Photos: Nova Scotia

Here are a few selected pics I took when I was in Nova Scotia for 2 weeks in May. (Click here to see the rest of the pics.)

These brightly painted houses were taken in Lunenburg, NS.  I love how bold they are!  The town is really cute with lots of nice little shops and places to eat. 🙂

I think the church in the pic above looks like something Tim Burton would have designed, so I had to take a pic!

What a foggy day at the beach! We were visiting Cape St. Marys and could not see the Atlantic Ocean at all. It was so eerie and mysterious, but I loved it!!! 🙂  My Dad walked along the beach (in the pic above) picking up interesting looking rocks for his collection.  Cutting rocks and gemstones are just one of his many hobbies. 🙂  The little bits of seaweed, sticks and other things that were strewn along the beach were very interesting to me (see where I get it from, haha)! They were so intricate and had strange shapes and textures. They kind of remind me of the little details in Audrey Kawasaki‘s paintings (like the Two Sisters print I own).

While I was visiting my parents, I got to see the new house they’ve been renovating.  Well, it isn’t really “new” at 144-years-old, but after they’re finished updating it, it will be practically new!  lol.  They hope to move into it in a month or two. (You can read more about their renovating adventures on my Mom’s blog.)

Two huge 100+yr old oak trees fell down in a lightning storm on my parents property earlier this year. My parents are sooo lucky that the trees fell *away* from their new house! O_o They’ve hired some people to clear away the trees, but because they are SO BIG, it takes a lot of time and money! Check out the number of rings on this cross-section, it’s just amazing!

Nova Scotia has a lot of quaint details likes these Canada Post mailboxes on a naval-esque post in Digby, NS, and a homemade squirrel swing at a children’s playground in the Acadian town of Mavillette, NS.  (I love that squirrel swing so much! haha.)

Amazing natural made formations (by cooling lava!!!) in Point Prim, NS.

Now what’s a photo post about Nova Scotia without a standard lighthouse pic? lol. ;D

Downtown Halifax looks soooo European!

This is NSCAD‘s student gallery. They had such awesome work! The art projects had such variety. There was woodworking, fabric arts, painting, digital media, drawing, photography, sculpture, etc. Every piece was really creative, you could tell that each artist put everything they had into their work. We had been going into other art galleries in Halifax that were really stuffy and snooty, so it was really refreshing to enter this student gallery with all these vibrant and creative pieces of art.

My only critique is that I was rudely told by the gallery patron to not take photos (he could have been polite but instead was pretty nasty about it). I don’t understand why I can’t take pics, because most smaller galleries allow it (every smaller gallery I’ve been in here in LA allows it). Besides, how would someone in California, Europe or Japan know about the NSCAD Student Gallery or their program without the internet? They didn’t have any flyers with prices, student names or contact info, which I thought was pretty lame. They don’t even have a spot on their website that shows off their student work! So they’re not even doing their job to promote their own students. This is where I come in, LOL. 😉 I’m using my photos of this gallery as a way to promote them whether they like it or not!!!! LOL. (I just wish I could have gotten more pics of the work there before I was scolded. >_>) Visit the NSCAD Student Gallery if you’re in Halifax, you won’t be disappointed (unless you try to take pics, lol)!

Photos: Toronto

I was in Toronto (my hometown, woot!) at the beginning of May visiting family & friends and took some photos while I was there. (I have more pics in my Toronto Flickr set here.)

Below is Z, my brother’s roommate’s kitty.  He’s such a hyper little guy who likes to jump off couches and walls (seriously, lol!).  This is one of the only pics I took of him that was in focus because he’s always moving around!

And as a bonus, here’s a list of my favourite places I like to go whenever I’m in Toronto:

  • The Labyrinth – THE BEST art book store in Toronto, specializing in animation, illustration and manga books. I always try to visit this store whenever I’m in Toronto so I can add more books to my art book collection. 🙂 Dan (who owns the store with his wife) is super awesome and also a college buddy of mine! 🙂
  • Magic Pony – THE BEST urban toy store/gallery in the city.  They sell collectible toys and host awesome art shows.
  • Tealish – THE BEST loose leaf tea store EVER. I’m a big tea drinker (part of being raised in Canada I think), and I will only drink the best tea! lol. My favourite flavour of theirs is Earl Grey Cream which is absolutely heavenly.
  • The Real Jerk and Island Foods – both are the best Jamaican roti restaurants in the city.
  • Rasoee – Very, very yummy Indian food, especially their butter chicken! ❤

Urban Vinyl + Plush: Custom Mini Skully Show

On Saturday May 16th, Chuckwa will be hosting a custom group art show to celebrate the release of Urban War Fair‘s new vinyl toy Skully.  I will have a custom Skully and a Skully-inspired plush deer in the show!

