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the projects

Interview with a Melody Maker

Recently, I interviewed my friend and local Toronto musician, Eric McDonald, for the Little Red Umbrella. He’s a music lover and has been creating his own brand of music for some time. His stuff is different; like most noise and sound art music, but it’s melodic and not what you might think instrumental music to be. It’s good and worth a listen. 

If you click on the link, you can read the article. Also, you should visit his website and buy some of his e7”. Support your local melody makers!

— 3 years ago with 1 note
#little red umbrella  #music  #interview  #musician  #toronto 

For a few months I’ve been shooting events at the Gladstone Hotel, such as the Come Up To My Room (CUTMR) event pictured above. The hotel is a beautiful space and their creative team do a fantastic job promoting art in the city. 

While CUTMR is held every January, I thought I would share some of the pictures I took that night. 

Happy Monday!

— 3 years ago
#event photography  #photography  #toronto  #design 
CMW 2011 and How I Survived It

I can check mark another successful Canadian Music Week (CMW) off my list. The last three days have been filled with great music, along with non-stop work of trying to organize, write, edit posts and pictures to be uploaded on time. 

As part of the Little Red Umbrella team, my colleagues and I ventured out every day and night, covering what we thought were the best must-see shows in the city. You can read all of our reviews and see our pictures online - including the incredible pictures of Janelle Monae at the Indies. I won’t post all of the pictures I took but only the ones most memorable. 

The Pack a.d. @ Bovine Sex Club

METZ @ Wrongbar

Austra @ Wrongbar

MEN @ Sneaky Dee’s

Aiden Knight @ The Toronto Institute for the Enjoyment of Music

Brett Caswell and the Marquee Rose @ Sneaky Dee’s

The Balconies @ Toronto Underground Cinema

— 3 years ago with 7 notes
#cmw  #2011  #toronto  #canadian music week 
At Work: Danielle Cole

Meet Danielle Cole. She’s an artist who invited me into her studio to shoot informal portraits her while in the creative mode.    

— 3 years ago with 1 note
#portraits  #photography  #artist  #toronto 
The Hair Dare

A few weeks ago I participated in a great cause called The Hair Dare. Eight women donated their long and untreated hair to a charity, A Child’s Voice Foundation, and the fine folks at Evoke Salon donated their time and talent to cut their locks. These women not helped a few more children for the cause but they looked amazing in their new do. 

— 3 years ago
#evoke salon  #the hair dare  #toronto  #photography 

"dancedanceTO"

The video above is a testament to the people who love Toronto. Think of it as a love letter in dance form. It was created by my friend Connie and two of her friends, if this video doesn’t warm your heart then you must be made of stone. 

Pass on the love!

— 3 years ago with 1 note
#toronto  #dancedanceTO  #video 
The Big Day - The JUMP Show is finally here!

After six weeks of researching and planning, the show is here. I have my photos printed and ready, and I’m going to be heading to Delaware Falls (the venue) to prep the space.

To be honest, I’m not too happy with the final product. The prints look great and I like my theme but I’m not happy with what I was able accomplish. I think I shot about eight rolls of film and I only have seven good pictures to show for my efforts. I would have done more but I had a deadline, which is the most important thing. I’m worried that my friends will see it and think how ugly some of these are. I know that I did for me but still, I’m concerned that it might be good enough, that I should have tried harder. Well, for now, I have to show what I’ve got. 

Despite feeling this way today along with anxiety for co-curating an art show, I have every intention of continuing this idea. I love it and and I want to explore it further. This show was perfect for me to kick start it. 

So with my bags packed and prepped, I think I’m ready. I wish I had enough time to write my own artist statement. I know it’s an informal show, I would have liked to have some sort writing piece to explain my work and in the most non-pretentious way possible that will make people gag. 

But apparently there’s tools is available that help you with the task. My friend Danielle forwarded me this link so when it’s time to write my own, I can. I found a few that seem suitable but what do you think? 

Any good? Yeah, I have no idea what they’re talking about either. :) 

— 3 years ago with 2 notes
#the jump show  #artist statement  #art  #toronto 
Leaping without a hitch

The JUMP Show was a great success!

It’s safe to say that everyone loved it. The positive responses were not only that of the artwork but also how the show was organized. They loved the idea of showing art outside a conventional venue, such as a gallery. As much as it is an honour to show in a gallery, I believe that you can still convey the same idea in an informal way, such as a house, which is where this show was set. Plus, which gallery would outfit a room in Astroturf, lawn chairs and garden gnomes? No many, I’m sure.

I had my apprehensions and concerns about my finished pieces but in the end, it all worked out. Looking back, I realized that I was being a harsh critic on myself, blaming things beyond my control like the weather, or wanting to do better. I must remember these feelings are common to most, if not, all artists, where we often doubt we make and if it will ever be understood or liked.

Once I became involved in the set-up, I decided that I had to let the work speak for itself. Tacking my work to the walls was a permanent way of letting go my fears. I told myself: if people got it, great, and if they didn’t, well, I was there to answer questions. But people did get it. I loved how the subject was relatable to some people and I loved hearing their comments and praise. Others congratulated me on my efforts. It was definitely boost to my artistic morale. 

This show brought a lot of lessons. I now have a list of to-do’s that I would need to tackle for the next show I will participate in. Oh yes, I’m definitely doing another one of these in the future. I can definitely see myself getting used to doing this. 

Thanks to all of my friends who came to see the show, and congrats to my lovely lady partners in crime whose artwork is truly inspiring, Julia Burton and Danielle Cole. 

Before things got busy, I was to snap a few pics of the show:

Pre set-up.

Julia’s to-do list. Mine was non-existent.

Julia’s and Danielle’s artwork.

My photography pieces. All film and all cool.

So says art isn’t affordable?

Recreating summer indoors.

The lovely Julia B.

Danielle explaining her work. 

The official JUMP Show portrait photographer, Christen.

— 3 years ago
#the jump show  #art  #photography  #illustrations  #toronto 
R.I.P. SoundProof

Magazines, print or online, come and go. Most of us don’t notice them because there are so many of them, focusing on so many genres, culture and lifestyle. But I will notice one of them gone because it will end today. Today, SoundProof dies. 

I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from the editors that their online music magazine was going to call it quits. I had left it a few months ago to pursue other interests. I was surprised and saddened by the news. I knew that this magazine had been important to so many people. It had been important to me.

Before SoundProof, I had never done live music photography. I was a music lover but I wasn’t properly educated. SoundProof changed that. During my three year tenure, I shot dozens and dozens of shows, festivals and events. It taught me a lot about lighting, composition, taking risks, using the right gear, carrying too much gear, being prepared, being open to new situations, being punctual, knowing when to leave, respecting the performers on stage, other photographers and the audience.

I also tackled writing, a craft that I loved doing but hardly did anymore. I jumped at contributing my thoughts to live music reviews and feature articles, as much as I could. 

I also met wonderful and talented people. Most of them are my friends today, a fact that I’m so blessed to have in my life. 

My friend Adam, at the Little Red Umbrella, wrote a touching and articulate "I Love You" piece to SoundProof, which I recommend you read. It may be another online music magazine for many but it was a passion that remained bright in my heart for a part of my life. 

R.I.P. Soundproof

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#soundproof magazine  #online  #music  #magazine  #toronto 
Midway & Donuts. Canadian National Exhibition.
August 2011

Midway & Donuts. Canadian National Exhibition.

August 2011

— 2 years ago with 4 notes
#The Ex  #CNE  #toronto  #exhibition  #fair