bit insane. I had my annual house party to celebrate the purchase of my house 3 Decembers ago. My mom met me at the office on Friday night and we immediately headed to the grocery store for all the ingredients we needed. We cooked all Friday night and all day Saturday in preparation for my guests. A big THANKS to my mom for all her help. And a big hug to Marie, my other favourite guest, who couldn't make it due to an injury – I know you were there in spirit Marie.

On Sunday morning I checked my email and discovered a note from a woman named Paola who had purchased one of my monkeys at the Speakeasy Holiday Sale in November. Paola had bought Adele, a more traditional sock monkey made from blue work socks with vintage, double-button eyes, for Marlowe. Marlowe, Paola wrote, needed another monkey for a sleepover next weekend but ther was only have one still available online. Since the holiday season I have not had a moment to sew and therefore I have a very limited stock. I panicked a little. I emailed her back and tried to accommodate her as best as I could.

We arranged to meet at Dundas West subway station as it is close to where she lives and I was heading to the junction anyways. I quickly went to Periwinkle (the craft shop at Eglinton and Avenue where I still have some monkeys in stock) and grabbed a couple more monkeys so that Marlowe could have a few to pick from. I then headed to the west end of town.

"How will I recognize you?" Paola asked. "I'll be the one holding the monkeys," was my reply. And that is exactly what I did. I stood at the corning of Dundas and Bloor holding sock monkeys looking like a lunatic.

309Marlowe and the Monkey Maker

Marlowe and the Monkey Maker. Photo courtesy of Paola Giavedoni

Sure enough Paola and Marlowe walked up to me with big smiles and Little Flora was taken to a good home.



Art or Design Conundrum?

308Jen SpinnerPaper sculpture installation by Jen Spinner.

I’m all for experimentation and blurring the design/art boundary but I am still scratching my head after having seen Come Up To My Room (CUTMR) at the Gladstone Hotel on Saturday night.

The website describes it as: “an alternative design show focusing on the diverse practices that live outside the norms of “traditional” art and design: i.e. multidisciplinary, independent, and self-taught.” I am confused by this explanation. My question after seeing the exhibit is this: does alternative design mean art?