Sass Cocker from Little Gold Studio

Little Gold Studio is a shared creative studio in Brunswick, Australia. Founded by Sass Cocker of the stationery company Ask Alice, Sass and her creative coworking studio are featured in Frankie magazine's forthcoming Spaces book.

Ask Alice's work and that of forty-nine other talented designers are profiled in issue #17's Stationery Guide. Purchase a back issue of #17 while its still in stock (and take a whiff of our special scratch and sniff cover!) or you can read the Stationery Guide excerpt, below.

Kirstie Tweed's visit to UPPERCASE

photo by Kirstie Tweed

photo by Kirstie Tweed

Wedding photographer Kirstie Tweed visited the UPPERCASE office a few weeks ago to visit Janine, a long-time friend. Click here to see more photos and the full post on the Canoe Weddings blog

photo by Kirstie Tweed 

photo by Kirstie Tweed 

Mundania Horvath documents the dwellings of Pittsburgh

GUEST POST BY LISA TOBOZ

Lisa Toboz is a Pittsburgh writer, photographer, and curator of the Studio 5013 window installation series. Follow her adventures in art and travel at The Long Way Home Diaries.

901 trenton ave.jpg

Artist Mundania Horvath didn’t call herself an illustrator until a few years ago: “I considered myself a designer who was good with computers and print design.” But as former office manager of Moss Architects, she’d watch coworkers doing draft sketches, wondering how she could incorporate traditional illustration into her graphic works.

Wanting a yearly project, Mundania created PGH/Digs (PGH is Pittsburgh’s affectionate acronym), an illustration series combining art and design with her admiration for Pittsburgh dwellings. 

1146 greenfield.jpg

Pittsburgh’s various neighbourhoods are clustered with old, at-times unusual, solid brick homes that have survived decades of industrial history, and Mundania—who moved from Uniontown, Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh to attend the Art Institute—drives around the city’s one-way streets, taking photos of houses that she can draw, then fine-tine later in Illustrator and Photoshop.

dallas.jpg

The simple, clean lines of ’60s ranch-style, “311 S Dallas Ave, Point Breeze” (first in the series, above) appealed to her love of geometry and retro design. She pays attention to house details others may not notice: a slanted roof, or asymmetrical windows.

133 gilda ave..jpg

While the house structures are characteristic of Pittsburgh, Mundania makes them universal through bold colour. Inspired by artist Lisa Congdon’s bright and playful colour schemes, Mundania experiments with changing the original house colours in her pieces to ones you may be reluctant to try in real life. “If you could paint your house any colour,” she says, “it might look like this.” 

5816 Darlington rd.jpg

PGH/Digs has evolved into commissions—some clients want their houses replicated, while others give Mundania free reign with shape and colour. This year, she’s taking the project beyond city limits, illustrating well-known houses designed by famous architects, in addition to the Pittsburgh houses that continue to inspire. “This project has opened a lot of doors for me, connecting me to people throughout the city. It’s completely changed how I view myself as an artist.” 

3 Fish Studios

Located just steps from the beach, 3 Fish Studios is a welcoming storefront and working printmaking and painting studio.

Located just steps from the beach, 3 Fish Studios is a welcoming storefront and working printmaking and painting studio.

Annie Galvin chats with a guest.

Annie Galvin chats with a guest.

That's Annie's show-stopping large-scale print of a California bear hug. (Prints available in their online shop.)

That's Annie's show-stopping large-scale print of a California bear hug. (Prints available in their online shop.)

Robotic inspiration for Eric Rewitzer's linocuts.

Robotic inspiration for Eric Rewitzer's linocuts.

3fish-robot.jpg
Eric Rewitzer

Eric Rewitzer

Annie's painting area, nestled on the second floor overlooking the shop.

Annie's painting area, nestled on the second floor overlooking the shop.

3fish-posters.jpg

3 Fish Studios was the perfect venue for the UPPERCASE Show and Tell. Annie and Eric were generous hosts and their studio was amazing. Formerly a neighbourhood grocery store, and then a dance studio, now the main open area is their gallery and printing area. In the back is a small kitchen that leads out into a covetable garden space. Although it was too chilly to hang out in the backyard, with a large state of California-shaped table, it would be great for a gathering. Upstairs, Annie has a painting studio along with a computer office area and a table for preparing prints. There was a small window peering over the shop area which would have made for a great photo of the Show and Tell proceedings, but I was a little too busy with that to steal away for a picture. I took photos and notes of all our presenters and I'll share them on the blog throughout the week. Lots of great creativity to share!

