Thursday, December 2, 2010

i mean well, but my registration is still pretty sloppy

Hi dudes.

Its a crazy time and this week has been sort of sad for some reasons but today my print teacher Jack said that I did good work this semester and maybe he just says that to everyone but it made me feel pretty good! I'm a messy printer, I have to remind myself to slow down and be more careful sometimes.

These are two different versions of the same drawing. There's about 50 of each of them, so that makes like 100 prints!! WANNA TRADE?

Oh and also here is another thing I printed it will probably be the cover of a zine I want to make over christmas break.

And here's a little guy that I made. Its a manipulation of a photo my ex took on a trip where we went to Cape Breton Island. The colors sucked so I just made it black and white.

Later aligators.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Slowly but not so surely all the time

So here are some things. Some of them are a little on the old side.

This is a drawing I had in both the MirrOrrM show and the Fat City Wildcat II launch (both at the White House).

And this is a print that I made that was in the Fat City Wildcat II launch as well as Milk Thistle at Function 13.

Drawing for 'I Like What I Know' at the White House, curated by Lyndsey Cope.

Here is a picture of my painting from 99 Red Balloons at Canteen Gallery in Ottawa (see if you can spot mine).

Side note: Canteen is unfortunately closing its doors. Inaas, the owner, is going to keep pursuing artistic projects, but is giving up the Gallery/Store space. I'm sorry to hear that! You were a great addition to the marketplace art community and you will be missed!

Ok last but not least: here are some images of my piece for Ghost Hole II.
I made a print on japanese paper and then kind of dyed them and tore them up and made a little shrine around this cow skull that my friend Richard gave me (a hand - me - down from his old roomate and our mutual friend Michelle, who was going to use it for a photo project but instead decided to go teach english in Thailand).

Here's the drawing:

Here's the Skull:

Oh and here's some images of the installation. One with flash, the others without.

The last one is me. I asked Brandon to take a photo of me next to my art, but instead he just took a photo of me in front of it. Nice job, jerk.

I have spent the past few hours editing a new print, very similar to the one for Ghost Hole, on photoshop and it feels like my brain is bleeding. Or maybe I just think that's what is happening to my brain because that is what looks like what is happening in part of the drawing. And do you know what? I spend most of these hours (its around like 4 or 5 now) without listening to any music.

Today my prof was talking about art brut and how it was a term originally used to describe art created by mental patients. Then we watched a movie about a paranoid schizophrenic man who was from the UK but moved to New York to be a painter on the streets (not like live on the street but just take a easel out to the sidewalk and paint things). One of the experts, who was a former curator at MOMA (do you like how I don't remember ANYONE'S name?) talks about how outsider art often does not evolve because the works mostly have a similar repetitive quality to them that helps the artist sort of retain their sanity, like the repetitiveness is something calming to hold onto in the the midst of their madness. So I started thinking about the kind of art I make, and the kind of art many many people I know make and I pretty much concluded that we're all nuts.

Also, is it wrong that I really didn't like this guy's art? It had some qualities that I could appreciate for sure, and since he is 'self taught' and all (but I would argue that no one is really self taught/an outsider blabla) but on the whole I was all like this is not something that I like to look at all that much. Is that incredibly insensitive or not PC or something? Sometimes I just want to be a formalist about things and be all like 'I don't think the way that thing looks is good and that is that.'

I had a thought during my insane photoshop hours today that I would like it very much if artist statements were sometimes just a series of adjectives. Not for everyone, but for some people I think that would suit their work very nicely.

Here are the ones I came up with for my drawing today:
-gross, slimy, hairy, sharp, cold, stoney, moist, warm (it can be both things), silly, hard, squishy, slithery, tight, loose, soft, twisty.

I don't think this is coming out quite like I want it to, but its a nice idea and I will get better at this. Sometimes I just don't like writing out a full sentence, and I'm sure plenty of people feel the same way.

I'll post the print when its finished. Also, things are looking up since the last time I posted. I just get frustrated and discouraged and I think I am my own worst enemy most of the time. Which is just silly, because I have to live with myself until I die and I can't keep doing that forever.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Drawings from the 'Crowded House' show.

In other news, I'm so anxious I feel like vomiting and am fighting a sometimes crippling fear of failure.

