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For the love of shoes!

I work in fashion retail – that’s a good excuse to go a little shoe crazy, no? This designer shoe sale put a little hole in my wallet, oops.

Young+Free. You+Me.

Concept & art direction of Summer 2013 photoshoot & concept and creative execution of campaign.

Photography by: Christa Renee
Location: Zaca Lake, California.
Concept: “Young+Free. You+Me”. Digging through our pasts to determine our high-school summer fantasies, we were well aware that a road-trip ranked high on the list. Our goal was to illustrate the perfect summer vacation to our customer. Traveling to California to shoot at a stunning, Canada-resembling location, we incorporated classic cars, lakes, canoes, and even a kite to portray that perfect summer holiday.

Window display design.

Store windows.

Window posters.

Cling.

Menuboards (hers/his).

Online Lookbook.

Ollie Jones Legging Prints

Client: Ollie Jones
Concept: To create infant legging prints that will appeal to the fashionista mother as much as her child.

1. Arrows

2. Feathers

3. Foxes

4. Geometric

5. Owls

6. Trees

8. Plaid

9. Leaves

10. Moose

See you later, Spring.

End of season Bluenotes ‘Spring Sale’ window. Easy, breezy and straight to the point.

California Love!

This week we’re in beautiful California casting, scouting and shooting our Summer’13 Bluenotes photoshoot. We’re shooting at Zaca Lake, a beautiful forested area located about 2 hours northwest of Santa Barbara. It’s my first shoot working with Crista Renee, a world class photographer who’s worked with everyone from Roxy, Forever 21, Apple and Gap & I cannot wait to see how the shots turn out! Stay tuned for the campaign launch!

Left to right:

1. Casting call venues, Oh LA the views you have.

2. Rosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles. Day to night.

3. Shoot day in Zaca Lake.

The Sweetest Picks.

Perfect gifts for him and her, truly the sweetest picks. The Bluenotes Valentines Day window I created: youthful, fun and bright!

 

Yorkdale: Expanded.

Don’t forget that today Yorkdale Shopping Centre is opening its expansion. I went to take a look and to be honest, the store fronts are quite exquisite! Beautiful finishes, great windows, definitely worth a visit! My favourite was the Wilfred store, the tile mixed with woodwork – wow!

 

Farewell West49, it’s been too good to be true.

My last day has arrived and the tears are easily flowing. I can easily say that West49 (Off The Wall + Billabong included) have not only sculpted me as a designer, but changed my life forever. The people I have met have turned into family, the brands I have worked with I will support forever, the action sports culture has been and always will be engrained in my heart. Not only did I get to work on campaigns with do-good companies and foundations (Skate for Cancer, Canadian Blood Services, One Day without Shoes), I also had the chance to visit the most inspirational head offices on the globe (at least in my opinion), everyone from Billabong and Element, Hurley, Fox Racing, Toms Shoes, DC, Roxy and so many more, and connect with the talented individuals that brought these brands to life. Leaving such an entrepreneurial company was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, but sometimes decisions aren’t meant to be easy. Thank you West49 for all that you have blessed me with, you will forever be in my heart.

Time to wipe my tears and start writing the next chapter….

 

Holiday ’12 with West49.

Holiday season is slowly creeping up and ’tis the season to create elaborate and joy-filled campaigns and photoshoots.  The sole purpose of the shoot was to showcase the holiday season for its social aspect: get-togethers, parties, pillow fights… (isn’t that what the kids are doing these days?).

Enjoy the campaign shots!
Shot at the Gladstone Hotel by the talented Harry Gils.

Strike a pose!

Today we’re shooting our Holiday shoot for West49 at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto! Working with photographer and dear friend Harry Gils is always a pleasure. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

Favourite time of year: The Holidays!

