Naomi Klein at 6 Degrees TO

Beyond grateful to have gotten to attend Naomi Klein's talk at 6 Degrees TO tonight...all the tickets had been sold out but I made a sign to hold at the door asking if anyone had an extra ticket. A man stood beside me saying how hopeless it was, we wouldn't get in, but he'd stand with me anyway.

Luckily, a man came by and simply gave me a spare ticket he had, and I barely had the chance to say my thanks. I gave my ticket sign to the man who stood next to me and wished him good luck.

The talk was beautifully placed together covering a variety of issues and a future view for Canada (and the world) to quickly leap towards. Check out the Leap Manifesto! At the beginning of the talk we got to witness an Aboriginal tribe perform with singing and drumming, and at the end an adorable Syrian refugee children's choir.

At the end of the event the man I had given my sign to got into the lecture as well, and had passed on my ticket sign to another girl who also managed to get in, and pass the sign along again. We got a miniature movement going! Regardless of the hopelessness we feel, the only thing we can do is keep being determined to get to our goal in creating a sustainable world we want to live in.

Sticker Activism

With the ability to print stickers at home, it was a perfect opportunity to design them with any sort of message I wanted; and the high-end supermarket in my neighbourhood in Toronto was the target I chose to spread awareness.

Being a high-end supermarket, the consumers here have a lot more choice in terms of what they purchase; with more purchasing power, they can make decisions more easily as to what products and brands they support.

I wanted to target the meat isle, and the plastic bags that people take for fruit and veg.

Plastic Free Creativaty

For the month of August, I aimed to completely avoid buying anything with single-use plastic. Every day on my page (on facebook) I illustrated ideas on how anyone can make shopping choices that create less waste and rely on petroleum products. These are a few!

Hitchhiking

We had a squad of us hitchhiking this summer; paired into two teams we hitchhiked from Rome to a small area near Grossetto where we were doing workaway at a farm. Living in a cosy yurt, waking up early, eating breakfast with the eggs from the chickens and ducks, working in the field, meditating by the river and meeting neighbours in the countryside was the most nourishing experience.

From there we hitched up to Sienna, slept in a park full of rowdy party-goers, then to Bologna to stay with a friend, up to a suburb of Milan, down to Genova to jam with some new found friends and couchsurf in a lovely flat of a man dressed as a matador, who owned an extensive collection of manga novels and a pet tortoise. Then struggling for 6 hours to get a ride out of Genova and sleeping on a beach in Savona. From there getting a ride with a lovely Hungarian man who offered us a place to stay, and then getting a ride all along the coast of Italy towards France with a couple of dudes driving close to 100km to get to a head shop and sharing their joints with us as they kept rolling them all the way, blasting reggae with the windows down.

I've learned that it's not a good idea to hitchhike when you're in a rush. In this case, we had a bus to catch from Paris that would take us to London. And we were rushing our way through France. But I did learn how wonderful and exciting hitchhiking is, regardless of how exhausting it may be. Sure, there were some rides that weren't all that memorable. A lot of times you forget about that part of the journey and don't remember the faces of who gave you a lift, you might not even talk much. But the fact that people are so open and willing to lend a hand to a stranger without receiving anything in return is a beautiful experience. And, on the whole, the rides we get are with such interesting and lovely people. 

Besides meeting fabulous people, and traveling for free, hitchhiking is also fantastic for its environmental benefits. There isn't any extra carbon being emitted for your transport. These people are traveling regardless, cars on the motorway are so often driven by just one person, with so many empty seats in the car. Hitchhiking reduces more people taking the bus or driving themselves. Bonus!

ARTIVISM

So I briefly thought I had come up with a revolutionary term, until I googled it and discovered that a wikipedia page already existed on the subject. Artivism. Yet, I'm so happy that it's a thing! Activism through art. "...a focus on raising social, environmental and technical awareness." I'm incredibly hyper with excitement because this is kind of exactly what I would like to focus on; art and illustration with a purpose, especially in environmental activism. People enjoy looking at little illustrations, and if those drawings can create more awareness for something, all the better!