A Gathering of Stitches

A Gathering of Stitches is a communal making space for textile and fibre artists located in Portland, Maine. Members can rent equipment and studio space and benefit from a community of fellow makers. You can even rent a "Fairy Godmother", most likely to be proprietor Samantha Hoyt Lindgren, to consult on your project and help you learn new equipment.

Their doors open mid August this past summer, so they're still new and growing. But with a great roster of classes and equipment, it looks like A Gathering of Stitches is stitching up a firm foundation in this creative community.

Squeegee and hands.jpg
PM with Cheslye 11_2.jpg

UPPERCASE would like to thank A Gathering of Stitches for their ongoing support of UPPERCASE. As we transition away from ads in our print magazine, we are very pleased to have A Gathering of Stitches' ad on our blog sidebar. If you are a creative business owner and would like to advertise with us, we would be happy to hear from you.

the truck art of India

I received a wealth of submissions for the recent Open Pitch. Not all of them can be included in print, so I will share some here on the blog.

The following submission is from Shantanu Suman, a graphic designer from India who currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina:

After working as an art director for over six years in India, I left my job in 2010 to get my Masters in Graphic Design at the University of Florida. During this unanticipated adventure I found myself exploring a long buried love for the truck art of India. During the summer of 2012, I traveled to India for 45 days, carried out extensive research and collaborated with friends to make Horn Please—a documentary film that narrates the story of the Indian truck art. I was accountable for developing the concept and doing the research of the project. I also acted as the joint director, director of photography, and art director to work with a team of individuals who played their own role during the making of the film." 

The_Truck_Art_of_India-1.jpg

The trucking industry of India has played an instrumental role in shaping Indian trade and commerce for decades. It’s a common belief among the truck owners of India that a beautiful truck is good for business and therefore the owners decorate their trucks with ornamented designs and vivid colors. My initial research during 2011, demonstrated that little has been done to document this vernacular art form of India. It was this lack that inspired me to do further research. During the summer of 2012, I traveled in six cities of India and collected information about the Indian truck art and people related to this art form. The information collected during this trip has acted as a catalyst to develop some design projects, an exhibition and finally a documentary film — Horn Please

The_Truck_Art_of_India-4.jpg

The designs painted on the trucks do not merely represent an aesthetic purpose, but also attempt to depict religious, sentimental, and emotional viewpoints of the people related to the truck industry. My research focused on the ways in which this vernacular art form influences not just the world of art but also the lives of its artists and the truckers who interact with it on a daily basis. Largely, it investigates whether this traditional art, as a unique form of expression, will survive the modern day demands of the industry. 

The_Truck_Art_of_India-3.jpg

Project Horn Please is aimed at raising social awareness and engaging people through voices and aesthetics of the Indian trucking Industry. It marks the starting of a campaign in which design would serve as research rather than another visually pleasing piece of work. Although I have spent the last couple of years researching on the truck art of India, I believe that there is more that needs to be accomplished. During my research trip in India, I stumbled upon something really beautiful. What I found in these places of decline was a sense of pride among the people working there. There was an excitement to share their stories—about their families, about the journeys, about the beautiful symbols and motifs and of the age old tradition of decorating their trucks, of which still not many are familiar with. They are the torchbearers of a beautiful custom of adding a personal touch and creating an identity with their vehicles. 

For a photo gallery of Indian truck art, click here. For forthcoming screenings of this documentary, go here.

#mycreativeplace

The theme of issue #20 is loosely inspired by "broadcasting". In our interpretation, we define it as the ability to get ideas to the masses through means of communication such as radio, television, social media, posters and craftivism.

I thought it would be fun to use the technology that is literally at our fingertips to invite our readers to broadcast a bit about yourselves. Using Instagram video, share a little tour of your creative place and post it to @uppercasemag #mycreativeplace. Is your creative place a sunlit studio (I'm so lucky!) or is it a comfy corner of the couch? Is it a nice collection of curios and art supplies that defines your creative place or are you most creative when outside for a walk? Whatever or wherever it is, share #mycreativeplace with us!

Show and Tell event in San Francisco!

showandtell-toronto.jpg

Mark your calendars for this UPPERCASE Show and Tell at 3Fish Studios...