I'm almost 26 years old! When am I going to start being a reliable, responsible human? I feel like I've been unsuccessful for so long that its never going to happen?

David Hanes said that Ryan Trecartin said that life is just about maintaining. I'd like to maintain a little bit better, thank you very much.

Also, sometimes its really hard to justify having a purpose, especially when you are like me and you can't entirely identify what that purpose is. Sometimes I know it so well, and other times I look around and wonder what the hell I'm doing, like, anywhere? Maybe this sounds kind of narcissistic or something but I always feel very on the outside of things. Like I'm kind of just observing life but not really participating in it. Even in groups of friends, relationships, my family. Its pretty rare that I ever get a sense of really 'belonging' or something and even still when I do it feels like I cheated, like I'm some sort of impostor.

Its not about being better or worse than anyone, either. And its not for lack of appreciating my friends or family or lovers I've had or anything like that. I kind of just feel a little lost and on the outside.

Is this a universal thing? Are we all a little like that Mersault dude from L'Etranger (plus or minus kind of being a sociopath)? What does it feel like to 'belong', to be part of something, or to really connect with another person? Is it just a moment or does it actually last longer than that?

Anyways, I don't really know, but I have to read some Clement Greenberg now so there's no more time for this kind of speculative dilly dallying. Also, on a more positive note, go see Shary Boyle's exhibit at the AGO. That lady blows my goddamn mind. She's the whole package.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

bean in the straw

Drawing I did for FCWC 2. I forgot that I forgot to put this up. I also did some colour screenprints of this image. I'll scan those later.

I've been ignoring this blog all summer. School starts tomorrow. I just got a fucking twitter account. I guess there's a lot to talk about, but I'm not into doing it right now.

Still serious about it all but fighting major life doubts, as per usual. Do you get blue in the summer? August blues?

I needed to sit in front of a lake for like at least a week. Read more books. Draw because I love to not because its my job. Call mom more often. Eat more fruit and less burritos. Learn how to fix my bike. Play an instrument and sing because I think maybe I could still be good at those things. Be on time for work regularly. Be better with money. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Hang out with my sisters like they are the best friends they are, not like family members. Keep bugging my brother to talk to me, even if he doesn't want to. Put boys as last priority. Stay on top of correspondence. Cook food at home. Go for runs. Keep a journal, instead of random scraps of paper.

I can still do all this, right?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CROWDED HOUSE on Friday August 20th

Hey cool friends

So here's a thing...
I co -curated a show that I also have work in!
Its at the Baitshop Gallery in Parkdale, in the Milky Way alley by Queen and Dufferin.

You should come!

Well and Good presents...

Opening August 20th, 2010
7PM to 11PM
...Show Runs August 16th to August 29th

A collective group exhibition of Toronto and non Toronto - based artists and Illustrators, curated by artists Andrew McKay and Julia Dickens.

Not in the clamour of the crowded street,
Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,
But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.
--HW Longfellow

When we first embarked on this project, we had decided to produce a
series of portraiture early on, all of us in some way dealing with the
human form, ranging from highly realistic to the surreal. As
we set to work, it admittedly wasn't until some time later that we
came to the conclusion that through working alone in our studios, we
were building a mass work that would integrate our individual
capacities into a new and complete whole.

Presented here is a collection of portraits from nine artists working
across Canada. The individual faces depicted in the works shown here
as a single collection, are a more or less accurate respresentation of
'the crowd.' As is the case with actual crowds this exhibition may
appear welcoming or hostile, a number of individuals together, or the
teeming throngs of the faceless. The crowd and it's representation
here may attract or repulse the viewer--perhaps both
silmultaneously--leading one to consider what is the individual's role
in, and response to finding one's self in the midst of other

Essentially 'Crowded House' is a reapprisal of crowds and the
conception of such. The ways the mass exert force on the indivdual;
the nature of individuality and collectivity; and ultimately,
the ways in which the one exerts a force in directing the collective.

