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!!
starburst by kate austin
I’m having a moment with a riff on one of my all time favourite colour combinations: orange and pink. This time it’s orange and grape. A pink so fuschia it’s almost purple. I came up with this pattern thinking about those crazy pop rock candies – this is what I imagine happens inside the mouth of the pop rocks eater. There’s lots of little explosions and then occasional whoppers. I would love to have a chair fully upholstered in velvet with this pattern, and I would definitely enjoy lounging in that chair in my corduroy skirt and jacket in the same pattern. Eating a creamsicle, drinking grape juice, and reading a book covered in this pattern of course!!!
Bird dress pattern by Kate Austin, from the movie Heartbeat by Andrea Dorfman (2014)
Hello long lost blog! I had a lovely summer holiday and now I’m back in the studio with some fun news to share! It’s Film Festival season and one great movie which premiered at TIFF and was the gala at the AFF – and which I hope everyone gets a chance to see!- is Heartbeat by Andrea Dorfman- it’s seriously wonderful! And it features a pretty great dress made by Sarah Haydon Roy, the wardrobe designer, in fabric designed by me!!! The dress stars in a really key scene which I totally won’t give away except to say– it looks amazing and Tanya Davis, the star of the film, rocks in it!!! It was a lot of fun working on the pattern and with the amazingly talented Heartbeat team. Here’s the original pattern design in a couple of colorways…
bird dress fabric light by kate austin
bird dress fabric dark by kate austin
paul rand cactus by kate austin 2014
Another little ink painting I made recently. This one was inspired by a great book I got from the library, From Lascaux to Brooklyn by Paul Rand. It’s a great book- really thoughtful and inspiring. And some great photos- including a beauty of a classic cactus, the inspiration for this picture! The texture on this dude would make a lovely all over pattern too- working on something right now…
polar bear by kate austin
A while back we went on a little family field trip to the metro toronto zoo. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about zoos. I love animals and it’s amazing to see lions and giraffes without travelling all the way to the Serengetti BUT on the other hand, I love animals and I would MUCH rather travel to the Serengetti and see them roaming free (from a safe distance!) than locked up in cages. But anyway, we went and had a great day. We took some pictures and did some sketching… here’s a little ink polar bear coming up for air- I think she might pop up in a pattern soon too!
my studio wall of inspiration and work in progress
Today I thought I’d share a little peek into my work space. I decided it was time to refresh the wall in front of my work table – I wanted to have a look at some of the ink paintings I’ve been working on, and also my new postcards from Sou Sou of artwork by Katsuji Wakisaka. I also put up my new little marimekko gift cards- I love how they’re printed on the front and back with bright and graphic images. The envelopes were really nice too- patterned in bold colours on the inside, white on the outside. The fabulous pencil sketch of a moose is by my 7 yr old, as is the lily pad lake drawing beside it- both inspired by our trip to Algonquin (we saw a moose!) I also took a pic of my messy work table… sigh.
my messy worktable and fabulous apron- thrifted- it’s an inuit screen print!
I’m loving having a set up for painting- I just skiddle up here whenever I have a moment and pick up a paintbrush- it’s working for me. However the whole concept of cleaning up and organazizing is not really happening at the moment.. one day! Check out my amazing work apron… I got it years ago at a thrift shop- it’s a screen printed inuit image by Nanogak! I have held onto it for all these years and kept it so pristine, but now I think– I should give it some life! And you know if it gets a little paint on it, c’est la vie. Also check out my new mug… LOVE this unikko colorway from this summer. Mmm tea. Now back to work!
handlebar bag in Park fabric by kate austin designs
Today I got a wee bit crafty for our neighbour’s fourth birthday party. I have a pretty strict no plastic garbage birthday present policy- if it can be homemade, more the better! So I remembered this great handlebar bag- good for bikes and scooters- that a friend of ours had made for her kids and nieces and nephews (she made 8 for the kids, and maybe more for the adults- she is a total superstar). I thought they were so cute and handy- and have been meaning to make them for the whole family ever since I saw them last summer, or was it the summer before.. eeps! Anyways the time had come, so I chose this fabric from my surtex booth panels and found the excellent instructions online here at sew mama sew and got stitching! I am so excited it worked out so well– I changed the pattern a bit so there’s a flap instead of just a velcro opening, and I added a magnet closure for the flap. I really hope our neighbour still loves the colour purple- but if he doesn’t I happen to know this would look pretty great on his mama’s bike too.
Open bike handlebar bag in “park” fabric by kate austin designs
Bike bag in “park” fabric by kate austin designs