Greetings from Edmonton

There's a bison herd just outside of Edmonton that has a particularly noble lineage: the Elk Island herd traces it's earliest documented origins back to Samuel Walking Coyote, a Pend d'Orielle native who started out with four bison yearlings in Montana. From Walking Coyote, they were sold to Charles Allard and Michael Pablo, two Metis who grew the herd to more than six hundred in Montana, before the loss of land forced them to sell their animals. When a deal couldn't be reached with the American government, the Canadian government stepped forward to purchase the herd for the newly-created Elk Island National Park, just east of Edmonton. The animals, however, were not cooperative to the relocation efforts, and it took over three years for the animals to be rounded up - usually one at a time - and loaded onto heavily-reinforced trains. In just 30 years at Elk Island, the herd had grown nearly tenfold. So the herd was once again relocated, this time to the sprawling Wood Buffalo National Park, where the creatures now roam with their arboreal brethren. The herd that remains in Elk Island decend from the roughly 35 animals that could not be rounded up. 

All of that history may have absolutely nothing to do with the Royal Bison craft & art fair. The Royal Bison was founded by Raymond Biesinger, a very talented illustrator (who contributed a piece to UPPERCASE Publishing's first book, The Shatner Show). The show features a collection of incredibly talented Edmonton artists and craftmakers. We're looking forward to meeting our fellow exhibitors and attendees, and sharing some of our discoveries here on the blog. If you're in Edmonton, stop by and say hello to us!

Featured stockist: Keibunsha, Japan

Keibunsha Books in Kyoto, Japan stocks A Collection a Day and The Elegant Cockroach. Thank you, Atsushi, for sending the picture and including books from Canada in your selection!

Featured stockist: Inkwell, Halifax

It is always nice to be welcomed by a new stockists, and a particular honour when a brand new shop wants to open their doors with your wares on their shelves. Inkwell Modern Handmade and Letterpress Boutique in Halifax, Nova Scotia has just opened a few days ago. Congratulations, Andrea — and thank you! From the few photos on their blog, it looks like a nicely curated shop.

.ca is a winner

Last night here in Toronto, i was happy to be a recipient of the Canadian Internet Registry Authority's first annual Impact Award for best use of the .ca domain, small business category. It's exciting and gratifying to know that with over 700 entrants, just four websites were recognized in four categories.

We're on our way home again, more soon!


In Toronto

I haven't been to Toronto in a very long time. Perhaps it has been over ten years... so long ago that I can't really remember when. Glen, Finley and I are here on a whirlwind trip; we return home (briefly) and then go Edmonton to spend the weekend at the Royal Bison Craft Fair.

It was great to have dinner with my friend Aaron, from my good ol' art school and x-files days, and his wife Karen. (Both have written for the magazine. Aaron has an extensive interview with Jeff Rogers in the next issue.)

Another highlight was finally getting to visit the workroom in person. We profiled owner Karyn Valino in the  first issue of UPPERCASE and she and her sewing shop have been very supportive of the magazine. What a great space! Oh, the fabrics. I've lusted after them via her flickr stream, but to see and feel them in person was a treat. I bought a stack of fat quarters, just because. (Who am I kidding? I never have time to sew!) Karyn interviewed Sian Keegan for Issue #10, out in July.

(by the way, the workroom has backissues of 6 and 7 in case you're looking for those.)

Work/Life 2: Communication Arts coverage

The Communication Illustration annual has quite a nice representation of Work/Life 2 participants. First up is Michael Byers, who is profiled in the fresh talent column:

(The illustration in the middle of a man fishing is Michael's Work/Life 2 contribution.)

Thom Sevalrud's Work/Life 2 illustration is included as well! And Renata Liwska's book projects are nicely featured:

Julia Breckenreid has a black and white illustration chosen:

Also included in the annual is Calgary-based illustrator Karen Klassen (Work/Life first edition, UPPERCASE magazine) for some of her unpublished personal portraiture work.

There are also many other talented illustrators included in the annual who have graced the pages of UPPERCASE and other past books such as Byron Eggenschwiler, Jody Hewgill, Sam Weber, Jesse Lefkowitz, The Heads of State, Ty Mattson, Joe Morse, Christopher Silas Neal, . It is an honour to work with so many talented people, thank you!