Thank you,

Julia Dickens & Andrew McKay

Works by the following artists:

Dietrich Rostek (Montreal/Ottawa)

Kirsten McCrea (Montreal)

Andy Borehol (Kitchener/Ottawa)

Graham Robinson (Toronto/Ottawa)

Ceilidh Stidwill (Toronto/Montreal)

Julia Dickens (Toronto/Ottawa)

Vanessa Black (Vancouver/Ottawa)

Sherry Garcia (Ottawa)

Theo Pelmus (Ottawa)

Opening show:
7 pm to 11 pm at the Baitshop Gallery

(Photo cred on poster: Dimitri Karakostas


Friday, May 28, 2010

keen on zines

I finished my first ever solo zine today.

small regrets

Its a collection of short stories about things I regret doing, or not doing, in relationships.

I came up with it for the nano publishing class I am taking this summer, it started as a branch off brainstorming for another zine project I'm doing with my friend Dimitri Karakostas about how we can't find true love (but who can, really?). Look at Dimitri's things, the link above is to his personal blog, also he does a cool zine called Blood of the Young that is super neat and once featured me on it their site which sure is nice.

I am really attracted to things that are highly surreal and complex but also to very simple storytelling about mundane, or maybe more appropriately everyday events and thoughts. Small acts of bravery and sometimes failures, loss, love, questioning existance, fearing death, funny moments where someone says a clever thing or makes a good face and you spit out your lemonade cause its awesome, alienation and loneliness, momentary connections with other humans, overcoming obstacles large and small, friendship, being enemies with someone for silly reasons, nerd fury, tiny things that make people happy like magic cards or sitting under trees or riding a bus somewhere and listening to music and looking at all the fucking people out there and being terrified and stoked on life all at the same time?

The sublime in the mundane? Yeah, maybe, or maybe I just needed to get some shit off my chest, but here is a little something in that direction and maybe you'll read it someday and be like 'oh yeah, I know what that feels like' and we both will know that no one is ever really alone, right?


The Fat City Wildcat Zine Launch is TONIGHT

Presenting work from Toronto, South Africa, Germany, Denmark, and Scotland.

Featuring work by:

Vesna Asanovic
Gordon J.L. Auld
Andrew Remington Bailey
Nathan Bryant
Yigi Chang
Arend Currie
Taya Cornett
Julia Dickens
Sasha Foster
David F.M. Hanes
Reid James Jenkins
Jamie Johnson
Felix Kalmenson
Denelle Kennedy
Hugh Mater
Kristen McCrea
Andrew McKay
Jillian Kay Ross
Sabrina Scott
Katharina Szilágyi
Elliot Vredenburg

Writing by:

Brandon Kashani
Jeremy Lavoie

Performance by:

Yuppie Couples at 8:30!
(Swampy divine communications)

Music by:

Nathan Cyprys
Hubcap Orphans


Spencer Leman


If you are interested in getting a copy of my zine or the Fat City Wildcat please give me a shout at I'll post up information on where these things will be retailed shortly.

I love you, do something nice for someone today.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I feel kind of bashful about this...

But Taya interviewed me and its on the FAT CITY WILCAT blog.

Read it if you'd like! Also read everyone else's interviews. Actually, if you'd like to skip mine, I wouldn't mind! Really.

No, actually, thanks for posting these Taya, its all really rad.

MirrOrrM went super well. Its was great so see such a fantastic turnout, and everyone's work looked awesome. Can I just say how much I love the White House? I think joining was one of the best decisions I've made since I moved here. Maybe I already said this. Well, I'm saying it again!

There's no end to the work to be done, and unfortunately I have no (photos/scans) of new art at the moment, I'll probably get around to it next week. But lots of exciting things coming up this spring and summer!! So so many, actually,.

All I want to do is take a vacation. Oh, and lose like 10 pounds. Yeah, I know, how unfeminist of me, but like whatever, I want to fit into that nice dress again so maybe just shutup and come for a run with me?


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I drew up a poster for the upcoming White House show!

Vanessa Rieger (Vanessa where's your website??) is designing the colour part and Jesjit Gill is making the screen prints of it.

The 1rst exhibition at the new White House!

Featuring the work of:

Adam Cowan
Vanessa Rieger
Xenia Vakova
Julia Dickens
Xenia Benivolski
Christy Kunitzky
Jonathan Mayhew
Emily Cook
Krysta-Lee Karenina
Brandon A. Dalmer
Gregory Denton
Zoe Alexis-Abrams
Nadia Berlique
Rebecca Fin Simonetti
Hayden Menzies

Installation and performance TBA!

