Best Health Magazine: Summer 2014

This stretch for the summer 2014 issue of Best Health is named the Wide Leg Hero stretch. A yoga inspired stretch, it’s both relaxing and energizing at the same time. Below is the full article on the stretch. Art direction by Stephanie Han. | Adobe Illustrator

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Spring / Summer 2014 Patterns

In May 2013, I created a series of patterns for Bezier Design Studio. Now that these patterns have shipped to stores and appear across an assortment of ladies apparel, I’m excited to finally be able to post them! Seeing all these fun and vibrant patterns definitely puts me in a good mood. Who doesn’t love some summer florals and palms? | Adobe Illustrator

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Teknion: Clubtalk

The fine folks at Teknion have collaborated with me again, this time on info graphics for Clubtalk, their new cross-platform sharing device. It’s part table, cart and TV screen, and facilitates content sharing across multiple devices with a user-friendly flow.

I created ten illustrations showing its versatility from home to office use. This nifty device can share vacation photos, play video games, hold conference meetings or host a Youtube dance party! | Adobe Illustrator

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Best Health Magazine: March / April 2014

Another stretch illustration for Best Health magazine March / April 2014 issue. This stretch can be done sitting down which is always handy if you work a desk job! Art direction by Stephanie Han. | Adobe Illustrator

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Canadian Screen Awards 2014

In March, I had the pleasure of live sketching guests at the 2014 Canadian Screen AwardsThis award took place at the Sony Centre in downtown Toronto and celebrates talent in the Canadian film and TV industry. It was my most glamorous event yet! The night was filled with stylish guests, red carpet everywhere, and the most creative, delicious assortment of finger foods ever. I even sat in the auditorium to watch the ceremony live between sketching, a first for me!

I sketched alongside Toronto fashion blogger Danielle Meder again which is always nice as she’s a constant source of inspiration for me. The event was organized slightly differently than my previous sketching gigs. Rather than me being a one woman army in sketching and interacting with guests, this time there were volunteers to find out names of subjects, gather and deliver sketches. It was certainly nice to have some help!

A particular highlight was when I found myself next to a very exclusive looking velvet rope area. Five minutes later, Viggo Mortensen appeared! I thought it would be so awesome if I got a sketch of him and maybe a quick meet and greet. But because he was constantly surrounded by media, my view was rather obstructed and I didn’t get a decent sketch. I didn’t want to meet him with a less-than-stellar sketch, so hopefully next time!

Thanks to Amy Dennis for inviting to be a part of this fantastic night! Photos from the event below:

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Best Health Magazine: Jan / Feb 2014

I illustrated a stretch exercise for Best Health magazine January / February 2014 issue. This stretch focuses on the lower back and arms after prolonged sitting (for instance, at a desk job). I now use this stretch daily and is quite refreshing! Below is the article for the stretch. Art direction by Stephanie Han. | Adobe Illustrator

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2013 In Review

It’s hard to believe another year has gone by already! 2013 gave me many sentiments ranging from grateful, nervous, experimental, to ambitious. If I were to sum up the year, I’d say the theme was search and reward. It started off great then hit a rocky patch when I found myself having to look for work again. Though I usually have some freelance and personal projects to keep afloat, it was imperative that I secure a day job again.

It was during this gap that I did the most learning, stressing, and hustling. When I wasn’t applying to jobs or doing art / design tests (not ideal but sometimes a necessary procedure), I was busy with networking, personal work – mostly my Lana Del Rey illustration – and freelance work. At first, the freelance came slowly but what gave me hope was most of the inquiries I got were for fashion or pattern oriented illustration, the very type of work I was aiming to get. As of now, I’m not able to share this work due to client confidentiality, but I can say it’s in the realm of pattern and surface design, a skill I spent the better part of 2012 developing so it was nice to see my efforts come full circle.

I’m ever grateful for the connections and friendships I’ve made and this year was no exception. In the summer, when Tatiana Read of Knot PR recommended me to sketch at the ROM for the annual Luminato Festival’s Big Bang Bash, I was beyond honoured and thrilled. The big bonus was that Toronto fashion illustrator / blogger Danielle Meder was also there! She’s the one who initially sparked my whole-hearted foray into fashion illustration in fall 2011 and now we were sketching buddies! The event itself was also a joy as it featured a unique exhibition of dolls wearing Viktor&Rolf’s designs. Luminato was very gracious and provided Danielle and I with a lovely meal and gift bag! Definitely a dream gig.

Clockwise from left: Thanks to Tatiana Read of Knot PR for recommending me to sketch at Luminato Festival’s Big Bang Bash! | Luminato provided Danielle Meder and I with a lovely dinner. | Fashion and dinosaurs mingle at the ROM.

Soon after, my search for a day job was answered thanks to another friend. A high-school friend gave me her former manager’s contact and next thing I knew I was interviewing with and ultimately joining Toronto based YM Inc, parent company of Stitches, Urban Planet, Bluenotes, Urban Behaviour and Suzy Shier among others. I’m one of the apparel graphic designers in the ladieswear team for Stitches / Urban Planet and my skills were put into full force. It’s only been seven months and I’ve already learned LOADS in way of technical skill, production for a fashion company and how trends work. The most fulfilling part is seeing my work in store on various clothing and accessories – a new and exciting milestone!

In the fall, I checked off having Flare magazine as a client when I was invited to sketch at their World Runway Toronto Fashion Show. I was sketching buddies once again with Danielle and a third fashion illustrator, Lisa Kiyomi, was also there so I was in good company. It’s always more fun to sketch when guests are well dressed and this event did not disappoint. After sketching, Flare’s fashion director Tiyana Grulovic presented a fall fashion trend report. We then saw those trends in the runway show hosted by Breakfast Television’s Jennifer Valentyne! I thoroughly enjoyed that night and look forward to more.

I had a fantastic night sketching at Flare magazine’s WRT Toronto Fashion Show.

Continuing in 2013′s wave of positive freelance karma, I’m lucky to have had repeat and new clients. Perhaps due to my constant efforts to stay visible by social media and reaching out to cold / not-so-cold prospective clients, I’ve received the most inquiries this year through word-of-mouth and the wonder of Google. I’m particularly happy to have been approached by Canadian women’s fitness magazine Best Health for illustrating various stretching exercises. The beauty of how this happened is that about three years ago, I cold-emailed the art director and got no response. I later found out an acquaintance works on their editorial team and told her about me. Still, nothing happened.

Granted, for me most times this is how things go so I didn’t think much of it. However, being the romantic I am, I always kept that optimistic light on in the back of my mind that someday it will turn into something. In this case it actually happened and I’m excited to again see my efforts come full circle, this time in networking. Turns out the art director did in fact find out about me through my acquaintance! This reinforced the power of pursuing meaningful contacts, being patient and trusting fate to work its magic in due time.

Above: my first spot illustration for Best Health magazine in the November 2013 issue.

With all the highlights of 2013 still fresh in my mind, I eagerly embrace what 2014 will bring. I feel the most professionally confident and collected than ever before, while remaining perpetually open-minded and hungry to keep learning. My mantra going into the new year is: “I want to be sought after”. I want clients to be excited to work with me. I want to meet more like-minded creatives and let fate and the universe surprise me. I want to keep carving out my niche with new projects, sketching events and personal work. Since there are already some upcoming projects (another first for me – to have things lined up so early in the year!) I feel this is a realistic outlook. You’ll have to stay tuned to see how it all unfolds!

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