A little while back, Hilary approached me about doing some work for her place of business. That place of business happens to be the City of Kitchener, so of course I said yes right away. Obviously I also think Hilary is awesome, so that helped a little too.

What has ended up coming out of this is some of my favourite work I've done to date.
The City, via Hilary, has essentially let me create whatever I thought suited each of these posters, with a little guidance of course.
It's been a very satisfying project to work on, and I can't wait to see each element out in the wild. I really tried to make each have a bit of it's own personality, while still tying in with a greater whole.
I really hope that people like them, and that they help get people out to the awesome events that Hilary is facilitating in Downtown Kitchener. I've been proud of (almost) everything I've done, but there's a certain extra sort of pride that comes out of working for the city you live in. I really hope this ends up leading to further collaboration in the future.

There's still one more to come (the regular King Street Art Market), but I just can't sit on them any longer. I'm too excited, and just had to share the series as is!


Marc booked his old friends Absolutely Free (formerly DD/MM/YYYY) to play at the Starlight on April 11, and I was pretty excited (and nervous, because they're awesome) to do a poster for the show. Then the second act fell through, just as another of Marc's old friends Leon was asking about getting a show for his new band Dusted. Dusted just happens to be a project of Leon (who has done some amazing work over the years) and Brian Borcherdt, from Holy Fuck (who I love), so the nervousness just rose. 

Not knowing Dusted or Rituals too well (but liking what I checked out), I focussed on what I would most want to do for Absolutely Free. I started thinking of how their music made me feel. What I kept coming back to was a feeling of unease, of not knowing what a song might do next. I wanted to create a poster that might impart a sense of unease itself. Optical illusions seemed the easiest way to do that. I chose to work with the type of illusion I did because it mostly moves when you're not looking directly at it, and doesn't when you are looking right at it. Makes me uneasy that's for sure.

I really liked the end result (which doesn't always happen, believe me!). I liked it so much, I made a lock screen for my phone out of the optical illusion part. Then I figured I'd share it, just in case anyone was interested, and an iphone version too, you can find them below.

Iphone 4 wallpaper (1280x1920/640x960)

Galaxy S2 wallpaper (960x1600/480x800) - click image for full size

One other thing, I recently (thanks to Chris Collins) quietly shifted bearface.ca over to being a half-populated (my fault) website with a link to my blog, rather than just my blog. I hope people like it, and it makes me seem a little more professional. Big thanks to Chris for that one, he's a great guy to know.


Photo from jennataylr

2012 has been a big year around here. The last half got so busy, it's hard to even remember what happened in the first half, but I'll give a shot at some highlights.

January saw BRFC products going on sale at Dots & Loops in Lunenburg, NS. It's an amazing looking shop, and I couldn't be happier to be selling there. My relationship with Dots & Loops also ultimately resulted in BRFC getting the attention of and then going on sale at Scout in Toronto. I'd been thinking of trying to get into a store in Toronto for awhile, and think it's funny that my Nova Scotia connection helped bring that around. Jenna and I got to visit Scout very briefly recently and I am dying to go back.

In April, I brought Aaron Draplin to town to give a talk. I've been following him for years, and was super excited to get to meet him and hear him talk. The fact that I made it happen myself made it even better.

In July we got our puppy, Finnegan. And everything kind of changed in various ways. It kind of became hard to figure out how to work everything in, but things are smoothing out.

In August, two of my favourite people got married to each other. I got to design and print their wedding invitations. I really enjoyed working on the project for them, and was very happy with how they turned out. And the wedding itself was amazing, of course.

In September and October, the Princess ran the design film series I've always wanted to book, which was really exciting to see.


Eventually we buckled down and got to work on new Christmas BRFC products for the winter Stitch n Kitsch sale. With new pillows, and banners, and lots of help from Jenna's mom, we ended up having our best sale yet, which felt really good.

And through all of that I was still working on posters and other stuff for all kinds of different people. The last part of this year became my busiest one yet, design-wise. A big part of that was that I received a number of requests for logo design work. Some of it just started coming out recently, so I'm really excited to get to share them...

The Grad House at UW renovated over the summer, and I was asked to work on a new logo for them. I have some fond memories of going to see bands play at the Grad House, so I was honoured to be asked to do this work for them. After a couple different ideas based on things we'd talked about, Henry from the Grad House asked me to do just one more, whatever I wanted, and this is what I came up with. Glad it ended up being the one.

While working on that, another of different projects came up. One of them was this design for local architect, Graham Whiting. It was a little scary to work on a redesign for a very personal business like this, but I had a good feeling that we had similar tastes, and was pretty optimistic about how it would all turn out. The circle is the primary mark we came up with, and in the end I put together the smaller, secondary mark to compliment it, as it can be handy to have the option for different applications.

As soon as there was talk of food trucks in Waterloo, I knew I wanted to design for one. That chance came up when my friend Brad decided to start Schmuck'n Gourmet/The Schmuck Truck. I designed the original Schmuck'n Gourmet knife/tomato logo, and it has since morphed into what you see on the truck. It just started making appearances around town, and it's pretty cool to see it out there. The food I've eaten off of it is great too!

Last but not least is the Taco Farm logo. I think it's still a little while before this guy really gets out there, but I am super excited about it. The people involved are awesome, and it's bringing tacos to Uptown. More to come on this one in the future, but I definitely had to mention it here.