March 26, 8 PM -2 AM
277.5 Augusta in Kensignton Market

I can guarantee that if you don't come you'll spend a lot of time afterwards thinking about how you should have. So come!


Friday, March 5, 2010

oh. hello.

Look at her stuff. She had two huge drawings up in the big room on the second floor of OCAD and I was so so blown away by them. Also, she was in a poster show recently that a couple of other friends were in and she's in Free Drawings 7. I love her work so so so so much. Serious jealousy going on over here.


An Illustration I did for Pie Magazine, its an article that's basically a top 5 albums of the year type thing and Vivian Girls was at the top of the list so I drew them. I don't feel so great about this one, but its done so there you go. I haven't posted any new work in a while, and I figured it was time for an update.

Also, is Vivian Girls sold out? Its in, like, a week and I don't have a ticket and I'd kind of like to go?

That's it for now, more new work soon!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Things to look at and also a question too

So here's some things that you should look at...

My sister Anne's website! She is a RISD grad, she took architechture and design, also does installation and photography. Anne is kind of the best, she always sends me links to jobs and websites that I might like, all of it art related. She's also very smart about things and is constantly pushing my buttons, which means getting me to actually think about the work that I make and use my full potential or something?

Listen to my friend Emily's music on myspace! I didn't even know she could sing until I saw her in Brooklyn in November, like what the fuck is up with that? Also she wants me to do album art which is awesome and rad and super flattering.

Varsity did an article on all the spaces in Kensignton, which includes the White House! They only interviewed Adam for our article, but I got to be in the photo!

What is a good flat rate for paid illustration work? I have no idea and I have to come up with an answer to this question soon so I can then ask for this money. Keep in mind that its for a magazine publication that's just starting out, they have a limited budget, and also I am pretty inexperienced and unknown. Any ideas, dudes? I should really just ask one of my teachers...

thanks !

Sunday, January 31, 2010

First solo show?

I have a small body of work up at the Flying Rooster Gallery at Zoots Cafe!

Its a charming little place around Gladstone and Dundas, really close to my home. I always go in there to get coffee when I go to the land o mat to clean my filthy clothes.

It will be up for the month of Febuary. If any of you art friends of mine are interested, the owner asked me to pass the word along to friends if you would like to show work there as well!

Things are going ok otherwise. Some very good things, some very bad things.

I think its important to always consider how what you do affects other people. This is a message not just to myself, and its just something that's been coming up a lot recently. Its pretty simple, but easy to forget.

So remember that next time, ok dudes? Ok.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

sometimes home made soup is just not as good as a burrito

Its true. I brought homemade lentil veggie soup out with me yesterday and ate it in the studio and all I could think about was getting a burrito downstairs...

This is the last of the drawings I will be submitting to the show at Moonbeam. It goes up tomorrow (Friday the 15th of January)....

Also: I have a couple of pieces up in the current show at Canteen Gallery in Ottawa. Go look at them! And buy a zine, or a book, or even a piece of art! Because that place is rad and you should support it.


Vanessa Reiger and Xenia Benivolsky were interviewed by Sara Titanic about the White House. Read it, there's also a photo of my studio in the pictures.

Also, I am now officially on the Board of Directors at the studio!! Its a little intimidating! But that's ok, I am pretty stoked to be so involved with something so rad...

I saw a really great show at the Whippersnapper last week. Go look at it. Artists Amanda Nedham and Jannick Deslauriers. I was introduced to Amanda's work a few months ago because a friend was going to check out her show at Le Gallery and I really like her drawings. The pieces are all sculpture/installation and are all stunning and you should go look at it before its over.

Umm... I also really really like Luke Painter's work right now. Maybe that's old news to you, but he was this guy whose name I kept hearing forever and was all like who is this guy and then I finally saw his work, which I had totally seen all over the place before and I was like 'oh, he's THAT guy' and anyways he draws a nice picture and he sure is great at making some genuinely creepy drawings. God, people are just so amazing at the things they do...

Also: Gord Auld from Fat City Wildcat has a show at the Great Hall on Queen Street. Go look at his things if you are around that area!