We’re getting prepped to shoot our Holiday ’12 shoot with West49. Today we’re scouting he Gladstone Hotel, a victorian style venue with artfully designed & individually decorated hotel rooms and unique touches all throughout the space. With crystal chandeliers and ornate touches, I think this space is a winner…

Rebels with a Cause: West49 Fall Campaign

Concept & art direction of photoshoot & concept and creative execution of campaign.

Photography by: Harry Gils
Location: Central Public School Rec and Arts Centre & Chinguacousy Park, Brampton, ON
Concept: “Rebels with a cause”. Feeding off the rebellious side of teenagers, our goal was to connect with our customer and reassure them that we knew what it was like to be a high-school teen. A mix of new school ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ meets ‘Pretty Little Liars’, we created a campaign in which our customer could live in, related to, or aspire to be.

Window display design.

Store windows.

Window posters.

Lookbook.

Commercial.
Aired on MTV & MuchMusic during back to school period.

Rebels with a Cause: BTS ’12.

After all – what teenager doesn’t want to be a rebel with a cause?

As you may guess already – I am obsessed with art direction. I am very blessed that West49 gives me free rein to collect inspiration and create a vision behind our shoots. For back to school ’12 one of my co-workers found some photos of accessories shot on a rebellious girl in a school. We all went crazy for the photos, and I ran with the school concept and created my own. We casted the two perfect models, I visited the shoot locations and fell in love with the hardwood floors and railings of the Central Public School Rec & Arts Centre in Brampton, ON., as well as the bleachers and soccer field in Chinguacousy Park – and my right-sided brain was rolling with visions. I think this is my favourite shoot to date.

Take a second to check out the Ladies Fall’12 Lookbook ‘Fall into Me’ for all the imagery.

Concept, creative execution & art direction by yours truly.
Photography by Harry Gils.

Summer Sale ’12!

Hello all,

As you know – June/July are mostly sale months in malls, time to clear SP/SU product to make way for all the fall goodness coming in. West49 was steering clear of the typical red/white SALE-screaming designs, so I took a more summery approach to the window design. Clean and fresh with a touch of sale in the window cling.

Summer Daze

I recently had the opportunity to art direct a budget shoot for West49’s summer promotion: Summer Daze is here to Stay. Our executive team was focused on a ‘School’s Out’ theme, but I eagerly pushed for a more ‘Summer’s Here – Lets Celebrate’ feel of the entire shoot – after all, the last thing teens want to see is school after its finally ended. We met in the middle and I’m quite happy with the outcome.

Concept, creative execution & art direction by yours truly.
Photography by Harry Gils.

Window display design.

Actual store windows.

Impressionism: The Artist Series

Art has always been a HUGE influence in my life, and I thought I’d spend some time refreshing my knowledge about all the unique and beautiful era’s in the art world.  I wanted to put my focus on Impressionism. Why? Because I’ve always adored Van Gogh’s work. The Starry Night will forever be my love of all paintings.

It should be said, in homage to these men, that contempt, opprobrium, poverty, never led them to deviate at any time of their way. They held on with their so detested way of painting, without considering, even for one moment, to modify it in any way in order to be accepted of the public. They waited, during many years, all the time necessary for the public to come to them and that a change of opinion occurred, supported by their confidence in the principles and the value of their art.” – Theodore Duret (Art critic 1838-1927).

FREDERIC BAZILLE (1841 – 1870)
Summer Scene
(1869)

Bazille’s Studio, rue de la Condamine (1970)
In this composition Bazille is visible presenting a new piece to Manet and Monet, Maître, his friend plays the piano, while Zola chats with Renoir. I, for one would love to be a fly on the wall in this room.

Bazille had an impeccable eye for painting natural light. His use of colour and eye for detail is inspirational.

 

PAUL CEZANNE (1839-1906)
Bathers (1891)

Mount Sainte-Victoire view from Lauves (1906)

“Cezanne was my sole and only one teacher (….) He was the mother of all of us” – Picasso.

Cezanne is arguably the main creator of modern painting and considered a ‘post-impressionist’, but I thought it necessary to feature his influential talents in this era as well. His unique method of building form with color and his analytical approach to nature influenced the art of Cubists, Fauvists, and successive generations of avant-garde artists.