This is my second vinyl toy custom (my first custom was a Nathan Jurevicius jellyfish painted at a workshop hosted by the Magic Pony in Toronto.  Actually come to think of it, I also painted a Snorse but never got around to finishing it, so that one doesn’t count. :P). I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with the blank Skully at first, but I knew that I wanted to use pink and blue paint and keep part of the white base showing.

I have to admit, the contrast in Skully’s eye sizes threw me off at first. Some of my early sketches had an eyepatch over Skully’s large eye, and at one point the eye became a huge heart. I was working long hours at the time and my personal inspiration was not flowing like I had hoped for this project.  Strangely enough, my final design ended up evolving into what it is as I sat down and started to paint it.  I haven’t used acrylic paints in almost a year (holy crap, has it really been that long?! o_O), and re-connecting with this medium again really made me conscious of both the paint’s flowing liquid form and design potential.  I literally had to get in touch with my paint and paintbrush again in order for the inspiration to come back.  I was instantly inspired to create a freshly dripped look throughout my Skully’s design.  I wanted the star and the left eye to look like a glob of paint had dripped on the custom and accidentally (and coincidentally) made the star and circle shapes. After I had finished painting the drips, it felt natural to give the large eye sight since the small eye was blind.  The large right eye was directly inspired by retro styled cartoon eyes (like Felix the Cat, etc), and the smiling mouth was added to make it look like a cute and friendly skull.  🙂

The final look reminds me a bit of the Pac-Man ghosts mashed up with a pink & blue marshmallow from my favourite cereal in the world: Lucky Charms. I ended up naming my Skully: “Delicious Drip“.

I also made a Skully-inspired plush deer for the show.   I didn’t have any trouble with what I wanted to do for the custom deer, probably because I make deers so often.  I knew that I wanted to make this deer look slightly different from the typical deer I sell in my Etsy shop, and I wanted to choose a colour combo I’ve never used before.

I wanted this deer to be edgy and stand out so I went for a bold pink and black for the body. I also wanted to give her a punk look with a fur mohawk. I went to my local fabric store and hand selected the best white fur I could find (I was actually quite disappointed with their fur selection in general, so one of my goals is to find good fur in various colours).  The white fur is pretty nice, I like how long it is, and it can be spiked or pushed back/forward. I gave her a white nose to compliment her white hair.

Then I sketched out the Skully logo by hand on a piece of paper, cut it out and used it as the pattern for the symbol’s final design. Then I hand-embroidered the black eyes, nostrils and red star onto the mini Skully and glued it onto the deer’s body. I added white dots on the reverse side to keep it consistant with my regular deer symbols.  I named her “Skully Deer” after the toy she was inspired by. I really like how the mohawk turned out, so expect a few more punk-styled deer in the future! 🙂

Delicious Drip and Skully Deer will both be for sale at the Custom Mini Skully Show. 🙂 The opening reception is on Saturday, May 16th at Chuckwa (in Fullerton, CA) and the show will run until June 4th. Unfortunately, I will still be in Canada during the opening, but I plan on checking it out when I’m back in LA.  There are going to be a lot of great customs there by a lot of talented artists, so I suggest you stop by if you’re in the neighbourhood! 🙂

Drawings: Random Sketches

One of my Summer goals is to try and make a serious effort to start drawing on a daily or weekly basis again (I haven’t been that dedicated to drawing since College). Basically I want to keep drawing, no matter how lame the drawing looks or how uninspired I feel. I figure if I keep it up, I just might get something good out of it, and maybe I can put the good drawings into a sketchbook someday. This is what came out of my drawing session today (I haven’t drawn in a while, so please bear with me…):

Dorothy & Toto -- When I get some time, I'd like to clean her up & add colour to her in Photoshop. (It's not a bad crop -- I didn't have enough page to finish her toe... lol. >_>)

Rose Lady -- She's just a random sketch of some lady. (The composition was completely unintentional, but I like how it turned out.)

Kittehs -- Lucky (my kitty) is the tuxedo cat on the top left, Crookshanks (my parent's kitty) is on the top right (I apologize, I have no idea WTF happened -- her feet are drawn SO BADDDDD!!), and some foxy kitteh striking a pose is on the bottom.

Photos: 2009 Re-Ment Calendar

Back in September ’08 I was contacted by Re-Ment International about using one of my images in their 2009 Fan Club Calendar.  I was so flattered that they asked me to be a part of their calendar because I love collecting and photographing Re-Ment’s cute miniature toys. Re-Ment sent me a copy of the calendar but I had already moved to the USA by that time. Last week when I came back to Toronto I was finally able to see the calender in person.  My photo of the Marching Card Soldiers from the Fairy Tale Tablewear set are pictured on the month of April.  Here’s my photo of the 2009 Re-Ment Calendar:

The Marching Card Soldiers represent April in the Re-Ment 2009 calendar.

And here is the original photo:

Marching Card Soldiers by Emily

I buy Re-Ment from Ebay, Etsy, and in specialty collector shops like Valley of the Dolls. 🙂