Ok that's it that's all.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

dream a little dream

Hi there

As of this week (within the next couple of days) the FAT CITY WILDCAT is showing work at the Moonbeam Cafe in Kensignton! Its located pretty much at the corner of Kensignton and St. Andrew, so you should swing by and have a look-see.

Here is my work that I will be selling, prices listed below (unfortunately not the sizes, as they are all odd sizes that I can't really remember at the moment, but nothing is larger than 11 by 14).

200 $



170 $

All of them, except the one of the Harpy Eagle, are kind of along the same lines content-wise as the Octopus Dream Catcher I made for Jenn.

Go check out the show! I haven't seen everyone's work yet except Gord Auld and Dave Hanes's stuff, but so far their things look real real nice and I bet I could say nothing but the same thing about everyone else's pieces also.

Also. Life is going pretty swell: after the annual Ottawa Christmas drink-a-thon, I've been keeping on top of everything in a way that will hopefully be indicative of how this year's going to play out: making art every day, exercising lots, eating (mostly) well, not drinking too much or spending too much money, crying over silly things is down to a minimum, got a whole bunch of new comic books, reading a lot and learning to cook and I think Jenn King and I want to start a riot girl band? This last thing will depend entirely on: a) getting instruments, b) learning to play said instruments and c) finding a drummer. But I've been listening to Bikini Kill all week and I am super pumped to maybe actually make this happen.

(Bikini Kill!)

Oh yeah, and I got the crass tattoo. So far best reaction to showing it goes to Greg Denton, I think. Here's the guy (its not healing very well, btw).

Man... I always think of great things to write about on my blog but when I actually get here I can't remember a damn thing.

My teacher Shannon Gerard (oh she makes the prettiest things and she is super smart and rad and I think her class was the best ones I've ever taken, really. I mentioned Crass in this assignment I did - it was a zine - and she wrote on my assignment 'have you ever heard the Jeffery Lewis cover of..." I can't remember which song she mentioned but yeah that dude did a whole album of Crass covers and isn't it like the best when you have a teacher that knows about that shit?) last semester showed us this in class:

Are You the Favorite Person of Anyone?

I don't think I am. I realized this in my class and almost started crying in front of a few people. I almost starting crying in front of that class a few times actually. It was a very emotional semester, and I cry a lot.

I actually did a performance/spoken word for my final assignment. Isn't that weird? That's not what I do at all.

I would like to talk about that more, but there is a larger project that I'm brainstorming right now that is related to it, and I think it would be best to discuss it when I have hashed out all those details and begun the project. Its one of those things that I think I will be working on for years, which is both terrifying and exciting. But yeah...

Sort of related.... I am going to make a zine (look at me, I haven't even finished the zine i started last year) Nothing fancy, but it requires involvement from you maybe?? Dear reader...

Admitedly, this idea comes from a couple of other zines and comics I've seen. Namely the aforementioned 'Angry Dad Vs. Gay Son' by Will Varner, and this fantastic little thing I saw last year at the OCAD zine fair called 'Old Man Smell' that was a collection of drawings and stories about dads and grandpas and stuff. I am still kicking myself for never picking it up.

Anyways, I wanted to call it 'Nerdy Dad' or something to that effect and have a collection of stories that people can submit about their nerdy dads, or maybe even their moms... or grandparents or older siblings... basically I guess its just about the idea that parents are these people that you look up to for guidance and to lead you through life but maybe sometimes they are just these socially awkward people who are really into things that are maybe kind of lame but we just love them anyways? Its a strange thing because you usually just associate social anxiety and nerdiness with this awkard adolescent phase that goes away when you get older and it can be increadibly endearing and embarassing and sad but also just kind of wonderful when you have an older figure that never really got past that? Really, though I am interested to read people's stories. I want photos and things so I can draw pictures as well (otherwise I am just going to make up what your nerdy dad looks like, so beware).

The intent is an exploration of the relationship between the grown up kid who is maybe outgrowing their own parents in some ways and how they deal with thier parents triumphs and failures as human beings and role models. Does that make sense? I hope that doesn't sound lame...

Ok, I gotta go now, but send your stories pleeeease!! If you can.