#47 Oct-Nov-Dec 2020
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Letter from the Editor
Since this magazine launched in 2009, there has only ever been one full human figure on the cover—a quirky little fellow blowing bubbles on the inaugural issue. Since then, human figures were kept off the cover with the intention of making the covers feel more universal, inclusive and curious.
The 47th issue of UPPERCASE explores poetic self-portraits, art therapy and empathy—themes that are all about people. It's about relating to one another, finding our common experiences, sharing our stories and building community. Themes in each issue often percolating for months, with the content being a mix of long-term planning and serendipity. The magazine has matured a lot over the past dozen years. I have grown more confident in addressing current events, too—but in a way that feels appropriate for my publication's editorial and aesthetic voice.
In this time of challenge and change, it is important to me as the publisher, editor and designer of UPPERCASE magazine that my publication unequivocally shows where it stands.
Black Lives Matter.
This issue's cover artist is Jemma Morris. I came across her cut paper family portraits on Etsy. One composition, in particular, caught my attention: a diverse grouping of five women leaning in and supporting one another—faceless but still friendly, abstract but grounded and powerful in their stance. Jemma typically uses commercially available patterned craft papers for her figure’s dresses, but for an UPPERCASE cover, I wanted to make sure that credit be given to everyone involved in its creation. So I reached out to some UPPERCASE readers to license their work for this special cover.
I love how it all came together and I hope you do, too!
UPPERCASE publisher, editor, designer
Issue 47 Cover Artists
Jemma has considered herself an artist for as long as she can remember. Born in England and raised in the United States, Jemma is a versatile artist who has two distinct styles. Her abstract works are meditative in practice and full of vibrant luminous fluid colour while her minimalist people portraits support an overall mission to represent diversity and most importantly to cultivate cultural unity and inclusiveness.
figures 1 and 3)
Pantera Saint-Montaigne is a self-taught screen printer and surface pattern designer. “I live in the hustle and bustle of Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, in a brownstone building named Crumbly Manor,” she describes. “I use screen-printing, block printing and freestyle painting to create bold, modern designs that I print by hand onto textiles and home goods.”
She has been screen printing for over six years. “I always dreamed of printing larger pieces. This dream led me to donate all of my living room furniture and turn the big, airy room into my print studio and HQ of my company, Brooklyn Mojo.”
In addition to printing fabric for quilting, Brooklyn Mojo has been a vendor and sponsor at Quiltcon since 2018 was an instructor of block-printing at QuiltCon 2020 held in Austin, Texas.
figures 2 and 5)
Born in Kingston Jamaica, Tafui McLean is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose wide range of works includes product design, graphic design and corporate branding and fine art.
She moved to Canada shortly after graduating from high school to further her studies as an artist. She attended Dawson College and Concordia University where she received her degree in design. After graduating, she moved back to Jamaica where she continued a fine art practice in addition to working as an art director and university professor. Her work quickly received critical acclaim and was highly sought after.
Tafui moved back to Ottawa, Canada in 2004 and continued work as an artist, art educator and art director for ten years. Since then, she has had her own design studio where she makes a diverse range of art and design based objects and also licenses her artwork. Known for her modern bold black and white patterns that adorn her textiles and art prints, her work can be found in various public art collections such as the Bank of Jamaica, City of Ottawa and City of Vancouver. She currently resides in Vancouver, BC.
California-based artist and designer Jeanetta Gonzales has a multi-disciplinary studio where she provides services in surface pattern, textile design, illustration, graphic design and brand collaborations. She licenses her work for products sold in major retailers and online stores in categories such as home decor, stationery, greeting cards and apparel. She is represented by illustration agency, Illustration X, creating commercial and editorial illustrations for publications, products and campaigns. Jeanetta also works one-on-one with artists mentoring them on their artwork development, practice and providing career advice and strategy. You can find fun gift products she designs on her website and watch her on her new YouTube channel.