Janine Vangool, publisher, editor and designer of UPPERCASE magazine and Annie Galvin and Eric Rewitzer of 3Fish Studios will be hosting a Show and Tell on Thursday, January 30. 

Are you an illustrator, craftsperson, designer or a generally creative soul? Do you have an idea to pitch? Have you dreamed of being published in UPPERCASE? Bring one example of your work, prepare a 2-minute spiel and share it with us! (Or, just come and say hi. We're really friendly and would love to meet you.) It will be a fun and informal evening. 

Refreshments will be served and copies of UPPERCASE will be on hand. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Thursday, January 30
7:30pm-10:00pm

4541 Irving Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
415-242-3474
directions 

Please RSVP and let Janine know if you'll be "showing and telling" or just "watching and listening".

Want to know about Annie and Eric? Pick up issue #11 and watch this video:

featured stockist: Kinokinuya NYC

A thrilling moment, to see UPPERCASE so prominently featured in Kinokinuya's New York store.

A thrilling moment, to see UPPERCASE so prominently featured in Kinokinuya's New York store.

 Kinokinuya. For those of you who have been to one of their US locations, the name is enough to conjure visions of book heaven and washi-tape wishes. I go to their San Francisco store anytime I'm in that city and I've been to the Seattle location, too... but NYC is now top on my list... why? Because I got to see UPPERCASE magazine amongst all the amazing books that I admire and covet. A dream come true.

And here is The Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman translated into Japanese and published by Graphic-sha! It was nestled with all my favourite Japanese lifestyle books and looked right at home. The Suitcase Series was inspired by these sorts of Japanese books (that I can't read, mind you!) and so it has come full circle to see this book and Dottie Angel translated for a Japanese audience.

And here is The Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman translated into Japanese and published by Graphic-sha! It was nestled with all my favourite Japanese lifestyle books and looked right at home. The Suitcase Series was inspired by these sorts of Japanese books (that I can't read, mind you!) and so it has come full circle to see this book and Dottie Angel translated for a Japanese audience.

help Makeshift in Brooklyn!

UPPERCASE's regular creative business columnist Rena Tom's Makeshift > Brooklyn Kickstarter is just a week from finishing and they have $10,000 to go. They'll only get funded if they reach this goal, so if you're in the Brooklyn area and want to support your community, please pledge. If you support the coworking concept but live elsewhere, they also have a selection of rewards for international or out-of-town pledges, some of which are pretty unique:

Julia Rothman. Julia will draw your portrait in her distinctive style; it will become part of a wallpaper pattern that we'll use in our conference room. You'll get a digital file of your portrait plus the postcard and digital download."

Pick up a copy of our current issue to read more about coworking and Rena's experience with Makeshift San Francisco.

Makeshift Brooklyn

UPPERCASE is very fortunate to have Rena Tom as our regular business columnist. Rena's words of wisdom assist and encourage creatives whether they're just starting out or have been entrepreneurs for a while. I certainly learn a lot from reading Rena's columns (she posts past columns on her site) and from following her blog

Rena and partners are venturing from San Francisco to Brooklyn to launch a second location for the Makeshift Society. It is an ambitious space and they're aiming to kickstart a portion of the funds to support this coworking endeavour.

Rena's forthcoming business column goes into greater detail about the trend in coworking, based on her experience on the San Francisco Makeshift location that just celebrated its year anniversary.  Read more in issue #19, out very soon.

p.s. I just read on their blog that Makeshift is hosting Work/Life 3 illustrator Cleo Papanikolas tonight for a workshop. Contact Makeshift for details

WL3: James Gulliver Hancock

Frost_CBA Melbourne_04.jpg

As the printer puts the finishing touches on our forthcoming book, Work/Life 3, I am pleased to share some recent work by James Gulliver Hancock.  James is an Australian illustrator based in New York. Frost*, a creative agency based in Sydney, commissioned James to create illustrations for a bank's call centre. On initial reading, that may have sounded like a boring assignment, but just look at the results! The following text is from the Frost* press release:

The Frost* Environments team recently completed an exciting new project for employees at Commonwealth Bank’s Melbourne (Australia) call centre. Working in collaboration with Interior Designers Davenport Campbell, the agency was commissioned to animate the newly refurbished activity-based workplace, whilst inspiring and engaging staff who are often working on intense, monotonous tasks.

