Work/Life (preview)

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the UPPERCASE directory of Canadian illustration & photography

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It will be available at t at UPPERCASE and in s Thanks for looking!

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is a preview of our n: Work/Life.

the beginning of June select bookstores.

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Contents 5

Work/Life Introduction

7 Real Work 16 Karen Simpson, MoneySense 20 Isabel Abdai, Martha Stewart Living 25 Illustration Mentors: Jillian Tamaki & Sam Weber 35 Real Life 39 Keeping a Sketchbook The Directory

46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98

Clint Adam-Smyth Dwight Allott Darren Booth Julia Breckenreid Nathan Burge CJ Burton Michael Byers Charlene Chua Marco Cibola Matthew Daley Hugo Dubon Byron Eggenschwiler Carolyn Fisher Douglas Fraser Chad Geran Mark Gervais Valéry Goulet Kristopher Grunert Jody Hewgill Jen Hsieh Blair Kelly Brennan Kelly Mike Kerr Evaan Kheraj Murray Kimber Karen Klassen Vanja Kragulj

100 102 104 106 108 110 112 114 116 118 120 122 124 126 128 130 132 134 136 138 140 142 144 146 148 150 152 154 156 158 160 162 164 166 168 170

Jeff Kulak Edward Kwong Andrea Lam Vicky Lam Pierre Lamielle Kendyl Lauzon Aaron Leighton Renata Liwska Julie McLaughlin Luc Melanson Julia Minamata Jamie Morris Darcy Muenchrath Kyung Soon Park Phil the Art Guy Ryan Price Aimee Qiu Kyle Reed Marc Rimmer Rick Sealock Thom Sevalrud Genevieve Simms Anthony Smith Lori Joy Smith Amy Alice Thompson Davey Thompson Jamie Tucker Kirstie Tweed Stephen Wilde Wilkosz + Way Connor Willumsen Liz Wolfe Daniel Wood Amanda Woodward Courtney Wotherspoon Simone Zahradka

Written and designed by Janine Vangool Cover illustration and back cover photograph by Darren Booth Photo (left) by Jody Hewgill

Published by UPPERCASE gallery, books & papergoods ©2008


#204 - 100, 7th Ave SW Calgary, Alberta Canada T2P 0W4

174 Sponsors

ISBN 978-0-9783268-1-4 3


Work/Life Being a professional illustrator or photographer is a full-time job that goes beyond the mainstream nine-to-five: tough deadlines mean working through the night and photo shoots might whisk you away to unexpected places. Flashes of inspiration can happen anytime, so your sketchbook is an indispensable appendage. You might spend innumerable hours secluded in your studio, or perhaps you’re a regular at the local coffeeshop. Chances are, your work and your life are one and the same and you wouldn’t have it any other way. Work/Life is a book celebrating Canadian illustration and photography. Unlike magazine awards annuals or traditional illustration directories that are little more than picture books, our publication delves into what fuels a creative life. Participants were interviewed about their creative focus and artistic technique as well as their inspirations and aspirations. Sketchbook pages, studio shots, inspirational objects and personal photography allow us to peek into their work and their lives. In addition to being an informative and entertaining book, the goal of the UPPERCASE directory is to promote outstanding Canadian illustration and photography talent to the best clients across North America. Each participant was asked to provide a list of their top ten dream clients and the book will be sent to this master list on their behalf. We’re happy to report that some of our participants have already been commissioned, based on the links to their portfolios that we listed on the Work/Life project website. Two of these assignments are documented in the Real Work section, on pages 14 and 15.

I would like to thank our participants for providing outstanding illustrations and photographs, rich supplemental imagery and heart-felt responses to our questions. Thank you to the Work/Life quality control panel: Mike Kerr, Aaron Leighton, Kirstie Tweed and Katie Radke and to Jillian Tamaki, Sam Weber, Karen Simpson, Isabel Abdai, Rob Machida, Ryan Snook, Douglas Fraser, Murray Kimber, Nick Franklin and Penelope Dullaghan for their contributions. Thank you to Karen Neudorf and Beyond magazine for including one of our participants in their regular sketchbook feature. I gratefully acknowledge our project sponsors: the Alberta College of Art & Design and Brownstock. Thank you to Silvia Kallen at Unisource for her assistance and to Chris Young at Printcrafters for his advice and guidance with the printing of this book.

