Whoops, I missed a month… but with good reason! My creative docket has been jam packed and I couldn’t be happier.
As I alluded to in my January Artist Diary, Tilted Windmills has been an idea that my partner, Stefan, and I have been tossing around for many, many months. It has its roots in countless conversations, rapid-fire flashes of inspiration and even moments of intangible frustration. It comes from a place of understanding that the world is a flawed and sometimes incredibly unfair place for the people who exist on the margins and also a powerful desire to make a difference in their lives and our own.
Tilted Windmills is social justice initiative that celebrates wellness, creativity and collaboration, with a focus on gender, disability and minority rights. Since our launch in mid-February, both Stefan and I have working together to find Tilted Windmill’s voice through our blog posts and our various social media channels.
Our first big initiative was in providing support to “The Trans*, Two-Spirit and Gender Nonconforming Community Safety and Wellbeing Photovoice Project”—aka “Photovoice 2016″—in the form of a t-shirt design we created for fundraising purposes and a blog post Stefan wrote to help people learn more about the project, (more on this below).
I also felt it was important to lend my voice to the outcry against the transit pass clawback that was introduced in the recent BC Government’s budget. I wrote a piece entitled Public Transit Unlocked My World to help illustrate the importance of public transit to people with disabilities.
In truth, Tilted Windmills is just at the beginning of its journey. It’s in that nebulous place where all entities have their start and one finds themselves wanting to go in ten different directions at once. I am actually perfectly okay with this as I feel that the vision and values behind Tilted Windmills are strong. How it manifests itself will depend on how we choose to direct our talents and I’m very excited to see where this road will take us.
I won’t soon forget the feeling of awe I had when I rolled into the Heartwood Community Cafe for the Photovoice fundraiser in mid March and saw my design projected floor to ceiling on the slideshow screen.
Chills? The good kind? Oh yes.
This is the first design collaboration that Stefan and I have completed together with him providing the word-smithing and me the design concept. The design is meant to illustrate the themes within the Photovoice project; the need to create a sense of place, safety, wellness, and health for trans* and gender non-conforming people so that they have an opportunity to thrive.
If you’d like to learn more about the Photovoice project, you can read Stefan’s blog post, Speaking Up and Speaking Out: Photovoice 2016, on the Tilted Windmills website.
Back in 2012 when I was still working as a freelancer, I picked up a contract with BC Construction Association Employee Benefits to do caricatures of all their staff members. The initial contract was for 11, however every time they’ve hired someone new they have rather graciously come back to me and to request a new one to be done. You can find their current staff roster with all my caricatures on the bClear Employee Benefits website.
What I find interesting when I see all the caricatures together is that you can see a significant shift in style from the caricatures I completed before I did my 100 Faces project and those completed afterwards. Practice, practice, practice. It really does make a difference.
One of the things that came out of my creative recovery is an awareness around my creative needs. In much the same way that my fitness-oriented co-workers will say “I really need to go for a run” or “I really need to do some yoga tonight”, I sometimes find myself with an overwhelming sense of “I need to paint.”
This piece came out of one such flash need. It’s a tiny acrylic painting—only 6″x6″—that I completed over the course of a couple evenings. Still, it did the trick in terms of satisfying my need to create something tangible and hand-made amid all the things I create on the computer for both work and pleasure.
The Little Prince and the Fox
As a child, “The Little Prince” was never really on my radar. I think the book is more of a European phenomenon and, since my parents came from Thailand and the prairies of Alberta, it was not really on either of their radars either.
It was only after seeing the first trailers for “The Little Prince” animated movie that I began to really dig into learning more about the story. I also had the opportunity to hear from the animators behind the stop-motion work in the film at the SPARK Animation Festival last October. I’ve always had a real soft spot for that wonderful hand-made quality in stop-motion and the textured paper look of those sequences in the film looked fascinating.
I did this Photoshop doodle in a single evening after watching the movie in the theatre for the first time. As I anticipated I loved all the stop-motion sequences, but it was the overarching story as whole that truly moved me. I’m not a movie crier by nature. I sat dry-eyed through “Titanic” and I’m usually fairly unaffected by similarly weepy films. This one however got me and I had tears running down my face through the last part of the film. When the lights came up and my friend and I exchanged somewhat embarrassed watery grins, I noted that everyone seated behind us had their tissues out as well.
Long story short… if “The Little Prince” is playing in your hometown, it’s worth checking out. Bring Kleenex.