Tag Archives: illustration

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.


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.”


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.

Citizen Scientists

Above is my illustration for the current issue of Spacing Magazine, and my third contribution to the publication. The theme of the new issue is about our relationship with urban wildlife from mosquitoes, to white squirrels, to raccoons. The above is an illustration is for an piece by writer, Eva Amsen, titled “Citizen Scientists”. Here’s an excerpt:

Once in a while — more often than anyone would like — the media reports that a species has become endangered or is shifting its habitat. But where does this information come from? Who counts all these plants and animals?
Well, it could be you.
Enthusiastic amateur nature lovers often assist scientists by collecting a vast amount of information about the whereabouts of certain species. Many Torontonians take part in this “citizen science” as it is known, especially in the field of insect study.
Don Davis is one of these citizen scientists. He works for the Children’s Aid Society, but spends his spare time studying the monarch butterfly and attending meetings to exchange information about this species. The monarch butterfly migrates from Ontario and other Northern regions down to Mexico in the fall, and back north in spring. The generation that flies south is not the same as the one that flies north, and yet the butterflies always find their way. To study the flight patterns of the monarch butterfly, volunteers like Davis catch them, tag the wings with a unique code, and release them again.

To read the rest, pick up a copy of the current Spacing Magazine.

Scott Teplin

Scott Teplin is quite talented at drawing mechanical messes, quirky diagrams, and complicated machinery that may or may not even be correct. What does it matter though? Not only is pen work immaculate, but he’s also a pretty good typographer.

Be sure to also check out his blog filled with process work and other goodies.

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Candide a la Chris Ware


Candide by Voltaire
Translated by Theo Cuffe
Cover design and illustration by Chris Ware, 2005
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Toronto garbage strike: Day 36

After 35 long, smelly days, it seems that Toronto’s garbage strike may come to a close tonight. Politics aside, it’s a good thing that the summer hasn’t been scortching or this month without waste pickup would have been unbearable. Both unions on strike have reached a tentative agreement with City Hall but the final agreement may not be for a few days. Read about it in the Toronto Star.

In the past month has been frustrating for homeowners, businesses and citizens who have to maneuver through garbage piles near the newly installed waste bins. Torontoist did an interesting documentation of garbage cans across the city and the state of the streets. When the strike began, every garbage bin in the city was sealed with a couple layers of industrial strength plastic wrap with delightful signs informing the bins were out of service and encouraged people not to litter. It makes you wonder how much waste all that plastic and paper will create once removed. Despite the pandemic, the city has managed to get by without being noticeably littered. If the strike did one thing well, it was to help people use less waste. In a poll in Now Magazine (only in print edition) about a third of homeowners adapted to finding ways to reduce the amount of garbage they go through. Others used dump sites at their local parks and recreation centres, and others simply let their trash pile up. If you live in Etobicoke, however, the strike will have barely affected you at all. The West end, west of the Humber River, has been business as usual because trash pickup is carried out by private contractors, not the city. It’s likely some of the same workers who have helped clean up after big public events like the Pride Parade or Afrofest, and have been cashing in by collecting from businesses in the city. Let’s hope the City and Unions strike up a final deal soon so Toronto can clean up its act.