UPPERCASE c a lg a ry 403 283 5318 To find out more about UPPERCASE gallery, see page 172. If you would like to be considered for future editions of the UPPERCASE directory, please send us an email. If you are hiring one of our participants, please let us know! We’d love to track the success of this project. Opposite page: A Canadian self-portrait by Kirstie Tweed.

A big thank you to my husband, Glen Dresser, for his support and understanding. My work is my life and my life is my work, but neither would matter without you.


Karen Simpson: Art Director, MoneySense Karen Simpson has worked for many prominent Canadian and international clients such as Sony, Holt Renfrew, Roots, Rolling Stone, MTV Networks, Universal Studios, Saturday Night, Fashion, National Post Business, Canadian Living and The Globe & Mail. She is currently art director of the Canadian magazine, MoneySense, and teaches design at the Ontario College of Art & Design. What is your educational and professional background? I graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1982. Since then I have worked as an art director in advertising, at design studios and focused the last 12 years in editorial design, redesigning/ launching magazines. I have lived/worked in New York twice but am originally from Toronto where I live now. TORONTO


How did you become interested in design and art direction? From a very young age I was always drawing, painting and making things. I started OCA hoping to be an illustrator but quickly realized I couldn’t draw (compared to the other super-talented students) and that I really enjoyed and did

well in my design classes. My first job after graduating was at Reactor Art & Design which was the hot shop at that time. I was assistant to Louis Fishauf, one of Canada’s greatest graphic designers. I was very fortunate to work closely with Louis on a variety of great projects using photographers and many of Reactor’s illustrators. It was an environment that was inspiring, produced high quality work and encouraged creativity. I always say Louis taught me everything I know. MoneySense commissions a remarkable number of original images. How do you select illustrators/photographers for assignment? Other than an outstanding

portfolio, what other criteria do you look for when deciding to hire? An art director’s design style is partially defined by the visuals they chose and how they are used. So, I guess the first criteria is I have to like it. Then the artist’s style has to be an appropriate fit for the job. Finally, the visual concept—how the artist represents the story ideas in a creative interpretation. What is the preferred process for photographers and illustrators to submit their portfolios for consideration? I like postcards. I have two boxes, one for photographers and one for illustrators. When I get promos I put anything that could work in my current magazine on the wall. Everything else I like goes in the box. Whenever I start a new job I move in with my boxes. Email is good also. Send a few samples and a link to your website. I categorize and bookmark websites I like. I don’t usually meet with artists mainly because of time constraints, which is a little sad. Please describe the planning involved in designing and photographing/illustrating a typical article. How much information is

provided to the photographer or illustrator regarding the layout? What lead times do you work with? After I read the main stories (or brief if the story is not in) I start to plan the feature well. For each feature, I first decide how best to represent the story idea—photography or illustration, keeping in mind I want to have a good mix. Then I go through my box and bookmarks looking for an artist whose style and interpretation best suit the story. At this stage I take into consideration execution style, colour, mood (humour or serious), and whether it is a decorative, literal or a conceptual piece.

Spreads from the Summer 2007 issue, called “The 10 Laws of Building Wealth,” illustrated by Christian Northeast. ( “Wealth School” (below) illustration by Gary Taxali, November 2007. (

Once I contact an illustrator and confirm the deadline, budget and size, I send the story and sometimes suggestions for direction. I don’t get too specific with suggestions, if any, because I have found that it sometimes confuses the creative process and then the illustrator is second-guessing what I want when I really want their ideas. Usually I will get one to three very rough scribbles that I discuss with my editor. I will either choose an idea or suggest changes. Most times I am able to give illustrators ten days, but sometimes only two. 17

Illustration for New York Times Magazine by Jillian Tamaki. “You Still Have Me� by Sam Weber (opposite) for The Walrus magazine. 24

Illustration Mentors: Jillian Tamaki & Sam Weber Illustration duo Jillian Tamaki and Sam Weber were educated at the Alberta College of Art & Design before moving to the Big Apple to pursue their careers. They have found tremendous success, having completed assignments for CBC, Maclean’s, The New Yorker, The Walrus, The New York Times Magazine and other high-profile clients. They have both received Gold Medals from the Society of Illustrators. New York

