Progress check-in: 2 months

It’s been a little over two months since I left my job at the bank to seek happiness (as the parting announcement explained).

Contrary to some predictions, I’m neither sleeping in and reading books all day, nor getting the hankering to ask for my old job back. In fact, I continue to feel that the decision to abandon gainful employment for creative and learning ventures was the right one. I still have difficulties fitting everything I want to get done each day into a day, but I know that everything that I do get done is interesting and relevant and a step towards what I want my future to be.

Still, spending time (which always seems to be such a limited resource) on projects that don’t quite work out can be incredibly frustrating. For example, I spent most of a week painting a moss mural on the side of our garage – it was going to be crazy awesome living growing art, except it’s simply not growing. It may be that this summer is too hot and dry for moss to happily adapt itself to new surroundings after being transported there via blender.

And so, even though at least a year would have to pass before the success of my whole endeavor can be realistically evaluated, it still good to stop and survey the progress every couple of months to get some perspective.

In my previous life as an analyst, after two months at a new job all you could reasonably expect to have achieved is this: to have all the necessary applications and tools configured, to have all the IDs and accesses set up, to have read a couple of thick welcome packages, signed off on company policies, and acquired a glimmer of hope of understanding a few of the acronyms you’re being bombarded with.

Considered in this perspective, I have actually got quite a bit done.

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Recently completed projects: 4 jewellery hangers

Here is a new series of jewellery hangers with simplified lines but similar aesthetic themes as the first jewellery hanger I made earlier this year.

I’m particularly pleased with the mirror-image design and the color palette of the brown & turquoise one. The reversed colours idea is worth experimenting with some more in the future.

One more close-up of the green & gold one after the jump.

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The business card and the search for a really really ridiculously good font

Did you ever find yourself having to design your first business card while handicapped by caring deeply, intensely and probably irrationally about fonts?

I did. It entails hours of looking through free fonts until you realize that it’s 2 am and you have thirty tabs of potential fonts open and you can no longer see any differences between them. So then you go to bed confident that when you look at it all afresh the next day, the one true font will manifest itself in a halo of golden light. But in the morning you’re still nauseated by trying to tell these thirty nearly identical fonts apart and decide to look for another type of font entirely. Repeat with completely different search parameters.

Fine, you’re down to, like, six fonts, so you download them all and try them on your business card layout. No! At least four of them are all wrong! Too condensed! Cap height looks uneven! Kerning is all messed up! That’s what you get for looking for free fonts – amateurs! Have to find four new ones! Here, a detour into looking at fonts that you know you won’t use but that have flawless kerning.

At some point you realize that you will never love any of these fonts as deeply as you love the idea of finding the perfect font. So you settle for one that’s good enough. After all, you can make it better! A good enough font + hours of drawing tiny squares in Adobe Illustrator = Fragmentalist logo that’s assembling itself out of mosaic tiles! Good place to stop. It’s just going onto a piece of cardboard. No need to animate it.

The product of this drama is revealed after the jump. Please follow me behind this curtain of crazy awesome…

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Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is on right now in Nathan Phillips Square by the City Hall. It began today, July 6th and will last through Sunday July 8th. TOAE takes place once a year and is one of the best art shows to be seen in Toronto. Having just come back from it – very impressed – I just wanted to write a quick post about a few of the neat things I saw there so as to encourage everyone who’s in town this weekend to go wander around a huge, free outdoor exhibit of amazing art.


A Toronto landscape in blueBeing fascinated with the beauty of tactile, dimensional, multi-media art objects, I tend to be less captivated by paintings than I am by sculpture or applied arts. Nevertheless, there are some very good painters on exhibit at the TOAE.

Here’s a painter whose work I really liked for being colourful, featuring Toronto, and having old maps for backgrounds:

Watercolours on display

As someone formally trained in watercolor who made a mess of it more often than not, another category of paintings I tend to notice are masterfully executed, spontaneous, light-filled watercolours. This artist’s work, which also features views of Toronto is a stunning example of the medium.

A metal bleeding heart sculptureMetal

From airy flights-of-fancy to a bleeding mechanical heart, there is choice metal sculpture on display. There is also a giant robot, the discovery of which I leave up to you.


Maybe this is a new trend, but I haven’t noticed quite so much embroidery at art shows before. Turns out lots people are making really fascinating textile art pieces these days.

Textile art on display at TOAEThis artist is like the Andy Warhol of embroidery, with pop culture subjects, great colours and eye-catching minimalist design. Someone please get me one of her pieces for a no-particular-occasion present?

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