This is my little doodle to get more people involved in the climate march next weekend. Join one in your cityyyyyyyy! x

Jack Harries shared this illustration to his 2.8 million followers...so happy to be able to create an environmental illustration that can be used to send the message to so many!

Concrete Die

While walking on the beach with my mum, I found this concrete cube in the sand. So, instantly, it turned into a die with some imagination. I took it home, and painted it.

It's now back in the town, as a piece of street art! Who knows, maybe someone will even use it to play a game?

Patterning

I've discovered the joy and simplicity of illustrated pattern-making! This is actually so much fun. 

(The theme I had going here was popular foods that tend to be associated with meat, but are just as delicious as a vegetarian/vegan version!)

I now have these available on items on Society6!

Travel Sketches

Sketches from our road trip through Morelia, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende

Monarch Migration

A few weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of ticking this off my bucket list....witnessing a part of the monarch butterfly migration.

This generation of monarchs that I got to meet, (known as the "super generation") flew to Mexico and kept living for many months to fly down to here, until there are so many of them that the branches of the pine trees they rest on, tend to sag down. Now, the ones that are heading back north this spring, will only make it as far as northern Mexico or Texas, to lay their eggs and die. Then, the next generation will continue the journey, typically surviving for 2-3 weeks. It takes about four generations to get back to Canada. The caterpillars solely feed on milkweed, and that's why it's so important that we plant more and more of this wildflower (or just let it grow where it is) and stop our use of pesticides from our gardens, to our farms. The number of monarch butterflies have severely diminished in the past few years and we can't have such a beautiful phenomenon disappear. After all, these butterflies help pollinate our world.
 

Currently, I'm actually working on a project with a great company that is going to work towards helping plant and preserve the forest where these butterflies rest for the winter. I can't reveal anything yet until published, but I get to use illustration to indirectly aid these butterflies. I'm so in love with how ideal this project is! (Will possibly be out next year sometime.)

But in the meantime, when I get back to Canada, I am going to plant the shit out of milkweed. If you're interested in participating and happen to be in Toronto, check out the Homegrown National Park's Got Milkweed campaign and get ready to order some milkweed this April! x

Green Hearts

This past Valentine's Day I've realized that we've been having it all wrong! It's not for couples, it's for Mother Earth! Let's turn those hearts green and remember to show our love to the Earth, because without her, there wouldn't even be a place for our loved ones to live. x

Never shopping again

This isn't me going completely off grid and refusing to support capitalism, BUT I've happily realized that I'm never going to go clothes shopping ever again. Once it clicked, I realized that there is absolutely no reason to buy brand new clothing. Unless it's from a charity/thrift shop, a clothing swap, a market, or a unique company with a positive impact, I ain't buying it.
There is so much clothing out there, it's ridiculous. I don't even know where all those old pairs of underwear go. (Can anyone tell me?)

Basically, you just have what you need, and that's all. When you feel like changing it up a little, host a clothing swap party! Or find something unique at a charity shop. Or support a vendor at a market. Or make sure your money goes to a good place by buying from a company that has a positive purpose. (Like tentree that plants ten trees for every purchase. - let me know about some more cool companies, please!)

We all have so much clothing that we don't even wear, but keep holding on to. Time to do a clean up of our closets, donate all those unloved outfits, and find fun alternatives!

Wish I did this sooner! It feels like such an utter relief to never shop at a mall again. 

Being artsy on the road

Leaving the UK, I got a one-way flight to Mexico. Not sure how long I'll be here, or what sort of adventures I'll go on, but I made sure to pack my suitcase full of books and paints. Really going to make an art focus out of this, most of it will be documented on the University of Creativaty site.

I've also been offered a job at a local taco stand, to be paid in Spanish lessons. Just might go for that too.

Blackboards

I just realized that black pants are actually just wearable chalkboards!