Jillian Tamaki interviewed by Penelope Dullaghan

How did you get started in the illustration field? My school did a good job of preparing us and our student portfolios. Upon graduation, I was lucky to meet some very supportive designers who gave me some great jobs and enabled me to build up my professional portfolio. I worked at a video game company in Edmonton, Alberta, doing texturing and character work, while freelancing during (all of) my free time. Basically, I worked my day job until I had built up enough clients to allow me to freelance full-time, which I started doing in early 2005. How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started? I think that setting out to ‘find a style’ is sort of pointless and limiting. As students, we were very much encouraged to develop our basics, experiment with media and not ‘lock’ ourselves into finding a ‘marketable style’. It was through this process that I realized 25


Real Life “My life is my work, “ says Courtney Wotherspoon. “But not in that depressing, exhausted, workaholic, brain-drained, officecubicle way. In the best way possible; the way that feels inspired, fueled and purposeful. And fun! Everything from my sleeping and eating habits, to the company I keep, to my overall mood— my work is my life.” Here are some words of wisdom from the lives of our illustrators and photographers. Dwight Allott is big in Japan: “Once I was approached by some Japanese girls on a scavenger hunt at the University of Alberta campus. They were asked to collect as many items on their list as they could find in an hour. They pointed to their list and asked “what is this ‘pine cone’?” In essence, what they were saying to me was, “Is there an illustrator in the house?” I drew a pine tree and circled one of the cones. The girls, all wide eyed, uttered in unison, “Aaaaaaah” and thanked me. At that point I felt happy and vindicated with my career choice.” Michael Byers on living at home: “I live at home with my mom. I work out of the studio in the basement. I work a parttime job at an Art Supply Store in Guelph, Ontario, I rock climb three times a week, and go out once and a while. I don’t have a wife, kids, house or any of that stuff. It’s actually rather nice. I know that will change as more jobs roll in and I get involved in my industry more.” Carolyn Fisher on why she became an illustrator: “I like to draw. And I don’t like working as a farm hand.”

Marco Cibola on imminent parenthood: “We have a daughter on the way (she’ll be here by the time this is published), so we’re hoping that being at home all the time should make for an interesting family dynamic. I’m anticipating a more structured work schedule will be a necessity.” Jody Hewgill and serendipity: “Life inspires my work. Everything I have experienced and witnessed on my many years on this planet brings a new understanding and perspective on my work. I often find serendipity in the assignments that I am offered, on many occasions they have echoed something I am experiencing or perhaps that manuscript or story will give some insight to something a friend or family member may be dealing with.” Edward Kwong on being a student: “It’s amazing how much sleep you can lose sometimes, being an illustration student. I can’t tell you how many times I’d thought I was hallucinating from lack of sleep.” Mike Kerr on his ideal day: “My ideal day would be waking up early to a day not too hot or too cold. Going for a bit of coffee and sketching at a Paris café.

Opposite page: Photo of Brennan Kelly by Rachel Rivera (with lettering by Brennan). Drive-thru photo by Aaron Leighton and laundry photo by Amanda Woodward. Still life (above) by Jeff Kulak.



Spend the late morning and early afternoon painting then going for a pleasant walk and enjoying the sights of the old town of Krakow or maybe Amsterdam. Afterwards having a couple pints and more sketching at a quiet London Pub. Oh yeah, and never, ever doing paperwork.”

Jeff Way on the glamourous life of a photographer: “Last week I threw up in a helicopter while shooting aerials for a business publication.”

Andrea Lam on survival: “I try to work hard and play hard. Sometimes the ‘play’ aspect is more pronounced though... I prefer to cut into my sleeping time than to miss out on fun, which is probably very unhealthy. I don’t know if I’m doing a very good job of balancing the two. But I try to remember that life isn’t just about making money, and neither is being an illustrator. Making images is something I would continue to do whether people paid me to do it or not, so I try to remember that whenever I get stressed. I try to enjoy the work I do. There are a lot of contributing factors to a person’s survival, and not all of them can be purchased.”

Simone Zahradka’s traffic report: My work and life are both driven by me, cautiously but a little over the speed limit, while I apply my mascara in the rearview.

