Posts Tagged ‘book


Children’s Book Illustrator, my newest hat.

Just when I said I wouldn’t take on any new work, a friend and colleague asked me to put together some drawings for a small kids’ book he’d written. The book is called “The Shop at the End of the High Street”, and is a whimsically surreal tale (complete with odd beasties and the stores that cater to them) about a family’s quest to visit the shop at the very end of Montreal’s Mont-Royal Avenue. The author felt that Montreal just does not have enough place-specific kids’ books that tell a tale and show off the city at the same time…and so I was recruited to the task with 40 hours’ notice.

Here are some of the results, which you can check out in larger size at Flickr



Since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated the blog, let me tell you of new things…

The book, “The Art of Swap” is finished, and I am in the middle of writing a number of cover-letters and writers’ statements to send off to a couple of publishers. Part of the process involves explaining where and how what I’ve written fits into the existing literary field, and this I’ve found to be a frustrating and interesting task. Interesting, because little exists in the way of similar work. Most street-art books treat the work as a series of pictures -just like any other visual art book- disconnected from their context and creator, and to my knowledge no one has written a combined street art book/urban planning theory text.

Street art and graffiti are the world’s first truly international art movements. They transcend race, class and gender, and embedded in their practice are a whole lot of interesting issues, ideas and conflicts related to notions of accessibility to and control over public space. Street art and graf, if you ask me, also play into concepts of urban design and renewal (the improvement of areas of public space and the mission of inserting a bit of joy and wonder into people’s lives have always influenced the pieces that I’ve done.)

As it stands now, I’m working on building a swing set to be hung up in a yet-undetermined location. (I’ve seen some similar and very neat pieces where others built swings that could be mounted on trees or even inside bus shelters.) One idea I’ve had bouncing around in the back of my head is to see how GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software could be used in the furtherance of installation-based street art projects. (After all, I am an urban planning student with access to a wealth of powerful planing tools…) Since GIS works on the basis of displaying interactive layers of data on maps, one could potentially display the location of all parks (or pieces of public art, etc) on the island of Montreal, run an algorithm or two to plot an area around each park equivalent to a 5 or 10-minute walking distance and display the urban areas which are in, for want of a better term, a ‘park desert’.

more to come, including pictures from the Elmaks/Meen/AZDEAD “Inglorious Beasties” art show!


The Ideal City, Etsy and prints to come…

I’ve been thinking about the ways in which streetart and urban planning/design can be merged, and so why not invite people to write their thoughts on their ideal Montreal? Why not play around a little with the public consultation or charrette process a little?

In other news, my Etsy shop is back up and running again, and now updated with brand spanking new stuff! If you’d like to get your hands on an Elmaks original piece, my dear readers, then now’s the time…

More to come on the Etsy shop and the prints that I’m working on…

UPDATE: Had a little time to take a look at how the “Ideal City” book is progressing. Thought I’d scan in a couple images of what’s been written so far. I’m pretty enthused at the fact that people have written in their opinions of how they see the city… of course, since the book is open to the public, crudely drawn penises do show up.



A new story-book…

A little something I put up on Mont-Royal St. around the Henri-Julien area in anticipation of Nuit Blanche. I’ll head back that way soon and see how it’s been used (and hopefully have an update to share)
How was Nuit Blanche for you folks? I simply could not let Nuit Blanche go by without adding some art of my own to the fray. I saw quite a bit of interesting and thought-provoking art (and I’ll try to share my thoughts on it all with my next update)…

wakka wakka wakka
inside the book


Thinking about a book…

Well folks…

It’s been a hectic week in urban planning land, and the pressure is only going to ratchet up as the end of term approaches. Right now I am swamped in notes about form-based codes, zoning regulations, bylaws, potential initiatives and subsidies. Did you know that the City of Montreal has a bylaw prohibiting street vending and has recently passed another which will effectively eliminate the beloved horse carriages of Old Montreal?

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into putting out a small street art and idea book in the new year. I’ve been thinking of how there is little overlap in terms of practical ideas on streetart, public space planning and design, and architecture, and the little bits that do exist are inevitably geared towards official, bureaucratic channels.

I’d like to put out a small, 40-page-maximum book with pictures of some of my streetart pieces, bits of writing about the Swap Box Project, and maybe pictures of other Swap Boxes that others have made around the world. I’d also like for it to include some ideas about what can be done with interactive street art and people/groups/organizations that one can network with to get more done…

I’ve also had a photojournalism student friend of mine follow me around on a streetart mission and take some pictures of a Swap Box in use…so when she gets back to me I’ll post some actual professional-quality pics.

(photos by Hadas Parush)