Monthly Archives: September 2012

These gorgeous and gargantuan tapestries are the work of Japanese artist Tomoko Shioyasu, who meticulously cuts each element by hand from giant sheets of paper using simple utility knives and soldering irons. This process must take her hundreds of hours to complete, considering the complexity of the intricate designs. I’d hate to be the one who’s responsible for hanging these up!

Tomoko’s art mainly focuses on the idea of nature’s most elaborate and convoluted creations, such as the movement of water, the forces of the wind, and the multifarious organic patterns of cells. I admire her patience with such intricate work and complex subject matter, not to mention finding a way to translate her vision to such a simple medium as paper. Simply amazing!

To purchase Tomoko’s work, visit her page on

German graffiti artist Mad C started bombing in the late 90’s and has spent much of her life traveling the world and leaving traces of herself behind in the form of art – Sweden, France, USA, United Kingdom, Lebanon, South Africa, Bolivia, Hawaii, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Norway, Poland, Russia, the list goes on. She is also a member of the Bandits crew (GER/F) since 2001, part of the Wallnuts crew (USA) since 2007 and member of SUK (planet earth) since 2009. Her biggest fait accompli to date is her 700wall – a 700 square metre wall she painted using only a ladder in 2010, which tells the story of a graffiti writer, with her name interspersed throughout in more than 100 diverse font styles. So it’s no surprise that concept walls are her ultimate forte, and she continues to impress with her newest addition – The Jurassic Park Wall.

The wall measures 14 metres long by 6 metres tall (84 square metres), and it was the first chance Mad C had the opportunity to use a lifting platform to help her out. The story she weaves is one of life living beyond the point of extinction – based on a quote by Dr. Ian Malcolm (the main character from Jurassic Park). I love the extreme realism and detailed illustrative qualities that Mad C incorporates into her works, and the fact that she always has an impactful statement to make. I can’t wait to see more impressive works from her – makes me want to start saving up so I can travel the globe and try to spot her mark…

Check out her blog to find out more about Mad C.

Additionally, you can check out her published work “Street Fonts”, published in 2011 by Thames & Hudson.

Also check out her videos on Vimeo. And the making of the Jurassic Park Wall on YouTube.

The James Street North Art Crawl is a monthly institution here in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, where art, music and creativity are celebrated on the second Friday of every month. Last week I had the opportunity to spend both Friday and Saturday at the Supercrawl, which occurs once a year, usually in September, where artists, performers, musicians and gourmands unite in one big  2-day street festival. The streets are shut down and filled with massive stages, a multitude of food trucks and vendors, and all forms of artistic expression are on display.

One of my favourite highlights of this year’s Supercrawl was briefly meeting a couple of the guys from Montreal-based art collective En Masse, and watching them work over the course of both days. Friday, they had an installation in progress at the Design Annex, and Saturday they  were busy all day creating a giant mural on the side of our popular record shop Dr. Disc. I managed to catch a few shots of them hard at work and was so entranced I kept coming back to see the progress over the course of the day.

I love the idea of having a diverse group of like-minded individuals, all collaborating on one big installation, off the top of their heads. The creativity unleashed is astounding – not to mention the technical prowess involved is top-notch. The group works entirely in black and white, and fluctuates in it’s membership, picking up illustrators here and there, so you never get the same atmospheric quality twice. The eye wanders throughout each piece for hours and continually finds awesome and interesting elements, so random, full of life and unique personality, which all tie in together to form a colossal achievement in unity.  It’s the collective individualities meshing so well that you’d think it was all created by one person that make this form of art so magic. I am both in awe of their talent, and in dire need to jump in and take part. Maybe I need a little more drawing practice first…

Regardless, these guys have transformed part of our downtown and I would love for them to come back and cover some more terrain. If it’s one thing Hamilton’s got – it’s lots of wall space in need of creative expression!

To find out more about En Masse, check out their website (which is currently under construction, so please be patient!).

Join them on facebook and follow them on Twitter to see where they’ll pop up next!

To see more awesome works by En Masse, check out Kirsten McCrea’s article. Great photos!

Allen Ginsberg – Howl

This clothing line was created by Greg Kerr as a response to the hoards of awful clothing available on the mainstream market. He wanted to change the idea of being a “walking billboard” and remove all semblance of logos and branding, infusing a sense of art and meaning behind his designs. His passion for literature drove him to create Miles To Go – named after the famous Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken” which reads, “the woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”

The best part about his tees is that it helps to educate the otherwise oblivious and have been known to influence people to read more classic literature. Opening the door to conversation amongst strangers and friends, they are made more aware of the wide world of literature and art that they hadn’t known about.