Phil on sex appeal: “I was on a first date one time. It was a company formal dinner party. There were a lot of office workers. I sat beside an associate of my friend. When asked, I told her I was an artist. Then she knowingly winked at me and said in a lusty voice “Oh! I have read all about you guys! You artists have sex all the time... in your studios....” After further interrogation I found out she has read too many romance novels with artists as the stud muffins. Of course, I constantly remind my wife about my ‘status’ as an ‘artist’ and what we are ‘known for’. It sometimes works...”

D. Work and Life often enter a friendly traffic circle, maintaining momentum but slowing in cautious awareness of one another. Eventually one breaks decisively towards the fast track, cutting the other off and forcing it into a meaningless looping time-delay sequence around the inside lane. This second vehicle will eventually rejoin the first on the freeway, but will have to race to catch up. It may aspire to emerge victorious from the next traffic circle....

Jamie Tucker on others’ perception of professional illustrators: “My family thinks that I don’t have a job.”

When they meet they could: A. Skid to a halt at opposite sides of a four way stop, mutually unsure who arrived first. Then, play a lurching, gas-brakegas-brake game of chicken until nightfall. B. T-bone each another in a fiery sidepanel collision with only one survivor. C. Exchange a glance as they seamlessly glide by each other via an overpass But the correct answer is:

Opposite page: Beach scene by Aaron Leighton (top). Taxis by Vicky Lam (bottom). Leaves by Jen Hsieh (above). Photo by Courtney Wotherspoon.

Stephen Wilde sums it up: Work is life. Life is work. Play is work. Work is play. 37


Keeping a Sketchbook Looking in someone’s sketchbook can be akin to snooping in a diary. Its pages contain uncensored trial and error, trainwrecks of thought, serendipitous beauty, private revelations and random doodles. The personal creative exploration the sketchbook encourages makes it an indispensable tool for many artists. “The sketchbooks I have kept over the years have been the main source of the growth, or evolution of my work,” says Darcy Muenchrath. “Much of the drawing, and/or exploration, that happens in my sketchbooks is what keeps me pushing forward.” Byron Eggenschwiler agrees: “My sketchbook is a huge part of where my best and worst ideas come from, it’s a place free of the pressures of a real piece of paper and brings out my most personal thinking, from downright awful to the accidentally grand.” “The sketchbook is a laboratory,” offers Luc Melanson. “I don’t want it to be a collection of nice drawings. It’s a precious bank of potential ideas.” The sketchbook becomes a portable office for many creatives. They can take it to their favourite coffeeshop and contemplate the next assignment. Connor Willumsen always carries his art supplies with him. “I am very strict about having something to write or draw with at all times, and despite of

the incessant ridicule it provokes, I carry around a man-purse with all my favourite drawing tools and notebooks to get me through the day. As artists we have to draw from life and human experience, so it’s important to jot down ideas and document moments in a way photographs and memory can’t.” “My sketchbook is where new things happen,” says Karen Klassen. “I try not to edit or judge my sketchbook too much (although this is inevitable and natural, I think) It’s where I experiment, write notes for a later time, capture a quick idea. Because I use alot of different media, it’s where I experiment with new media. It’s my favourite place to be.”

Opposite page: A page from Lori Joy Smith’s sketchbook (top) and Renata Liwska’s pencil sketches. Watercolour splotch by Rick Sealock. Images from Byron Eggenschwiler’s sketchbooks (below).


Michael Byers Cambridge 519 588 2307

Michael has always loved to draw and create images—when he was a small boy, he would doodle all over the note pads he found around his Grandmother’s home. However, it wasn’t until much later that Michael was impressed by a friend’s illustration portfolio. “I knew looking at his stuff that I needed to pursue illustration as a career.” Michael enrolled in the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. “My motto has always been: ‘You’ll never know unless you try.’ I have found the best way to grow and learn is by doing.” Since graduating in 2007, with his own impressive portfolio in hand, Michael has been busy with work for magazines such as Explore, Outside, Cottage Life, Avenue and the LA Times. He looks forward to getting more of his art out into the world. “My goal is to make people think. Whether that’s to think about themselves, or to wonder


