My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Archive for the tag “#theartassignment”

Bonus Art Assignment: Art Trip Tijuana Part 2


3. Try to see if you can name those people before you meet them:

Women in their 40s walking their dogs – the Carols.

Kids under 15 riding their bikes – The Zachs.

Retired men walking for exercise – the Carls.

New parents pushing strollers – the Jones.

4. Meet them and find out the connection between your image and who they really are.

I decided to start with one of the Carls.


This particular Carl walks down our street with his walker once a day as long as it’s not too hot or too cold out. When he gets to my front yard, he takes a break and sits on the seat attached to his walker. Sometimes he reads his mail after he retrieves it from the mailbox across the street. I think the walking is physical therapy. When he first began this routine, I saw him walking with a number of different women in scrubs who looked to be home care workers. Since the photo above doesn’t show his face, I thought it might be alright to share it.

So one day when I say this Carl sitting in front of my house, I went out to get my mail. As I passed by him I said ‘hello,’ but Carl didn’t answer. I tried it twice more on other days but still nothing. Maybe he doesn’t like strangers? Maybe he didn’t hear me? Well, for now this is as close as I can get to completing this art assignment. #theartassignment


Bonus Art Assignment: Art Trip Tijuana Part 1


This is a big art assignment so I’m going to have to divide it into parts. Luckily I live in a neighborhood full of walkers so it’s easy to people-watch as I walk.

  1. Put away your devices and walk around the block. Done and done. IMG_2709  IMG_2725
  2. Make a list of 4 kinds of people who live around your neighborhood.

Women in their 40s walking their dogs.

Kids under 15 riding their bikes.

Retired men walking for exercise.

New parents pushing strollers.

Next week I’ll try tackling the other steps. #theartassignment

Art Assignment 50: Vehicular Palette

I chose to focus on the number of seat belts in each car my family has owned because seat belts are the one part of the car that every driver and passenger should use in the same way to be safe. Here is my data visualization:


It still looks more like math than art to me but it was fun to complete this project because it was so different from what I usually think of as ‘making art’. #theartassignment

Art Assignment 49: Conjure a Studio


This Art Assignment reminded me of being a teenager, living in my parents’ house and feeling like I had the smallest bits of privacy. I used journals and sketchbooks as my studio. I decorated them with bright collages laminated with packing tape and they were where I wrote and sketched and drew. My parents always respected these journals and never looked at them unless I wanted to share something I had done. I was smart enough to keep them after high school and they live in a wooden chest in my bedroom. I dug out two of my favourite sketchbooks and decided to share their covers with you.

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So these are my teenage studios and I still love them. Oh, you want to see what’s inside them?


Did you miss it? Did I flip through too fast? Sorry folks, I’m not quite ready to share my high school creations. #theartassignment

Art Assignment 48: Measuring Histories

For this assignment, I decided to trace all the places I’ve lived so far. I defined living somewhere as any place where I stayed for more than a month. I don’t consider myself terribly well-traveled at this point but I have lived in some neat places. All of the maps except one are within Canada. Being Canadian and living in Canada is a proud part of both my personal and cultural history.

None of these maps are to scale with each other and that is on purpose. Instead, I used how I felt about these places and how I imagine them mapped out in my mind to give them the scale I think they each require in relation to each other.

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This idea of tracing my history across maps reminds me of a conversation I had with my husband Nick when we first met. As we were getting to know each other, it became apparent that we had lived within a few blocks of each other for years and had never met. We went to the same grocery store and bank, we even had the same dentist. We even found out we’d both attended some of the same concerts and music festivals over the years. I lived in London for five and a half years before he and I ever met. I like these idea of us slowly circling each other around the city, pulling towards each other a bit at a time.

Art Assignment 47: Body in Place

At this time of year I start thinking about my garden a lot. I love to garden but I’m definitely an amateur. I’ve been trying to fix up my back yard for a while now. It was overgrown when we bought the house and I’m trying to impose some sort of order while making my garden healthy and artistic. It took me a while to get to it because I fixed up the front yard first. That’s the part that everyone sees from the street. It’s mostly just my husband and I who spend any significant time looking at the back yard.


This is one of the empty garden beds in my back yard.


Looking at the plain dirt is sort of like looking at a blank page with writer’s block. I just can’t picture what I want.


I decided to make an imprint in the dirt.


So now I’ve made a mark on the garden.


And the garden has left a mark on me too. #theartassignment

Art Assignment 46: Blow Up


This is where the school used to be.


Detail 1.


Detail 2.


Detail 3.


Detail 4.


Detail 5.


Fake Flyer Update

I completed the Fake Flyer Art Assignment a few months ago. I hung my flyer on the community board at the library but after I checked it a few times, I forgot about it. Then I was passing the library a few days ago and found that this is my flyer now:


This is so amazing! So many positive messages and great drawings have been added since I last checked! Some were simple messages like these:



Others aren’t in English. I have no idea what this one says. I think it might be Russian. If anyone can provide a translation, let me know.


This one is in French.


Using my high school French, here’s my attempt at a translation: “God, guide me, protect me, light the lamp of my heart and make me a brilliant star. You are the strength, the all powerful.” This actually sounds familiar. Is this a famous French quote or part of a poem? Let me know in the comments if you recognize it.

I am so pleased that my community respected my art and added their own to it. #theartassignment


Art Assignment 45: Copy a Copy a Copy

For this assignment, I chose the novel JPod by Douglas Coupland.

Part of the reason I chose it is because it’s Canadian and I like to bring a little Can-Con (Canadian Content,) to my work. However, the main reason I chose this novel is because Coupland is both a writer and a visual artist and I love the visual ways he plays with text within his novels. See the gallery below for some examples from JPod.

I used a page of random letters and this photocopier to create my art.


I kept making the copies darker and smaller, until the page of the book disappeared. I think I’ll call it Evaporated.

The blurriness in the last few shots is not because of the camera work; the photocopier could not long focus on such small text. I took a few close up to show just how distorted the image became. #theartassignment

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Art Assignment 44: Caption Contest

So I watched this video on my lunch at work and I thought I’d download the image to print it later. However, for some reason when I tried to open the file, my work computer defaulted to Word. It opened the file but converted it to a series of symbols and text, most of which I’ve never seen before. The entire document was 39 pages long. I find it interesting that a one page image broken down so a computer can understand it takes up so much room! You can view the Word doc by clicking on the link below if you’re so inclined. I’ve also included a photo of one page of the document.



I decided to transfer some of this random text onto the image. I like the idea of the image becoming bits of text and then superimposing itself back onto the art. Rathman’s original is the image as we see it and the text is how a computer reads the image. Word also automatically titled the file ‘unspecified’ so I am going to call my final piece Unspecified. #theartassignment



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