jan 27, 2015

Daily Postcard Project

jan 27, 2015

jan 27, 2015

I wanted to write about a project I started recently- something I have been thinking about and doing here and there for a while. I am deeply inspired by the work of Katsuji Wakisaka, a textile designer with Sou Sou. His textiles are beautiful and open and joyful- and colorful of course! He has spent years creating a postcard every day, many of which (all of which?) end up being textile patterns. I love the discipline and routine of this project, and the looseness within the confines of the format. So, once I was all settled in my new studio (!!) (a sunny sublet until May) I decided to go for it, and get down to business with the daily postcard project. I went out and got me some giant pieces of delicious Stonehenge paper, set to work with my trusty bone folder and ripped them up into perfect postcard sized paper canvasses- good to go! I’ve been documenting the work over at instagram- check out my feed!- and although I did miss a week there being out of commission with a flu type deal, I am feeling so energized and excited about this work. I really love the opportunity to explore some random subject everyday- and to draw and paint a bit too!!

Happy New Year!

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It’s 15 days into 2015, what better day for wishing everyone all the best in this shiny new year! We had a lovely break over the holidays and now I’m busy working away on new designs– even a couple of little products here and there- more on that soon!

I’ve been thinking about colours a lot lately, trying to inject some brightness into the grey on these very monochromatic winter days. I’m super thrilled to be working in a gorgeous studio for a few months. I set up my loom after years away from it and I’m nearly ready to put the first warp on… yippee! You can follow my progress on that on instagram here.

I’ve also decided to make a postcard every day- inspired by the incredible work of Katsuji Wakisaka of Sou Sou in Japan. Posting those on instagram of course! I’m also getting ready for the art licensing show Surtex in NYC in May. Just booked my booth- #359 in the licensing section… woohoo!! Looking forward to all the new adventures to come in 2015!

Word book!

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A while ago I made a cloth word book for my pre-schooler, and we’ve been looking through it lots lately so I thought I’d blog about it! It was a super satisfying project although I did have some technical issues with the final binding- didn’t really think it all the way through and it was very fat when assembled- way too fat to fit in my regular old sewing machine. So I did some hand sewing and used my bookbinding training to piece it all together and so far it has withstood some rough handling. I drew the pictures, designed it all up and then had the fabric printed digitally. I lined the pages with quilt batten to make them more substantial which did contribute to the tricky sewing challenge but I think was worth it. I loved making the illustrations – I’m definitely inspired to do it again. IMG_0962.JPG

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La La Land

"bobbletrees" by kate austin

“bobbletrees” by kate austin

"bibbons" by kate austin

“bibbons” by kate austin

I’ve been working on some patterns in series and I thought I would share a bit! This is from a new collection I’ve been working on called La La Land. La La Land is a place where I spend a fair bit of my time to be honest, and I really like it there. As you can see, it’s a colourful, whimsical place. I’ve been hanging out in La La Land doing a lot of drawing and painting and dreaming lately. I think La La Land would be pretty sweet all over a kids room, or a nursery- definitely some velvet and soft corduroy  would be ideal here in La La Land. I see curtains, pillows, bed linens, lampshades, wallpaper and even some cozy jammies– the perfect setting for imagining, playing and dreaming sweet dreams!

Theory of Change!

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Today I wanted to share some of the results of a fun and cool project I have been working on recently!

5 years ago my dear friend, the incredible Seanna Connell, and I founded a non-profit, ArtBridges, to connect, inspire and encourage people working in Community  Engaged Arts and Arts for Social Change across Canada. Over the past few months, we have been involved in a strategic clarity program, working with a great consultant to hone our message and our vision for the future of ArtBridges. It’s really great timing, because when we started we had a 5 year plan and now, after 5 years, we have accomplished what we set out to achieve and are ready to tackle what comes next! To help guide us over the next 5 years, we worked on a “Theory of Change” — a roadmap of what we do, who we do it for, and what we aim to accomplish! I was given the task of creating a visual representation of this Theory of Change, and, with a ton of help from our awesome group, here it is! I love it- I really think it captures the spirit of ArtBridges- and I’m excited that we have this tool to help explain the great work the ArtBridges team is doing!!! I love making art and injecting more colour into the universe, and I also love supporting other artists and people committed to making the world a better place for everyone. I really believe in the power of art to elevate and enrich our lives, and I’m so proud of this great project!!