what the hell I was thinking when I made the illustration. If I get a reaction—good or bad—I’ve done my job.” When given an assignment, Michael dives in with much gusto—“I do sketches, lots of sketches”—and allows himself the freedom to fully explore a topic. “I first think of the most ridiculous solution to a problem possible. Then I think of other ideas.” He edits his concepts down to three or four to send to the art director. “I try to incorporate an edgier way of thinking... just in case they might go for it!” His finished illustrations feature organic lines drawn in black india ink. The artwork is scanned; colour and texture are added digitally. Hobbies such as rock climbing and yoga help clear his head, readying him for new ideas and inspirations. “I am influenced by everything around me—from the people I see everyday, the situations I find myself in at times, to the clothing I wear. Every part of my life somehow seems to sneak into my work. I think that this is natural when you’re living and working in an authentic way. When you are truly able to be yourself it will show in whatever you create. I just love life and I think you can see that in what I do.”

Marco Cibola “My life and my work basically run side by side,” says Marco Cibola from Novestudio, the design and illustration studio he shares with his wife Anne, a graphic designer. “We work together at home... she’s always involved to some extent in whatever I’m doing and vice versa. It’s a great situation, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.” Working at home with a spouse blurs the line between personal and business matters: “The only drawback is that there doesn’t seem to be an off switch. There aren’t really any weekends, and there’s no real schedule, it just kind of feels like life is about work. Luckily, I love my work/life!” Marco’s love of his work is evident in the quality of his illustrations, which are drawing-based with subtle colours and delicate lines and textures. “My work has become less dependent on decorative elements. I like the idea of stripping down my work to make it even simpler, and trying to push my concepts further.” Marco and Anne are looking forward to a new addition to the studio—they have a daughter on the way. “We’re hoping that being at home all the time should make for an interesting family dynamic. I’m anticipating a more structured work schedule will become a necessity.”

toronto 416 801 6676



Jody Hewgill “Life inspires my work,” writes Jody Hewgill from her studio in Toronto. “Everything I have experienced and witnessed on my many years on this planet brings a new understanding and perspective to my work.” A professional illustrator since 1988, her work has been recognized internationally with countless awards and honours. “I often find serendipity in the assignments that I am offered, on many occasions they have echoed something I am experiencing or perhaps that manuscript of story will give some insight into something a friend or family member may be dealing with.”

ment, we live half a block from Bloor Street in the busy Annex area. I love the easy access to book and magazine stores and the pulse of the street. But in the summer I need to escape the city and spend time at our cottage in Northern Ontario. I enjoy going for long walks, exploring the flora, sketching and painting... I’ve completed many assignments up there.”

Toronto 416 924 4200

“I try to create images that are important to me... the approach to a piece may vary, sometimes it’s emotionally driven, sometimes it’s a more graphic and decorative approach.” When beginning an assignment, Jody prefers to read the entire manuscript or article, rather than working from a synopsis. By being fully informed on the subject matter, she can assert meaning into her illustrative concepts. “My objective is to find the essence of the subject matter to explore a theme for myself but also to create imagery that will resonate with other people.” When it comes to defining work from life, Jody finds that separating her studio from the main living space is helpful in maintaining balance. “My studio is on the third floor of our house, so simply walking down the stairs helps me to mentally disengage from work. I find this business can be allconsuming, so I try to balance myself with plenty of exercise, yoga, pilates, swimming and skiing. I love living in an urban environ83

Jeff Kulak “I feel lucky,” says Edmonton-based illustrator Jeff Kulak. “I’ve always drawn, now it just pays the bills.” Jeff recently completed his Bachelor of Design at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. A talented designer with an interest in wood type, some of the aesthetics of letterpress can be seen in his crossover illustration work, most notably the flat colours with perfectly imperfect registration. “I try to use a bunch of different media to keep it varied, but my standbys are plain old HB pencils and India ink (give or take some vectors). I think I’m developing sensibilities in my conceptual approach to projects, but I’m hesitant to nail down an aesthetic at this point in my career.” Like most new illustrators, Jeff keeps his studio setup simple and practical. “My studio is my bedroom,” he says. “So the lines [between work and life] are pretty blurry right now. ... There’s a degree of uncertainty in freelance that is exciting but stressful, and that’s hard to separate from your day-to-day outlook on things.” To maintain perspective, Jeff enjoys riding his bike, playing ukulele (poorly), collecting mini-keyboards and buying airline tickets. “Travel is important,” he states. “It’s definitely the easiest way to fill up a sketchbook.” “It’s a big world. I just want to keep working with interesting people with good ideas and take it as it comes.” eDmoNToN 101

