My favourite part of the day is eating breakfast at the little dining nook in my kitchen and looking through the little cut-out in the wall into my studio and planning all the things I’m going to do that day. My least favourite part of the day is getting off of the chair at the dining nook because anyone who’s been to my apartment will know that the dining nook and the chairs were built and left by the previous tenants who happened to be, like, SEVEN FEET TALL and so the chairs are VERY hard to clamber on and off of. But, uh, I digress. Mornings. They’re nice. I like ‘em.
It is never not a delight to open up my email or my Instagram and see a photo from a previous client like this one. I am always thrilled to see a finished piece next to its real-life counterpart. Please do not ever stop sending me pictures like this, guys!!!
I was at the Toronto Art Crawl Christmas Market yesterday, which takes place at The Great Hall on Queen Street. Boy oh boy, is it a beautiful venue! However, to be completely honest and fair, you could put fairy lights on a garbage dump and I’d take a picture and put it on Instagram, let’s be real. But seriously - being up on a balcony and getting to people watch all day long while ALSO getting to meet so many lovely people all day long? Uh, fantastic.
So YESTERDAY I was just sitting on my couch, MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, when BlogTO reached out and asked if they could interview me for an ARTICLE that they were writing? I am…still shaking!
You can read the article by clicking here — let me know what you think! I’m beyond thrilled and grateful. A huge thanks to Tanya Mok from BlogTO from writing such a lovely piece about me.
Well, it’s Christmas market season now, and while these boxes all normally live out in the garage (yes, I am VERY LUCKY to live in an apartment that’s got some storage space for me to cram all my market stuff into), they’re getting a little action by staying out in the hallway for the next few weeks instead as it’s just too much to cart them back and forth from the garage to the house.
Anyway - this is all to say that this is what my hallway’s gonna look like for the next, like, five weeks.
I bought myself a new sweater from Uniqlo and it is essentially the equivalent of wearing a hug? My studio is in an addition that was built onto the apartment we live in and it has no insulation on any of the walls and so it is, uh, VERY cold in there. So be prepared to see me in this sweater from now until April, I guess.
My neighbour’s cat, Dandelion (that’s his real name!!!!!! I can’t handle it!!!!), sometimes likes to hop on my window sill and say hello while I’m working in the studio. The ideal co-working buddy, because he never complains about my non-stop ABBA-playing.
Last weekend I tabled at my first ever market/festival! Dundas West Fest was such a blast - two days of meeting lovely people non-stop and hearing little stories about why certain places were important to people. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to do more this year, and hopefully many many more in the future as well.
Thank you so, so much to everyone who came out to say hello or purchase something - I was doing internal happy dances all day long!
An extra, extra special thank you to Rachel from Rachel Dudley Photography for snapping these super fun photos - go STRAIGHT TO HER if you need your family photos done. Like, asap. She is the best.
Okay so… I’ll be real with you for a sec. When you decide to run your own business and take on every aspect of running a business (accounting! social media marketing! online store managing!), then you a.) feel like a ~bad ass boss~, but also b.) end up having to do things you’re… either not very good at, or don’t super enjoy.
Case in point: PRODUCT PHOTOS. I find that taking pictures of prints, stickers, and notebooks is not my forte. I scroll through so many other artists’ websites and just think, “how?! how’d you make it look so perfect and bright and good?” Also — because you are, again, wearin’ every hat that comes along with running a business, you tend to be pressed for time, and the number of times I’ve spent an entire afternoon taking product photos only to find one detail of and having to re-do all of them — well, let’s just not talk about that.
ANYWHO, this is just to say that, uh, sometime’s we’re not that good at things and as a result we heck up and have to do them over and over and over again. Womp, womp!
Went to Kansas City for the long weekend to visit some pals and one of the places we went to was the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art — not only is Kansas City a wonderful placed filled with a lot of good and cool things (they’ve definitely won the award for Best Tiki Bar Ever if u ask me), but this museum in particular was a gem. Look at all these textures!
So my ~BiG gOaL~ of 2018 was to finally start doing tabling at markets. I’ve always found it so intimidating (“I don’t have enough stuff to sell!” “Who the heck is going to want to buy something of mine?” “Where do you buy one of those big-ass TENTS from?”*)
But I finally bit the bullet and applied to a bunch of shows and figured I’d just cross that bridge when I get there (an excellent business strategy, I’ve heard) and, well, looks like I’ll be tabling at my very first event in June at Dundas West Fest! I have gone to this street festival a lot and have found that of all the street festivals in Toronto, this one has a good selection of not just food and open patios, but also good art and craft vendors as well. I’m very nervous and very excited.
But what this also means is I’ve got to get cracking and start really focusing on producing some more work so I actually have a bunch of things to display and sell at the market.
* uh, Amazon. 2017 Nat was a dummy.
Oh MAN do I ever love the small details that you start noticing when spring is around the corner.
Hello, and thanks for taking the time to peruse my site and read this little blog. I’d love to take a second to introduce myself to give you an idea of who I am and why I do what I do!
I live and work in downtown Toronto in Canada, as you have probably guessed by all the storefront illustrations I’ve drawn from there! Though I’ve been doodling little cartoons and scribbles for as long as I can remember, I started seriously illustrating in 2016. My first ever storefront illustration was of Bitondo’s Pizzeria, a beloved hole-in-the-wall pizza place that is a 1970s time capsule, and haven’t really stopped since then.
My goals for the future include branching out into other cities because, uh, I don’t know if you noticed this but I’ve kind of dug myself into a bit of a NICHE here with my Toronto-specific illustrations, haven’t I? I’d love to illustrate storefronts in notable Canadian cities like Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, etc — and then after that, perhaps branch off into international territory!
I also love comics, and have really enjoyed making small comics here and there of funny conversations I’ll have or silly moments that I thought were worth capturing. On a more serious note, I’m also working on a graphic novel about my relationship with food and body image and my experiences with disordered eating. Will I finish it this century? I… truly don’t know, but, uh, let’s hope so!
I currently use ink and watercolour to create my illustrations, though recently I’ve been playing around with pencil crayons and digital illustration.
As a self-taught artist who runs this entire operation solo, I often feel like I’m working my way through a dark room using my fingertips to guide me. I’m constantly learning and figuring things out on my own (honestly, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve had to google “how to do _____ on photoshop” I would be a RICH, RICH GAL), but am also really grateful to be doing this in an age when you can really connect with people from all over via social media like Instagram. So, that being said — if you want to say hi, by all means! Reach out, say hello, send me a message. I feel really lucky to know so many brilliant creatives and lovely people who are interested in my illustrations, both IRL and online.
Anywho, before I go, here’s a list of things that make me happy: summer, pizza, cats, getting real knee deep into podcasts and TV shows and have their plots and stories swimmin’ in my brain, when someone says “oh, this made me think of you,” scones, ~fancy cocktails~, comics (I look forward to TCAF every year with unabashed excitement), and, uh, ice cream.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a lovely day!