Frost_CBA Melbourne_01.jpg

The scope of work included signage and way-finding for the seven level development, alongside super-sized environmental graphic backdrops that added a distinctly Melbourne identity to the inner-city office.

Frost_CBA Melbourne_05.jpg

The concept involved visually breaking up the building's floor plate by referencing urban-laneway culture in work zones and parklands and nature in the break-out spaces.

Frost_CBA Melbourne_07.jpg

Working closely with New York based illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, they established sub-themes of work, rest and play to tell the everyday stories of the city's inhabitants, with a fantastical twist. Hidden pockets of quirky detail were incorporated at a micro-scale, as a cheeky nod to the city’s laneways where there is always something new to discover. A graphic language formed from iconic Melbourne architecture also helped embed the signage firmly into its location.

Frost_CBA Melbourne_06.jpg

unique space

thecreativelab-1.png

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sonja Rasula, founder and creative director of UNIQUE USA for issue #17. Together with her team, she's come up with another amazing way to support the modern maker movement. THE UNIQUE SPACE will be a co-working, office and event space housed in a 100-year-old building in LA. To fund a portion of the renovation costs, they've created kickstarter campaign with benefits that include a two-day guest pass to co-work in the space. 

This wheat paste street art is a Shepard Fairey piece left over from when he had his studio there years ago.

This wheat paste street art is a Shepard Fairey piece left over from when he had his studio there years ago.

monday movies: The Airplane

Concept // Screenplay // Music Score by Jarrod Sterling 
Filmed // Edited by Ashley Kascak
Super 8 Footage Filmed by Cory Zaradur

This morning I received a tweet with a link to this new music video in which a copy of the recent magazine makes an appearance! Some of the skateboarding shots out on the street are on 17th Avenue SW, our new home turf. Thank you, Jarrod, for cutting and pasting over UPPERCASE is such a creative way. Happy to be part of your video!

Calgary musician Jarrod Sterling's album "Debutantes" will be released on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, available through iTunes.

 

the start of something

IMG_3288.JPG
IMG_3286.JPG

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen these shots on Friday. I finally signed the lease document for the new home of UPPERCASE. It is a relief to have those legalities done and now I can start sharing updates and images. The space is currently a real diamond in the rough. My new landlord sees the potential as well and I am really happy that I've been able to select finishes so that it will suit our aesthetics. It's going to be beautiful.

The obligatory BEFORE shot. The space is being used as a catchall for other renovations.

The obligatory BEFORE shot. The space is being used as a catchall for other renovations.

More about the new building soon! First I have to finish sorting everything for our big studio sale this Saturday from 11-4 at Art Central.  (Thanks for the amazing response to our Inventory Clearout Sale in our online shop!)

featured stockist: Type books, Toronto

Type Book's Queen Street West location.

Type Book's Queen Street West location.

type-window-inside.jpg
type-red.jpg
type-writer.jpg

Another stop in Toronto last week was to Type Books. Wow, what a great independent neighbourhood bookstore. They were out of stock of the current issue (which I guess is a good thing! They'll just have to stock up next time, hint hint.) We featured Type on the blog previous—remember this amazing time-lapse animation of the shop being rearranged?

Bee Kingdom Glass

Vinciane in the Bee Kingdom gallery/house for the interview.

Vinciane in the Bee Kingdom gallery/house for the interview.

blog-cups.jpg
Vinciane pulls some molten glass.

Vinciane pulls some molten glass.

It is always enjoyable to spend time in artists' studios and peek in on their process. In our current issue, our Work-in-Progress Society article took a new direction in that we decided to focus on an in-person interview rather than curating from the Flickr pool. Bee Kingdom Glass is an exciting 4-person studio hidden in an unassuming house in a Calgary residential neighbourhood. At one point, some of the members of Bee Kingdom were also roommates living in the house; now the living room is a small gallery, bedrooms are office studios—and the glass studio is out back in a converted garage. This close-knit group is aptly named; as glassblowers they are dependent on one another to see their individual creative visions come into form.

Vinciane de Pape, regular UPPERCASE contributor, interviewed Phillip, Kai, Ryan and Tim while I took photos for the article. When the Bees started a demo, I took an impromptu video of the process. You'll find more of my photos and full article about Bee Kingdom in our current issue.