Aaron Leighton “Traveling, electronic music, museums, Tolkien, bugs, Buddhism, friends, mountains, the Expressionists, decaying posters on telephone poles, heavy metal, Hindu artwork, found materials, big cities, small towns, photography, monsters, northern Ontario, my girlfriend, mythology, Picasso, kids’ books, Ren & Stimpy...” Aaron’s list of inspirations could go on and on. Randomness and diversity—from graphic debris found on a city street to religious and pagan symbology—inform his illustrative approach. “I could say that my style reflects some of my obsessions: doodle-y line work, strong colour, collage and texture, weird characters, visual chaos and icons. I also try to use humour as a recurring element in my work. For me, the

best images end up becoming greater than the sum of their parts, or more specifically, the media used to create them, whether digital or otherwise.”

Toronto 416 955 0115

“I choose to live in a big city, not because I have to—illustrators are among the lucky ones who can work remotely from any location—but because I find the energy and visuals of the place inspiring.” Departing from his home-base in Toronto, Aaron travels on a fairly regular basis. ‘It’s a great contrast to the rather secluded, sedentary life of an illustrator.” Along the way, he collects more random global bits and pieces to add to the never-ending list of inspirations. “The world is an incredibly stimulating place as long as you’re paying attention.”


Julie McLaughlin “Am I working, or am I doing this for fun?” asks Julie McLaughlin. Like most creative freelancers, her work and life are intertwined. “A lot of times there isn’t a line, and that’s a blessing and curse.” “My work is often inspired by life and things/people around me. My life is often filled with people I’ve met through work or events I’ve heard about through work. I don’t even have a separate studio space yet, so even physically my work and life are mixed in together. There’s a great question in a book I have that proposes, ‘Am I filling my life with work, or am I filling my work with life?’ Amongst all careers, I think it’s really applicable to illustrators (and other freelancers)—especially starting out— because there aren’t set work hours where you physically have to leave the building and stop working, so it’s easy for work to take over your life. And because for a lot of artists, their hobbies do include art, so it’s hard to draw a line between work and pleasure.” “When illustrating, you have to look for something interesting and captivating in the subject you’re given, and I think part of that trails over to my personal life— finding something bigger in what I’m looking at or listening to or doing. You always try to look at a subject matter in different angles or perspectives and that’s really helpful in life!”

cAlgAry 403 969 2432 117

Marc Rimmer “Someone looking through my book once said it best. ‘Hmm... Awkward. You must have a lot of strange friends.’” Strange is good, in Marc Rimmer’s world. A fresh graduate from the Alberta College of Art & Design’s photography department, Marc’s photography offers a quirky perspective on portraiture. “I found my style by just shooting and shooting lots, and trying to pick up as few photography magazines and books as possible,” he says. Marc believes that everything one does becomes an influence in one’s work. “It doesn’t have to be visual influences either. Music is a really big part of my life, and a huge inspiration for me. My sense of humour also plays a huge role in my work, which is probably influenced by me and my ‘strange friends.’” His amusing and stylish images are the result of careful thought. “Every photo I do involves a lot of brainstorming and drawings. If you don’t have a strong concept

or narrative, you don’t have anything, so I spend the most amount of time on this, before I ever pick up the camera. Sometimes happy accidents happen, but most of my work is fairly set up. I usually know exactly what I want going in to a shoot.”

calgary / montreal

Being a photographer requires commitment to its lifestyle. “It involves a lot of running around and going places. My girlfriend (see page 116) is an illustrator, and I am often envious because she can stay at home and work, or go on a trip somewhere and take work with her. Photography requires you to get up and go places, rain or shine.” The benefits, though, are getting to meet incredible people in amazing places. Marc plans to start shooting in Montreal, a city that he feels will be positive for his career and creativity. “If I can continue to shoot portraits of people like I am doing now, and make a living doing it, I’m happy,” he says.