Since Miles To Go is operated by Greg himself, he likes to keep a one-on-one relationship with his clients and supporters, which I think is refreshing in a world full of anonymous corporate companies. He also provides a books section on his website so that people can find out more about the great works behind his designs.

To find out more and see additional designs, check out the Miles To Go website.

Henry David Thoreau – Walden

Douglas Adams – A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird

Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451

Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

Bram Stoker – Dracula

Yann Martel – Life of Pi

George Orwell – 1984

Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray

Franz Kafka – The Metamorphosis

H.G. Wells – The War of the Worlds


Rob Dobi created the company Fullbleed just after he finished college to distract him from his real job designing t-shirts for bands as he worked in the music industry. Having been sick of interpreting other people’s ideas, he sprang forth and created his own and started releasing his new tees in 2004. Ever since, he’s been creating different designs every few months and the popularity of his cool threads has been growing steadily. Now a full-time job, he’s continuing to crank out sweet tees for the masses via his online shop.

Visit the Fullbleed shop to see more of these dope designs.

A nerdist at heart, I love my glasses and would never opt for the inconvenience of contact lenses over the aesthetic design of truly beautiful frames. Besides, what better way is there to express yourself than to change up your eyewear? Here’s a few awesome styles that have recently caught my eye and thought I’d share…

Over-the-top fashion designer Jeremy Scott and luxury eyewear company Linda Farrow have collaborated on a fresh new line of sunglasses last spring that really caught my attention. Seen on celebrities and fashionistas alike, they’ve been worn by fashion-forward people like Kanye West and Lady Gaga. The collection includes three styles – Hands, Winged and Cross – and come in a variety of show-stopping colours. They usually retail between $246-$300 (U.S.).

Buy them now at

More Jeremy Scott fashion items can be found for sale at

Dutch company Herrlicht makes these sweet wooden frames. Gorgeously hand-crafted, they’ll only set you back about $1000. (But I’m sure they’re worth every penny!)

Check out the Herrlict website to find out more.

I’m the worst for putting down my glasses the wrong way and getting the lenses scratched, which is why I wish these glasses will hit the market soon. Kenji Tomeda designed these beautiful Hammock Eyeglass frames to prevent the destruction of lenses once and for all. Using a “two leg” design, they sit like a small table, and the structure itself enables the wearer to place their glasses on a surface without the lens coming in contact with it. They fold together neatly again when opened and don’t require any extra bulk, which makes them super lightweight and easy to wear. Still in the stages of concept, hopefully these will soon be available on the market.

If you’d like to find out more, you can try to contact Kenji Tomeda via coroflot.

I’ve always loved the look and textural feel of pointillist art – it’s such a meticulous process and often extremely time-consuming, but the end result is usually very striking. Prominent international interior and still life photographer Philip Karlberg decided to employ the technique while shooting celebrities that are famously known for wearing sunglasses for Plaza Magazine. Over the course of 6 days, he used around 1200 sticks to “sculpt” the faces and shoot them, creating an intriguing collection of photographs.

Can you guess which celebrities he’s portrayed?

To see more of Phili Karlberg’s pristine portfolio, visit his website.

Answers: Jackie O, Johnny Depp, John Belushi, Karl Lagerfeldt, Lady Gaga, and Steve McQueen.

Hong Kong designers at Design Systems Ltd. have come up with a novel way to light up a room in a whimsical way by using the concept of plastic toy capsules that you find in vending machines. These beautiful lighting fixtures are constructed of stained oak, and the capsules can be affixed onto them, or left bare for a cool minimalist look.

The best part about this awesome home decor accent is that you can customize the capsules by adding whatever you want into them to create different looks. For example, you can fill each capsule with little office supplies for your home office, or jewelry for your bedroom. Maybe little toys for a child’s room, or buttons or flowers for a guest room. It would be really cool to see these hanging over people’s desks at work, and have the contents reflect everyone’s personalities – the sky’s the limit! While the fixtures themselves already come with a set of small toys, you can pretty much play with them as much as you like and configure them to suit your needs.

To find out more, check out Design Systems Ltd.’s website.

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