 

EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917)
The Orchestra of the Opera (1870)

Ballet Rehearsal on Stage (1874)

Degas was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he preferred to be called a realist or independant. A superb draughtsman, he is especially identified with the subject of the dance, and over half his works depict dancers. These display his mastery in the depiction of movement, as do his racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are considered to be among the finest in the history of art. Like the Impressionists, he sought to capture fleeting moments in the flow of modern life, yet he showed little interest in painting plein air landscapes, favoring scenes in theaters and cafés illuminated by artificial light, which he used to clarify the contours of his figures, adhering to his Academic training.

 

EDOUARD MANET (1832-1883)
Luncheon on the Grass (1863)

Olympia (1863)

“I paint what I see, and not what others like to see” – Manet

Manet’s paintings had a way of arousing the hostility in critics and the enthusiasm of a group of young painters who later formed the nucleus of the Impressionists. He was a major influence in the Impressionist era. Both the above featured works were violently attacked by critics, which was not what Manet wanted – he was not a radical artist as critics thought.

 

CLAUDE MONET (1840–1926)
Regatta at Sainte-Adresse (1867)

Water Lilies (1919)

Monet was a key figure in the Impressionist movement. Throughout his long career, Monet consistently depicted the landscape and leisure activities of Paris and its environs as well as the Normandy coast. He led the way to twentieth-century modernism by developing a unique style that strove to capture on canvas the very act of perceiving nature.

 

CAMILLE PISSARRO  (1830-1903)
Jallais Coast, Pontoise
(1867)

Boulevard Montmartre (1897)

The contribution of Pissarro to Impressionism is essential – his brilliantly representative in his work, and his influence on the other Impressionists was tremendous.

Two of his pupils recognized the importance of Pissarro’s influence on their art: Cezanne, whom he helped paint more clearly and to seek form by means of colors, without any recourse to drawing, and Gauguin, of whom he supervised during his early works.

Cezanne, who would sometimes introduce himself as a pupil of Pissarro, would always present sincere appreciation toward Pissarro, whom he named: “The humble and colossal Pissaro”, and of whom he would say: “He was like a father for me. He was a man to be consulted and someone like God”.

AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919)

Les Grandes Baigneuses (Great Bathers) (1887)

Girls at the piano (1892)

Famed for his sensual nudes and charming scenes of pretty women, Auguste Renoir was a far more complex and thoughtful painter than generally assumed. From the 1880s until well into the twentieth century, he developed a monumental, classically inspired style that influenced such avant-garde giants as Pablo Picasso.

VINCENT VAN GOGH (1953-1890)

Self Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887)

Cypresses (1889)

Starry Night (1889)

I decided to save the best for last – in my opinion only, of course. Van Gogh spent his early life working for a firm of art dealers and after a brief spell as a teacher, became a missionary worker in a very poor mining region. He did not embark upon a career as an artist until 1880. Initially he worked in somber colors, until an encounter in Paris with Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism, whose brighter colours and style of painting he developed into a uniquely recognisable style, which was fully developed during time spent at Arles.

He produced all of his more than 2,000 works, including around 900 paintings and 1100 drawings and sketches, during the last ten years of his life. Most of his best-known works were produced in the final two years of his life, during which time he cut off part of his left ear following a breakdown in his friendship with Paul Gauguin. After this he suffered recurrent bouts of mental illness, and committed suicide. During his brief career he had sold one painting.

Spring with Szaman

I love spring and my dog, Szaman. Beautiful stroll in the city today…

Uno: La Carnita

Last night I attended Uno: La Carnita at The Brickworks in Toronto. It was a fusion of delicious mexican street food (fish tacos and churros included), mixed in with DJs, dancing, tequila, and a wide presentation of ‘Day of the Dead’ street art.

