Start Of Something New

I’m moving to London, England! I’ve been dreaming about living + working in Europe for as long as I can remember, and I’m pinching myself that it’s actually happening. I’ve learned that as much as you might have big dreams, you must make the initiative for it to happen yourself. You simply cannot wait and hope it happens someday. I’ve lived that way for far too long. I’m so excited and can’t wait for all the adventures that await me there.

North America, it’s been a slice. Bye for now.

Painting: Lettering With My Dad

Yesterday I painted with My Dad.  He’s retired now, but he used to be a sign writer.  He hand painted signs for over 10 years until computers were introduced and he had to switch to vinyl lettering.  My Dad actually taught himself how to letter. Now that’s discipline and drive!  We spent several hours painting together. He shared information about lettering, colour and compositions, which I will try to incorporate into my own work.

My Dad uses ‘1 Shot’ sign writing paint. It’s called ‘1 Shot’ because you can lay down the paint in one shot without having to go over it. The paint is oil based, so it stays a bit wet and tacky. It smells strong, but I like it as it brings me back to being a kid and watching my Dad paint. He taught me an old sign writing trick: if the paint has chunks it, you filter it through nylon.

The brushes he uses are made specifically for sign writing. They are made from Russian Squirrel hair (!) + assembled in France. I love the little wires that hold the brush ends together, you really don’t see anything like that nowadays.

Dad showin me how it’s done. He’s left handed, but was showing me how to maneuver my hand (as a right-handed person). His control and lettering with his ‘wrong hand’ was way better than my right hand! lol. This was our practice board. Dad’s stuff is on the right, mine is on the left. He painted the sign above as reference when he was lettering signs. I love the font, it’s very comic-book-like.

I’ve done a few test strokes, and now I’m ready to paint it for reals. I found the brushes a bit difficult to use as they have really long hair, and I’m used to brushes with shorter hair. I find I have more control with shorter brushes. I’m using a ‘Mahl’ stick, which is a painter’s tool for keeping your hand away from smearing the paint and for maneuverability. You rest your painting hand on it and can go from thick to thin lines and make a nice curve just by moving the Mahl stick around with your other hand. It takes some getting used to.

My Dad freestyles some letters. He hasn’t painted in a while, but he’s still got it!

Sculpture: Sock Fairy

I made this sculpture about 8yrs ago. I started off sketching out on paper the position I wanted her to be sitting in. Then I started with a base — I used a wire armature to get the pose I wanted (an armature gives the sculpture a bit more strength). After that I covered the armature with Super Sculpey and sculpted all her features the way I wanted. I hand painted her, made her crown and wings out of wire (which was then covered with bits of silk scarf my Mom was throwing out). Her hair is donated from a My Little Pony.

The idea behind the sock fairy is that she steals socks from the dryer. That’s how our socks go missing! I had planned to make a series of mischeivous fairies, but you know, life gets in the way. I hope to re-visit sculpture projects like this someday.

Urban Vinyl: ‘For The Love Of Vinyl’ show

I just finished my custom Symbiote for the “For The Love Of Vinyl” group show at Dragatomi in Sacramento, CA. The show runs from March 12th to April 2nd, and features the work of 25 artists.

I named him ‘Let Go’, which is inspired by my upcoming relocation from Vancouver, Canada to London, UK. I will be moving next month, and although I am SO excited to experience life in London and looking forward to the new adventures that await, I am also sad about (temporarily) leaving behind all the amazing friends I’ve made during my year here in Vancouver.  Sometimes we have to let go of things deep in our hearts to make way for new love that will grow there.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
— Marilyn Monroe

Here’s a couple shots of him in progress:

The Symbiote has such a huge head, so I wanted to paint the majority of the design there.  I wanted a huge heart as the focal point, as if he’s solely thinking with his heart.  I wanted the heart to be bold and the rest of the colours to be very soft and feminine.  I drew the sketch directly on the toy instead of drawing it out on paper first.