I'm sure there's a tonne of stuff I've missed here, but it's an overview. A big year for sure.

Coming up in 2013, I should have more time away from my day job to focus on my own stuff. Look for bearface.ca to finally become a real site, BRFC products to finally return to etsy, possibly a whole new project, and whatever else gets thrown at me. Looking forward to all of it.


December 8 will mark my third winter Stitch 'n' Kitsch show. I'm pretty excited about it, and am working on some new products to sell at it as well.

I'm also pretty excited about the advertising I created for this show. It started with the postcard, up above. I created it (okay, actually a variation of it...) back in Spring. I was pretty happy with it right away.

Since then we kind of locked down the "Stitch 'n' Kitsch' wordmark. I'd made a few variations using these two fonts, as they fit into things, but we wanted something that matched to go up on the website, so I created a 'final' version of it to use in everything.

From the start I knew that for posters I wanted to expand on the idea of the postcard. At one of our meetings, someone suggested that for posters around town, instead of doing 11x17 posters, we use less paper and make 5.5x17 posters, two on one sheet. Instead of just making one poster, and doubling it up on a sheet, I made it into two matching posters, with all the same content, but 2 different birds on each.
Lastly we decided to run a movie-sized poster in the lobby of the Princess Twin (who got a new website recently!). Since there's so much space on one of those, I brought everything back together in one place.
And that's the whole thing. For now at least. I had an idea to make cards, each with a different bird on it, but I doubt that would happen in time for the show, it's really soon! Now I need to get working on having enough product to sell, and to get thinking about the identity for spring show, so we can start promoting it at this one!

Hope to see you there!

If you want to see more pictures of what I've been working on lately, check out my flickr page, or my instagram page. (There's lots of puppy pictures on the instagram page too...


New Babies

As you may already know, Jenna and I brought home a new baby into our home recently. Finnegan is a Bichon/Sheltie cross, and we love him, even when he's being crazy. He starts puppy school tonight, and he can already sit, fetch, and shake a paw, so I've got high hopes for being able to teach him even more.
At work, my new baby is the aforementioned Art, Design & Architecture series. I've been wanting to put together something like this for awhile, and after the success of the Draplin talk I organized, John finally caved to it. I can't wait for it, 'cause it's all documentaries I'm dying to see. Lets hope other people are too, and it all turns out alright.

Most exciting to me of all is the film I'm presenting myself, Just Like Being There. As a gigposter designer myself, it was a natural fit for me to take it on. So, if you only make it out to one of the screenings, go to that one. But if you can, make it out to all of them, and buy a series pass, so your tickets are cheaper, 'cause all seats are $10 for these, whether you're a member or not.
In the world of BRFC, I'm working on moving into paper goods. First up are these Hello Dolly postcards. Thanks to my good friend Celene, who asked me to do some sort of Dolly art for her, these postcards are now on sale at Dots & Loops in Lunenburg, and White Elephant in Hamilton. And, of course, from me at the next Stitch 'n' Kitsch.

The plan is for this to just be a start. Greeting cards should be coming soon. But it turns out a puppy eats up a lot of time, so there may be some delays...
There also some new freelance babies that I should be able to share soon. Not sure what the clients' plans are, so I'll hold them back until I know what's up. I've been doing some work that I'm pretty happy with and proud of.


Busy times = no blog posts, but I wanted to update to say hi to anyone coming by from The Wall: Inside the Poster Studio's Facebook page. I couldn't be more honoured that Tom asked to feature me in both of the books he has put out recently. To look at the list of poster artists appearing in each one, and to see Bearface in there? It's a crazy feeling.

If you're interested in the work I've been doing lately, I've been keeping my Flickr account decently updated, and I've been updating my Dribbble too.

Some logo projects in the works right now, and an Art, Design & Architecture film series at the Original Princess is in the works too.


Things have been pretty busy and exciting around here of late, but possibly the most exciting thing to happen for me this year (and I can say that safely because my wedding was last year) happens next week. Graphic designer, and the man behind Field Notes, Aaron Draplin, is coming to give his Tall Tales From a Large Man talk at the Princess Twin on Thursday April 26.

Way back in January or something I heard that he was going to a conference in Toronto that I had no reason to go to other than to see his talk. I got it in my head that maybe I could get him to come give a talk here in Waterloo while he was near by. I sent him a long-shot email, and he responded with an excited yes!

This is a guy whose body of work is awesome. A guy whose blog I've been reading for probably 8 years. A guy you want to come and see talk. It's going to be a great evening. Draplin's bringing a new all things Canada poster along with his other crazy merch, and a friend of mine is printing up some sweet letterpress Draplin-inspired swag for people who come out. Can't wait.

Words from the man himself: "Tall tales. Big words. Orange things. Big posters. Loose chatter. Laffs. Truth. DO NOT miss this!"

You can grab advance tickets here.


Just to keep people on here informed, other busy/exciting things in my life as of late:
- Sold my wares at Stitch 'n' Kitsch last weekend
- Designed a new flyer for the S'n'K winter show
- Designed and installed a window display at Bon Mot with the amazing Andrew Frazer
- Designed a new Blueprint cover
- Got featured in the first issue of Fuss
- Working on a new Bearface.ca with Chris Collins
- Brewed and drank some beer
- Currently printing my first custom wedding favour order

Pretty exciting times.