December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016 (I'll miss you, and I won't.)

Twenty sixteen has been a ridiculous year. It blows my mind to reflect on how much happened in 365 days, and it is hard to wrap my head around where I was at the start and where I am now; where the world was, and where the world is now.

In my life, 2016 has been a remarkable year. I did have some significant lows at the start; I was an insecure, recent graduate, freaking out about not finding full-time employment, doing my best to freelance as a designer/artist while also working 3 part time jobs. Now, at the end of 2016, I am a full-swing student again, working towards my Master's which I never in a million years thought I would be doing (cue flashbacks of my teenage self telling Dad: no way, I'm going to be an ~artist~). I moved to a new city, started working as a TA, kept my once-a-week job in Toronto, met some amazing fellow students, and started learning a whole new language of academics and Recreation and Leisure.

Even before school started again, 2016 made a turn for the better. I worked on two murals, which was the most fun, and I produced two of the pieces I'm most proud of now. I also worked on some really exciting logos with amazing clients and designed numerous posters for some Toronto bands. In 2016 I also started my own business, selling my artwork on t-shirts, greeting cards, calendars, prints, etc. in some stores in Toronto and at markets and fairs. I met so many other creatives and really enjoyed putting myself out there like that. I also got so much closer with so many people around me, and I have been so thankful this year to enjoy the company, kindness, and loyalty of some beautiful individuals.

That being said, I am so, so angry about the plethora of awful things that happened in the world this year. Certainly not a surprising or unique statement, as I know I'm not alone. I want so much to say that 2016 was amazing - but it just was not. From Syria, to Trump, to the too-long battle for DAPL, to the deaths of many childhood/adulthood celebrity heroes, to the attacks around the world too numerous to list... to be entirely honest I don't actually want to think about it all, even though I know it's important.

For me, this New Years Eve is a time for reflection, a time to remember that it's not all about me. We are individuals and we are constantly encouraged to follow our own dreams, take responsibility for our own lives and get ourselves to where we want to be. But we also exist in a bigger picture, and this picture needs some serious attention and TLC in 2017. So in this sense, with as much humility as I can muster, I say a very bittersweet farewell to 2016, and I prudently hope for a better 2017. Cheers to the potential of better things in the new year, for you, for me, and for the world!


December 30, 2016

Stamp Pack: Happy New Year 2017 handwriting!

The New Year is around the corner and I wanted to offer a little something to you before it arrives! Some handwritten 'stamp' scans for you to use for any New Years resolution or 2017 related posts that you want to snazz up some images for.

How to use these stamps:
• Click on the image link and download it to your computer!
• Open them in Photoshop and turn them into brushes (See how to make custom photoshop brushes here)
• Alternatively, use the image as-is and remove the white, play around with opacities, fills, etc!
• Throw them on top of a background: your favourite photo of 2016, a party pic, something more abstract - the world's your oyster!

Here's what I  came up with using these stamps:

Had to throw in some glitter, of course!

Fun anecdote: while I was writing these out, I kept writing '2016' instead of '2017'.... a reminder that we are soon entering the time of year where you always write the year down wrong. Ha!

I've said this already but I'll say it again: I want to focus on this kind of content in the New Year: helpful (hopefully) content to help other bloggers, other creatives. This is my offering to the creative community of bloggers and I hope you can find some use out of it!


These are free for you to use and edit for blog post or art work purposes. They are not for you to re-distribute, to use for commercial purposes, or to claim as your own. I would love to see what you make if you do end up using these textures, so please send me a link if you do!  I don't ask that you credit me every time you use one of these (that could get obnoxious), but if you wanted to share this post and mention that they are a free resource for anyone to use - that would be amazing too!

December 29, 2016

The Latest: A Whirlwind of a Term

Hello! It's me! I am breathing and thinking and doing life and feelin' good!

The last several months have been just nutty. In the best way, of course, no complaints! But with all the reading (~120 pages a class) and the writing (~20 page papers are my new specialty) and the new city and life n' stuff, I have just not had the brain power to write about it all.

In the spirit of a quick update I offer you a dot-jot list of highlights, with pictures:

• Halloween! All we did was hand out candy, but we still got into our costumes! Frida and Vincent. Channeling Frida was tremendous fun, except when my dad tried to take pictures and I had the hardest time scowling and not smiling!

• My room at school which I love very much

• Living in another city away from this guy has made our little dates extra special, even if they are most often lazy nights watching XFiles. This was when we went to see some Monet and Van Gogh at the art gallery and saw some photography too.

• I saw one of my all time favourite musicians, Chris Cohen, play in Waterloo. He was the opening act, and compared to Toronto the crowd was small... so I got to chat with him for a good ten minutes after he played! The best night of my Waterloo life!

• Applying my art school skills to a research proposal poster design for school!

• Being home for the holidays has been real nice. I got sick with a cold, but still have managed to see a few of my friends including this gal at the Christmas market, when we had our first snow! It was so magical!

I'm hoping to be more blogg-y in the new year, as I would really like to use this space (I still love it very much) and I have some ideas. We will see!

But for now, tell me, what have you been up to?