Lori Joy Smith

Charlottetown 902 367 9548

Lori grew up in Ottawa, attended highschool in Italy, earned a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, lived in Vancouver for ten years and just recently moved with her husband and young daughter clear across the country to Prince Edward Island. “I couldn’t have made this move if I had a different job. I love that I can work from anywhere. It also gives me so much more freedom than a regular job. I can spend lots of time with my daughter, but also keep my work going while caring for her.” “I had a daughter around three years ago and since then the balance between ‘life’ and ‘work’ has definitely been leaning towards ‘life’. Getting time to work that first year was very hard. I saw how motherhood could so easily become all-consuming but also I realize that my work was a very important connection to my own identity and that I needed to maintain that connection in order to be happy and a better mom. My daughter is now in preschool five days a week, and I have lots of time to work. Life and work are slowly balancing out.” Lori is inspired by vintage linens, embroidery, Japanese fabric, Swedish design, children’s books from the 1960s, animals wearing clothes and the imperfection of


handmade things. Most of Lori’s published illustration work is digital, drawn with Adobe Illustrator and a Wacom tablet. She also paints and creates artwork for sale in galleries and in her online shop. “I started doing fabric art pieces because I couldn’t bear to part with all my daughter’s baby clothes she’d outgrown. I’d use anything that had special meaning to me, adding embroidery and appliqué.” “I think the two things I am most proud of in my life are being a woman and being Canadian. Both things I have had no control over or can take any credit for, but are so integral to who I am that it impacts everything I do.”


Wilkosz + Way With Marta Wilkosz and Jeff Way, two heads are better than one. “We both attended Alberta College of Art in the late 90s, where we met. Our personal photo aesthetic worked well together, and after helping each other out with school assignments, we joined forces and started working as a team in 2000. Jeff graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography in 2000, and Marta in 2001.” Wilkosz + Way have made the switch to digital due to industry demand, but still shoot film with medium- and large-format cameras whenever they have the chance. “Obviously the process has become much more difficult with film labs closing, manufacturers going out of business and digital taking over the market, but we still hand-print both colour and black and white, and do a lot of our processing ourselves. We’ve also been working on a series of portraits on glass negatives, old techniques and their imperfections appeal to us.” There is alot to learn from looking at past techniques: “We are often amazed at how contemporary some of the old photo masters can be.” Collaboration is an essential element in their process. “Sometimes Jeff comes up with the concept, sometimes it’s Marta, but we always perfect it together.” They also consider the stylists, hair and makeup artists part of the team. “Getting their input can take our images that one step further, and helps us create work that is spontaneous and indicative of what we are interested in at that particular moment.” “We have never viewed photography as simply a profession. We’re still excited about shooting everyday, and base a lot of our life decisions on how it will affect our work. Even our holidays always have something to do with photography. (...) We’ve been lucky to get to a point in our career where our clients trust us with our own aesthetic, and we have the freedom to just run with it.”

Calgary 403 870 8892 159

Liz Wolfe Liz Wolfe recalls how she was introduced to photography as a teenager. “My parents set up a tiny darkroom in our basement to print family photos in black-and-white; we were living in the middle of nowhere and this provided a fascinating distraction during a long, cold winter. So this is where I found photography, in a basement, on the edge of a prairie city, surrounded by endless fields of snow-covered wheat. My mom taught me how to use her 35mm camera and my dad taught me how to make prints. And that was it; I was in love!” Liz now shoots transparency film with a medium-format camera. “The aesthetic look of my photos has less to do with consciously trying to create a specific style and more to do with my obsessive need to arrange objects; the process of physically arranging the elements of the photographs is very enjoyable for me.” Her images are sugary, supersaturated and painstakingly arranged.

“Conceptually, I’m interested in creating magical worlds...” Liz explains. “In exploring things that lie beneath the surface, in constructing false realities in which elements of beauty and horror can comfortably coexist. The ultra-contrived, artificial aesthetic of my work is an important element. The images are glossy and commercial-looking, but underneath the seductive sheen of colour and fun, something unsettling lies. There are many stories I want to tell, without explaining too much, and using a visual language that is otherworldly and mysterious, but that reeks of reality; part sci-fi, part crime scene, part candy explosion. My stories are often about the experiences of young girls because I think, historically speaking, the stories of young women are rarely told accurately. And this is something I’m interested in exploring visually.”