The art blew my mind, the food sizzled my taste-buds, and the tequila flowed. Not a bad night to say the least…

Spring’12 West49 Lookbook has launched

In the past couple of months, I’ve been pretty busy launching our new West49 girl. I was given the opportunity to art direct the Spring’12 girls photoshoot, and work with some amazing people in doing so.

West49 girls carries a wide range of mostly California based companies, so it was my job to keep this lookbook looking as sun-kissed and Cali-loving as possible – unfortunately here in Canada it was the first week of February (I don’t think I have to say more…). I took it upon myself to explore the studio that we were shooting in, and was quite inspired by the white-washed brick, unique stairwells and window features. I ended up renting a couple of props, and when the shoot day came and I had all my visions put to life, I was more than pleased. I ended up doing some post-processing to the photos just to add that extra Spring feel, adding some lighting effects & sun-rays – and finally, I am proud to present the finished product to you.

Spring’12 West49 Lookbook.

Shot by: James Kachan.

Hey Girl – West49 Girls Relaunch

Concept & art direction of photoshoot & concept and creative execution of campaign.

Photography by: James Kachan
Location: Toronto, ON
Concept: “Live by the sun, love by the moon”. With the West49 girls business suffering, we were given the challenge of restructuring the West49 girls brand identity. After vigorous research, collection of qualitative information and extensive competitor analysis, we created a new customer profile and re-launched our West49 girl. Shot in-studio during the cold of winter, we successfully created the new vision of a sun-kissed, fashion-oriented, West49 beauty – a girl that our customer would aspire to be.

Window display design.

Store windows.

Window posters.

Event Postcard.

West49 teamed up with Lou Lou Magazine & Benefit in the Shop Til you Drop Spring Event.

Promotional handout.

Online Lookbook.

Promotional video.

Freshly new window design

I’m embarking on a new project in the West49 world – we’re slightly revamping our girl, and I’m lucky enough to be one of the lead-hands on this project. I recently designed a new window for girls. Wanting to keep it fresh, springy with attention to detail, and keeping costs in mind – this was the final outcome. I’m quite pleased…

The Shorebreak Art

I always dreamed of life by an ocean, waking up in the early hours of the morning, throwing on a bikini and surfing the day away. The waves are such a powerful force, intimidating to some – but nurturing to others. I for one tingle at the very thought of floating on my back,  being thrown around by that beautiful chaos of a single wave.

Clark Little – the man behind some of the most breathtaking photos that I’ve ever seen. Clark grew up surfing in Hawaii, the ocean was his playground. Wanting to capture what he saw, he took his camera into the waves and snapped away. Combining what he lives for with his passion & talent, he is definitely an inspiration. Check out his site, or better yet pick up his book.

Halloween Sexified

Halloween is just around the corner, and its always the same struggle: What imaginative persona will I transform into? Jillian Tamaki did a great job re-creating typical Halloween costumes for us females – the reality of dress-up in a comedic fashion.

Truth be told, for anyone that spends Halloween night at a party, club or lounge, 99% of females become sexified. Is it because its a night of dangerous fantasy? Or a sudden increase in their libido?

Anyways ladies, whatever the case may be – if you want to fit in, just get sexified.

The Feline Woman: A Photographer’s Perspective

I stumbled upon this photographer on Facebook through a girlfriend of mine who did hair+make-up for this shoot.

His name is Drew Haran and I am 100% in love with this project. Everything from hair, make-up, wardrobe, lighting, composition, is just right. I simply adore it.

Hopefully one day I’ll get a chance to work with Drew on a project like this.

Meow.

Check out his work here.

All images © Drew Haran.

 

ASOS goes down under

ASOS, one of my favourite fashion websites, has decided to open its doors to Australia. Ordering from down under would break the bank – so good for you Australia! I’ve ordered from ASOS UK (prior to US launch) on a number of occasions and shipping and duties killed me (well, not literally, obviously, but you know what I’m saying). Oh Australia, how lucky you are. Happy shopping!