Join Bee Kingdom this weekend for an open house from 1-5pm Saturday and Sunday. More details on their site right here.

my studio as seen by Tracey Ayton

TRACEY_-32.jpg
TRACEY_-5.jpg
TRACEY_-22.jpg
TRACEY_-24.jpg
TRACEY_-23.jpg
TRACEY_-26.jpg
TRACEY_-9.jpg

Vancouver-based photographer Tracey Ayton was recently in Calgary on some shoots and she stopped by to visit the UPPERCASE studio. Here are some images of my workspace that she captured; there are more on Tracey's blog. We have published Tracey's work in the current issue (#17) where you can see a photo essay about Granville Eyeland Framemakers.

I was happy that Tracey was here to capture some images of the space "au naturel" (no tidying!), though I am also planning on a final photographic study of the studio to feature in the fall issue of UPPERCASE. By the time the fall issue is out, this space will be a memory and UPPERCASE will be nestled into our new office. It is hard to believe that I'll have to move it all in a few short months.

guy friday: typewriter show and tell with Smokeproof Press

Brad's collection of typewriters are housed in their cases on a shelving system he devised.

Brad's collection of typewriters are housed in their cases on a shelving system he devised.

During my last few hours in Boulder, I was happily surprised with an invitation to visit Brad O'Sullivan's letterpress studio. (We featured Smokeproof Press back in issue #8's Letterpress Sampler. Copies are still available for sale in our shop.)

Thank you to Allison of Bird Dog Press for making this happen and for my Crafting Content partner-in-crime Heide Murray of All Good Wishes who also drove me to the airport after our visit. (Check out Heide's amazing felt creatures.)

Brad shows us one of his many machines. 

Brad shows us one of his many machines. 

A gorgeous "Floating Shift" key.

A gorgeous "Floating Shift" key.

Allison and Heide admire the details.

Allison and Heide admire the details.

An Italian Olivetti art deco-era in mint condition.

An Italian Olivetti art deco-era in mint condition.

An Hermes Rocket in hot orange.

An Hermes Rocket in hot orange.

rocket-closeup.jpg
A later model Hermes Rocket is workhorse grey.

A later model Hermes Rocket is workhorse grey.

typing-manual.jpg
For me, the ephemera of typewriters are part of the appeal.

For me, the ephemera of typewriters are part of the appeal.

An Odell Typewriter wooden box.

An Odell Typewriter wooden box.

Thanks, Brad, for climbing up and retrieving one amazing machine after another.

Thanks, Brad, for climbing up and retrieving one amazing machine after another.

A cursive model.

A cursive model.

Brad saves ink samples in old film cannisters, with typewritten labels of course.

Brad saves ink samples in old film cannisters, with typewritten labels of course.

In addition to the typewriter collection, there were plenty of things to keep an eye happy at Smokeproof Press.

press.jpg
sketch.jpg
skrip-yellow.jpg
miehle-vertical.jpg
threads.jpg
skrip.jpg
Note the collection of UPPERCASE magazines on the upper shelves!

Note the collection of UPPERCASE magazines on the upper shelves!

typecases.jpg
smokeproof-tape.jpg
typewritten-cannister-2.jpg

Thanks again, Brad, Allison and Heide for your hospitality.

featured stockist: Two Hands Paperie

paperie-windoe.jpg
paperie-spool.jpg
paperie-view2.jpg
paperie-table-of-u.jpg
paperie-view.jpg
Sophia prepares the event signage.

Sophia prepares the event signage.

paperie-ribbon.jpg
paperie-paper-wall.jpg
Proprietor Mia Semingson unpacks some new inventory.

Proprietor Mia Semingson unpacks some new inventory.

paperie-butterflies.jpg
paperie-mail-art.jpg
paperie-book-table.jpg

Two Hands Paperie on Pearl Street was the beautiful bookend to my Boulder experience. Proprietor Mia Semingson was my assistant throughout the bookmaking class; she even picked me up at the airport! It was great to start the trip at this gorgeous store. Upon the conclusion of the Makerie on Sunday morning, Mia hosted me at Two Hands to introduce our freshly printed spring issue. Thank you to everyone for such a fine reception—and a big thank you to Mia for her help in keeping our two-day bookmaking project on track.

{ Two Hands Paperie has an online shop with free shipping on orders over $100 to the lower 48 US States. Take it from me, it is easy to spend at least $100 on such a great selection of paper goodies. }