Congratulations to The Elegant Cockroach

The book's author, Deidre Anne Martin, and its illustrator, Stefanie Augustine have been recognized for their creative work. Deidre is nominated for an Alberta Literary Award and Stefanie's illustrations are featured in the Communication Arts illustration annual. Congratulations to both for creating such a marvelous book!


You can catch Deidre read from The Elegant Cockroach this Tuesday evening at the following event:



Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 7:00 pm

click here for details

Upcoming events

There's a lot going on these days! Here are few things related to UPPERCASE:


Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 7:00 pm
Deidre Anne Martin, author of The Elegant Cockroach will be reading from her nominated book along with other local authors.

click here for details

I'm heading to Toronto for a quick event. I'll have to tell you later what it is—secret for now!

UPPERCASE will be in Edmonton next weekend for the Royal Bison. I've heard lots of good things about this event, so we look forward to seeing folks in Edmonton.

And we'll be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn next month, and Renegade SF and LA in July. (Still looking for some help, please see the post below...)


Free hexagon patterns!

I love seeing how UPPERCASE magazine inspires creativity in others. Katrina of PuglyPixel is offering up these free downloads of beautiful hexagon patterns inspired by the magazine's colour palette. If you haven't visited PuglyPixel, be prepared to spend some quality hours looking at eye candy and learning a whole lot about blogging, web design, digital art, photoshop... Is it a great resource!

If you want even more, she offers premium access to special downloads and "blog bling" as she calls it. It's an innovative way to earn a living as a designer. Kudos!

Help wanted!

Over the summer, UPPERCASE will have a booth at the Renegade Craft Fairs in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We're looking for individuals in those cities to assist us for a couple days.
There are two positions available in each city, one representative who will be able to take care of some pre-event and post-event responsibilities for us and help us run the booth over a weekend. We also need one or two people who have no pre-event and post-event duties, but simply need to show up at the event and help us as booth attendants.

UPPERCASE representative

  • Receive shipments of inventory from UPPERCASE prior to the event and store these until the Renegade event.
  • Transport inventory to the event site and back each day - a car or access to one is required.
  • After the event is complete, facilitate shipping of remaining product to the next location.
  • Pick up necessary supplies that are easier to buy locally than ship.
  • Plus booth attendant duties as described below.
  • We'll reimburse any costs associated with these tasks.

An honorarium will be provided.

UPPERCASE booth attendants

  • Show up at the event an hour prior to opening to help us set up the booth.
  • Greet attendees, answer questions about UPPERCASE products, handle and record transactions using tools and instruction supplied by UPPERCASE.
  • We will be on-site at all times to help.

An honorarium will be provided.

Additional Perks:
One-year subscription or renewal
Post event dinner

Event dates, hours & locations:
You must be available on the dates below in your city.

Brooklyn: June 11-12, 10am to 8 pm, McCarren Park - all positions for Brooklyn are now filled. 
San Francisco: July 9-10, 10am to 8pm, Fort Mason Center
LA: July 16-17: 10am to 8pm, Los Angeles State Historic Park

For more information about the fairs visit the Renegade Craft Fair website.

To apply, please email with a description about yourself (ie craft fair or retail experience and/or resume and pertinent urls) and please specify if you are applying to be a representative or booth attendant in which city. 


All positions for Brooklyn are now filled. We still need both a representative and booth attendant for LA, as well as a representative for San Francisco. Thank you!


a summer adventure with dottie angel

Join Tif aka dottie angel this summer for an "eclectic handmade workshop with a vintage vibe" with ACE camps. I wish I could go, but UPPERCASE will be at the Renegade fairs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. {The dottie angel suitcase series book is in progress - sneak peeks soon.}

We'll also be at the Brooklyn Renegade fair next month. Stay tuned for a post about Renegade and our call for helpers!

Participate: the 10 best...

I can hardly believe that I am working on issue 10 (summer) already! TEN issues... that's over 1000 pages of content created so far.

In honour of number 10, I invite you to list your creative spin on "the 10 best ______." 