Toronto 647 224 8078


Courtney Wotherspoon Think, think, jot, scribble, coffee, draw, draw, draw, coffee, paint, paint, glue, paint, draw, erase, draw, coffee, scan, cut, copy, paste, adjust, send, wait, sleep. Such is the creative process of Torontobased illustrator, Courtney Wotherspoon. You may notice a lot of drawing and painting in that list: “My life is my work. But not in that depressing, exhausted, workaholic, brain-drained, office-cubicle way. In the best way possible; the way that feels inspired, fueled and purposeful. And fun!” She goes on: “Everything from my sleeping and eating habits, to the company I keep, to my overall mood—my work is my life.”

Toronto 416 859 3729

Courtney describes her work as “multi-layered visual ephemera, with a gooey centre.” Using found objects in one’s professional work is a good excuse to acquire stuff. “I keep and collect just about everything— just in case I need to reference a med school model of a male pelvis or strike up the urge to paint on an antique plate depicting Prince Charles.” In many respects, the collection of miscellaneous items is one grand visual project, constantly in flux. “Just like my artwork, my apartment and studio are layers upon layers of stuff, compiled, composed, and chaotic,” Courtney explains. “Just like I need to edit and arrange a painting, I need to do the same to everything around me.” These random items offer new inspiration to Courtney. “I see taking my illustration off the page and onto found objects. I see silkscreen. I see enamel. I see people wearing my art, eating off it, sleeping in it, living among it.” 169


UPPERCASE UPPERCASE gallery, books & papergoods highlights the world of design and illustration through exhibitions, unique products and books. Since opening in 2005, UPPERCASE has hosted some notable exhibitions of Canadian talent: Aaron Leighton’s Canadian Superheroes, Renata Liwska’s children’s book illustration, Kirstie Tweed’s Orange Girl photography and Doug Fraser’s Banal Drama. The gallery has also curated numerous thematic and group shows featuring international artists such as Camilla Engman, Christopher Silas Neal, Lisa Congdon, Ryan Heshka and Hatch Show Print. The gallery gained international attention in the summer of 2007 for The Shatner Show, an exhibition and publication of over 70 illustrations inspired by the life and career of William Shatner. An illustrious roster of

invited participants included Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Martha Rich, Calef Brown, Marcos Chin, Joe Morse and others. UPPERCASE is the creative effort of Janine Vangool. Janine graduated from the Visual Communications program at the Alberta College of Art & Design in 1995. Vangool Design & Typography was formed the following year. Her client focus remains in arts and culture, creative small business and publishing. Past and current clients include Calgary Opera, ACAD, Ottawa Art Gallery, Art Central, Beyond magazine and Whitecap Books. Her work has been included in Communication Arts Design Annuals and has received numerous awards. She was a member of the 2007 Alternative Pick illustration jury and was a judge for the Junos’ music packaging category.

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Work/Life Clint Adam-Smyth Dwight Allott Darren Booth Julia Breckenreid Nathan Burge CJ Burton Michael Byers Charlene Chua Marco Cibola Matthew Daley Hugo Dubon Byron Eggenschwiler Carolyn Fisher Douglas Fraser Chad Geran Mark Gervais ValĂŠry Goulet Kristopher Grunert Jody Hewgill Jen Hsieh Blair Kelly Brennan Kelly Mike Kerr Evaan Kheraj Murray Kimber

Karen Klassen Vanja Kragulj Jeff Kulak Edward Kwong Andrea Lam Vicky Lam Pierre Lamielle Kendyl Lauzon Aaron Leighton Renata Liwska Julie McLaughlin Luc Melanson Julia Minamata Jamie Morris Darcy Muenchrath Kyung Soon Park Phil the Art Guy Ryan Price Aimee Qiu Kyle Reed Marc Rimmer Rick Sealock Thom Sevalrud Genevieve Simms Anthony Smith Lori Joy Smith

Amy Alice Thompson Davey Thompson Jamie Tucker Kirstie Tweed Stephen Wilde Wilkosz + Way Connor Willumsen Liz Wolfe Daniel Wood Amanda Woodward Courtney Wotherspoon Simone Zahradka plus interviews with illustrators Jillian Tamaki and Sam Weber, art directors Isabel Abdai (Martha Stewart Living) and Karen Simpson (MoneySense), and behind the scenes of real work and real life. ISBN 978-0-9783268-1-4

printed in canada

illustration & photo by darren booth with additional lettering by brennan kelly