Category Archives: illustration

Trio Magnus at Resistor

If you’re in Toronto, be sure to check out Trio Magnus’ new show at Resistor Gallery

Here’s a time lapse video of the guys working, shot by Arv Slabosevicius of Ghostmilk Studios. Coincidentally, I ended up buying the print of this piece. All of the prints for sale were screen printed by Studio Number Nineteen.

Hangman

Here’s a look at my illustration for the upcoming issue of Spacing Magazine for an article on public execution. I’m not sure who the author of the piece is, but I’ll update this post when the issue comes out shortly. Be sure to pick up a copy! Here’s a short excerpt:

Between 1798 and 1869, 92 people were hanged in front of jeering audiences in Toronto. Public executions were an elaborate ritual, with the condemned performing a heavily choreographed act of repentance. Prisoners were expected to read pre-prepared speeches to the crowd, explaining their regret, or their fear of God, or their allegiance to the Crown.

The crowd, in turn, was expected to jeer and mock the condemned, reveling in the punishment that the sinner deserved. According to eyewitnesses, the mood was often carnivalesque, a celebration of life amidst the death of a criminal. When the rope sprung, however, the crowd usually became subdued.

Suffer for fashion

First post in a month! This also happens to be my most recent illustration posted on the Torontoist in about three months. I might be starting a bi-weekly feature in the near future, but that’s sort of still pending.

The article is focused on an opinion piece in a 1971 North York Herald issue on apparent fashion crimes committed by female youth. Here’s the snippet I was given to work with, taken directly from the old column:

They tell us this has been the Age of Aquarius. But it’s really been the Age of the Ugly Girl. Of course there are a lot of lovely ones—they stand out almost incandescently, so fresh, so natural, their hair shining, their faces clean and unmade-up. Yet they too are a trifle over-exposed and in their extreme minis and long hair, resembling nothing so much as a bevy of lovely mermaids

Nonetheless, these attractive ones only serve to emphasize the generally unkempt, unpressed, almost unwashed look of the majority of girls who stroll our streets. For them, mini-skirts and “hot pants” only serve to emphasize their legs, lean, knock-kneed and scrawny or ugly flat. As girls, they seem deliberately to choose the styles that emphasize the bad points.

Where this passion for ugliness will end, no one knows. Are these supposedly “hip” youngsters governed by the same herd instinct which causes women to conform to fashions which flatter no one. Fashions for women for the past three years have resembled something out of a horror movie. Are the current styles just a snide joke of the fashion creators, a put-on, like the one in the Tale of the Emperor’s Clothes, which proved that most people will agree on almost anything in order not to differ from the majority opinion? Only a child had the good sense to say—”but the emperor has nothing on.”

Read the full post here

Clean up

This is a mock up comp for a series of illustrations I’m doing with a graphic design colleague. They’re all based off of the Kennedy administration’s guide to Fallout Protection in the heat of the cold war. We’ll be covering some of the rather strange pieces of advice like questionable shelter methods and the amount of space vs. the amount of necessary supplies suggested. Above is the reccommended way of cleaning up the streets after nuclear fallout: dumping everything into the storm drains.

The Rules

Above is one of two illustrations of mine that will be in the upcoming issue of Spacing Magazine. The accompanying article deals with the bureaucracy of city bylaws and one couple who wanted to open a cafe in the Junction neighbourhood. They were faced with a plethora of petty issues that the city transformed into problems surrounding the potential vegetarian eatery. Here’s a excerpt from the piece:

Very few things are more frustrating and alienating than laws that are incomprehensible. Rules we cannot understand seem arbitrary, which weakens our trust in the government at a whole. An overcomplicated system of administration costs a lot of money and actually discourages people from participating. It turns them against the policy objective as a whole. Take our ridiculous garbage-bin system, for example, with its bar-coded bin ordering and storage requirements, its billing on the unrelated water bill (separating incentive from action), its complete inflexibility. It has succeeded through its sheer over-complication in turning off people who support charging by volume for garbage — including me.

I’m unsure who the author of the article is but will update this page when I do.

Loaded education

My latest contribution to Torontoist accompanies a piece by Desmond Cole about the possibility of Toronto high schools employing armed police officers. This idea is in the wake of an incident last Friday at North Toronto Collegiate where a group of students were robbed by four teenagers. It was later discovered that one of them was carrying a concealed firearm at the scene where they absconded with two stolen iPods. I don’t wish for this blog to turn political, so my post here will be brief.

This incident aside, there are plenty of arguments for and against the presence of armed officers. An argument for would be to properly protect students from possibly violent breakouts involving firearms. An argument against would be that the more guns you bring to a fight, there’s a better chance of tragedy. I think Cole put it eloquently when he mentioned the “unpredictable nature of armed conflict”.

Installing police presence within a school seems like a knee-jerk reaction that seems just as impetuous as forbidding nail clippers on an airplane. Fighting fire with fire is indeed a solution to a problem, but surely not the most effective. Instead of bureaucratic cover-all solutions I think there should be a think tank formed, people from a diverse mixture of backgrounds (age, ethnicity, income level, profession, marital status, with/without kids, where they live in the city, where they were born, etc.), to find creative alternatives instead of, say, blaming Marilyn Manson for teenage aggression.

In an email, Desmond wrote, “The heart of the message is that applying force against students won’t work. It’s not a long term solution. What we need to offer students is peace, and chance to connect, not an authoritative presence.”

Torontoist

Last month I was invited to be apart of the team over at the Torontoist as a staff illustrator. Above is my second job for them that discusses a blog that takes two randomly selected articles from Wikipedia, briefly talks about them, and lets readers decide which is better. Tournament of Everything is “set out to determine what is ACTUALLY the Best Thing Ever”. Check it out.

Working with a daily blog like Torontoist, the turnaround rate is pretty quick. With this job in particular, I only had a day to finish the illustration from sketch to final. If I had, say, a few more days, I might have refined the concept and painted it entirely. Please ignore the internet gladiator’s magical left leg.