For example:

"the 10 best reasons to sleep in"

"the 10 best tools for drawing"

"the 10 best books on design"

"the 10 best places to find inspiration"

"the 10 best excuses for procrastination"

"the 10 best fixes for writer's block"

"the 10 best methods to jumpstart creativity"

Please compile your own "the 10 best" list: be serious or be funny, be practical or be fantastic. Be creative, be curious! Leave it in the comments or email janine {at} uppercasemagazine {dot} come with "10 best" in the subject field. Please provide your full name so that you can be credited should your submission be published. thanks! DEADLINE: MAY 20

Here are my "the 10 best qualities of UPPERCASE readers"

1. Enthusiastic
2. Talented
3. Generous
4. Sincere
5. Inquisitive
6. Connected
7. Inspiring
8. Optimistic
9. Friendly
10. Appreciated!

flickr pair

Type Tuesday: TypeCon 2011

UPPERCASE is pleased to be a 12pt sponsor of the upcoming Society of Typographic Aficionados' TypeCon to be held July 5-10 in New Orleans.

"Presentations and workshops will explore topics such as: Japanese typography; the champions of readability; typography for the web; the graphic history behind QSL cards; book design and bookbinding; Fontographer basics; letterpress techniques; connections between lettering and lingerie; historic New Orleans print engraving; the lack of Latin typographic heritage in Turkey; glass gliding; and so much more."

Unfortunately, my schedule is too full to attend this year, but I am looking for an UPPERCASE correspondent to send us news, photos and reviews from the conference! Your contributions will be posted on the blog.

Please leave your credentials in the comments (links to your portfolio, blog and relevant urls) with a couple of sentences about why you'd like to attend. The chosen correspondent will receive a complimentary conference pass (please note that all other expenses such as transportation, accommodation, food, etc are the responsibility of the correspondent.) Comments close on May 15.

Contributor: Christine Chitnis

Congratulations to UPPERCASE contributor Christine Chitnis on the release of her new book Markets of New England. We've been priviliged to have Christine's words and images grace the pages of UPPERCASE a few times—and in the current issue, Christine takes us behind the scenes of the making of her new book:

"Good things seem to come in pairs, so when I found out I was pregnant with my first, it seemed only fitting that an offer to write my dream book would shortly follow.

Combining my love of writing, photography, and travel, I set out to unearth the top fifty markets—both farmer’s markets and art markets—in New England. Although this was to be a travel book, I wrote it with a greater purpose in mind...."

"When we use our collective consumer power to support artisans—beekeepers, cheese mongers, weavers, and woodworkers—we are insuring that our communities remain unique, thriving places to live. In this age of big-box stores and mass-produced items, it has become all the more important to invest in our local economy. . . one artist, one farmer, one shop at a time."

Markets of New England is published by The Little Bookroom, a fine publisher of travel guides, journals and notebooks. Coincidentally, we also have a profile of Louise Fili in issue #9, the design director for many of The Little Bookroom's lush typographic covers.

Christine Chitnis is a writer, photographer and environmental educator. She lives with her husband and son in Providence, Rhode Island. Her writing has appeared in Country Living, Time Out New York, ReadyMade and The Washington Post. She has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado. 

Eat cake.

When planning a new issue, I don't always start with a defined theme, but as content is considered and gathered, connections are often made that lead to interesting people, places and things. The themes emerge organically. The current issue has two major themes: creativity expressed through food and gardening. In researching the topic of food and creativity, we asked our blog readers "How has a love of food inspired your creativity?" Janice of Papier Valise and Scissor Variations had an excellent response that we also printed in this issue:

"I get excited about food and cooking the same way I get excited to start an art project—the finished ‘project’ is the sum of its parts and the end result is always satisfying. A willingness to try something new, whether it be a recipe or art medium has always taken me to interesting places creatively. And what's not to love about an edible mistake?"

Janice very generously brought two slices of her amazing cake to last night's First Thursday. Mmmmm! So delicious, thank you Janice. {photo from her blog, I already ate mine!}


Issue #9

Some preview images of the current issue by Karyn Valino at the workroom in Toronto.