It’s Freedom to Read Week, so I thought I’d post my illustrated book cover series.
Probably one of the more famous of fictional books, appearing in Rosemary’s Baby. The central illustration is the tanis root pendant that Mia Farrow’s character dropped down a sewer
A fictional press for fictional books. I call it The Cinotext Library.
A Country Made of Ice Cream from The Way We Were
Each time I see one of these movies, I am reminded of this idea I’ve had to illustrate the covers of all the fictional books from movies that I like to watch. Here are a couple of pairings of books:
Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Night of The Iguana. Of all of these books, Collected Verse Vol. 1, is the only title we don’t actually see in the film, and it’s only mentioned once.
I’ve always hesitated carrying out this project because there are a lot of artists and illustrators who paint and draw old book covers — Harland Miller and Anna Hoyle immediately come to mind. But I concluded my idea is unique enough, if I stick to the cinema. I’ve also really just wanted to do this for such a long time.
Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Deconstructing Harry
The design is based on old Pelican and Penguin classics, but I’ve changed a few things, notably the colours! These will all be available as limited edition prints, in my Esty shop, in just a few days, sans the 50-cent stickers (did that just for Instagram).
Whenever I visit my hometown, my first stop after the airport is either Coney Island, McKellar’s Confectionery or the aptly named Thunder Bay Restaurant. You see, there’s this thing Thunder Bay has about coney sauce. Anything you order can be served with a huge helping of gravy, and yes, they pour it all over the burger too, in fact, over everything on your plate. And the burgers and hotdogs always have the most delicious coney sauce, ever! Locals love to debate which place has the best. You can even buy it in jars at the local farmers markets.
There’s nothing like it anywhere. Some of the confectioneries drawn on the map still have lunch counters and serve french fries in paper bags! The best!
Here’s a close-up of the part of town I lived in:
I’ve only included places that are still in business. The places I frequented as a kid are long gone
Inside the McKellar Conf. Note the portrait of Gus Kelos on the wall, by Thunder Bay artist Ray Swaluk. Gus would balance dogs on his arm as he readied them for customers. Legendary!
Westfort essentials: Coney Island and The Salsbury Grill. What I remember most about Coney Island is their phone number – it was almost the same as my parents. We frequently received calls!
Merla Mae is another favourite!
Thunder Bay’s cuisine is not limited to this coney stuff, either. I’ve done a lot of work based on the other local delicacy, the persian:
I have many more projects about my home town in the works!
I grew up in a place called Green Acres. When I was really small I would go to Phil’s Shoe Box at Green Acres Plaza for new shoes. I’ve named my series of shoe-themed prints after that place.
Shiny gold foil shoe horn print, Empire Shoes!
Got a whole little shoe shop happening in my Etsy Shop!
There are a lot of extra steps when using gold foil. Black ink is applied last, and prints are set to dry
I printed the shoe horn as a companion piece to the shiny silver Brannock Device I printed last year:
My drawing of the classic Brannock Device. Silk screened in black ink and silver foil!
Later on, I found myself walking down Yonge Street, and I spotted these abandoned shoes:
Y is for Yonge Street, the longest street in the world
They gave me the inspiration to go home and draw a bunch of odd shoes for another print:
This antique frame I found at a local thrift shop suits this vintage-style print pretty nicely!
One final mini-print, which I just finished yesterday:
Who doesn’t love a shoe sale?
If VV Boutique can stock holiday stuff this early, so can I!
I’ve always like Xmas cactus, and my favourite thing about the holiday season is all the tinsel! This must be the shiniest silver Xmas-tree-shaped cactus ever! Covered with prickly pears in all different colors, it looks just like a decorated tinsel Xmas tree!
Photographing reflective silver foil is difficult. Best to show with different angles of light.
Getting the silver foil printed was a bit of a job – something I learned in school is that one should never assume your printer understands your instructions, even when you correspond specifically about special finishings. The first batch came back from the print shop sans silver foil! They gracefully accepted responsibility and re-printed them without delay.
On the inside I took the opportunity to add a little twist to one of the most traditional holiday greetings: A Very Merry Cactus and a Prickly New Pear!
Perfect to mail out to your cactus loving friends this coming holiday season!
Order early, limited supply! Available in packs of five, in my Etsy Shop.
New print available in my Etsy Shop!
I love this vintage Canadian peanut vending machine! I am particularly attracted to the little tray of peanuts in the upper left corner and the fact that it’s bilingual – it has a very circus-like quality about it. I took some photos and did a drawing of the machine and recently pulled this two-colour silk-screen print which you can now get from my Etsy Shop.