Here’s an epic 18’-wide chalkboard I completed at Boxcar Social on Queen St. E. last weekend. Thanks again to Alex and Kat for this amazing opportunity.
Stop by 4 Boulton Ave. to grab a great coffee and check out the new board.
I’m currently looking for old paintings for an upcoming sign painting project. Details:
-originals or reproductions
-landscape or portrait
-framed or unframed
-kitsch is key (paint-by-numbers are great!)
Donations preferred. Commissions possible if the painting is yours.
I’m currently looking for remnant wood for an upcoming sign painting project. Details:
-untreated plywood or lumber panels, no larger than 16”x20”, no thicker than 1/2”.
-good condition (no cracks or knots)
-also accepting masonite board, blank canvases, etc.
I’m currently looking for lettering resources for a research project. Details:
-lettering & sign painting reference material, circa 1900-1960
-can include guides, alphabets, exemplars and samples
-looking to acquire or borrow
-physical copies or PDFs/scans/links are great
I’m currently looking for empty wall space in Toronto for new mural projects. Details:
-indoor or outdoor -prominent, visible to public
-a row of uniform laneway garage doors would be amazing
-any size (the bigger, the better)
-would require permission from property owner
-completed concepts/mockups available upon request
I’m currently looking to develop a dynamic sign painting & showcard identity with independent retailers in Toronto. Details:
-traditional showcard style (think “Honest Eds”)
-ideal industries: food/grocery (local butcher or produce), farmers markets, candy, toy, plant or general stores
-seasonal / holiday sale displays -menu boards (restaurants, cafes)
I'm honoured to be a guest artist next Sunday at She Matters, a fundraising brunch in support of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, which offers legal representation, professional counselling and multilingual interpretation to women who have experienced violence. I will be offer hand-lettered notes and greeting cards, with all proceeds going towards the clinic. Incredibly, this event is sold out, but you can still support the clinic here:
1. How did you learn to do lettering?
I have always been enamoured with letters, alphabets, and writing - both printed and cursive. I was very fond of my grandmother’s cursive handwriting – beautiful & rhythmic – scribed on notes, recipes and greeting cards. As a child, I can remember sitting at her kitchen table, writing the alphabet, my name, and names of the family over and over again on lined paper. I liked that anyone could write the same 26 forms on paper, but they would be slightly different.This interest carried on through school and university, where I got a broader understanding of fonts, lettering, and typography. The lettering I do now – which most would call “brush lettering” – is self-taught, starting around 2009 when I first picked up a Tombow dual pen. I began by tracing and mimicking my favourite letterers, and then started to develop my own personal style. I started working with brush and ink in 2016 because I loved the roughness and irregularity. I am currently dedicating my time to fostering my showcard & sign painting skills.
2. Where do you find inspiration?
There is inspiration everywhere if you look close enough. For myself in Toronto, there are incredible type and lettering specimens hidden in plain sight on old shop fronts. One of my absolute favourite hobbies is scouring old bookstores, vintage stores and antique markets for curious ads, maps, education guides, lettering charts, packaging, signs & ephemera. I’m particularly drawn to anything from 1940-1960, during the golden age of commercial graphic arts. I especially love antique hunting in other cities – and countries. It is always a unique glimpse into the past.
3. What is your routine like as a freelance lettering artist? Do you do lettering all day, every day?
I have always been an early riser. On an average weekday, I am usually up before 7am so I can get emails out of the way and head to the studio. My best, most creative time is between 9am and 11am, so I like to reserve that time for lettering work, either personal projects, client work or commissions. I have a light lunch and then run to the gym for about an hour – it’s a perfect way to break up the day and get a boost of energy. In the afternoons, I either focus on computer work (digitizing, layouts, etc.), or allot time for meetings, errands, or deliveries of my prints (I like to hand-deliver all purchases within Toronto). In the evenings, I like to cook dinner and unwind, but often do a few bits on my computer before bed. If my work life was a pie chart, it would break down roughly as follows: ¼ graphic design ¼ client lettering & commissions ¼ personal lettering & online shop ¼ Ligatures events, workshops & admin
4. What do you think of this trend towards hand-lettering and analog techniques?
Traditional craftsmanship, especially in terms of hand-lettering, is experiencing a distinct resurgence right now. But we also can’t ignore the prevalence - and appeal - of digital techniques. In terms of my own art practice, I like to keep one eye on my work and one eye on the future. There are qualities of the medium (ie. the bristles of a brush, and the toothiness of a piece of paper) that cannot be simulated on the screen. We must acknowledge the change that new media is having on our craft, embrace the best parts of technology, but always retain a human touch.
5. You always look so busy! How do produce so much content?
First and foremost, what you see on social media is a highly edited portrait of my studio life. Some weeks are exceptionally busy, others are not. My social media strategy (if there is such a thing) is to provide a glimpse into my work and process, while inspiring folks with my curious discoveries. Time is valuable (both mine and yours), so I promise to keep the posts fun and engaging. I am beyond grateful for every project I’ve worked on, every person I’ve met, and every word I’ve got to hand-letter. I’m feel blessed that I found a career where I can use my skills to help and delight people. This medium is my voice – everything you see on the page and in this feed is 100% me. Thank you for joining me for the ride.
Please mark your calendars, lovebirds! I’ll be offering custom live lettered cards and prints at “Made for Love”, a special edition of City of Craft.
Sunday, February 11
The Workroom (1267 Queen St. West)
See you there!
This 27” x 49” wall calendar helps you keep your whole year in perspective.
Can be used once, or in perpetuity. Great for teams and families. Perfect for home, school or office.
Designed and printed in Toronto on 20lb. architectural grade bond paper. Available on its own, with coloured adhesive note set, or laminated with dry erase marker. Standard shipping fees apply.
A) Basic: (no adhesive notes)
B) Standard: includes 4-pack of coloured adhesive notes
C) Premium: Laminated, includes dry erase marker and 4-pack of coloured adhesive notes
Free delivery within Toronto may be available; please contact me for details.
Custom colours, sizes, and digital files available upon request; please contact me for details.
Purchase your calendar here.
I am thrilled to accept this Communication Arts Award of Excellence for the 3D mural I created at Cutler & Gross in fall 2017. Check out the mural (with 3D glasses!) at 758 Queen St. W., and see the full feature in the Typography Annual, coming next month!