Guest Post: Micheline Courtemanche, Betty & Bing Letterpress Print Shop

We've been busy here in the studio at nook, otherwise we would have noticed sooner that Micheline from Betty & Bing had posted some process work she did in designing the text for our "Illustration Office Meeting" poster! Micheline is a meticulous designer and we're always excited to collaborate with her. She did lovely work on the poster for this regular event (thanks again Mich!), so we'd like to share Micheline's blog entry, reposted here:

I am a tissue paper worker. What that means is that when I'm working on a project, I use tissue paper to work out my ideas. I'll do a doodle and then trace the parts I like on another piece of tissue over and over again until I have it how I want it. There is always a mound of tissue at the end of any project. It wasn't something anyone told me to do, it was just a really natural way for me to work. It also took me a really long time to admit that this was how I did my work. I tricked myself into thinking that great artists—of any kind—just sit down, bang out a perfect work of genius and then walk away like it was nothing. That was far from the truth with me. I would make mistakes and alterations like they were going out of style and then rework them again and again. I was embarrassed that what I put on paper the first time wasn't a keeper. What a load of garbage. Thank goodness I came to my senses. Great work almost always comes from the question, How can I make this better? What better way to answer that question than by slipping a piece of tissue over top and trying it.

To give you an example of my crazy tissue paper ways, here are my preliminary typography sketches for the monthly Illustration Office Meeting poster for nook. The first image is Julia Breckenreid's awesome illustration without anything on it and the last one is the finished poster.If you are an illustrator in Toronto it's totally worth checking out and if you can't make it this time keep checking their calendar. There's always another one just around the corner.

*Note - The holidays are crazy for everyone, so there'll be no Illustration Office Meeting until January. See you then!


NOOK & Kid Icarus: Handmade Holiday 

In just a week and a half, on the same day of our Holiday Sale here at nook, Kid Icarus will also be hosting a sale of their own, featuring some fantastic artists and artisans...

Time: Saturday December 3rd 2011 (one day only)
Time: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Location: St. Stephen-in-the-Fields, 103 Bellevue Ave (College and Bellevue)

“A Handmade Holiday” is a one day gift show where Torontonians have the opportunity to buy directly from local creators of high-quality handcrafted goods, such as paper products, poster art, soft toys, children’s clothes, knitwear, jewellery and more. Crafters flock from all parts of the city for a day of selling and swapping goods. Shoppers visiting the event are treated to mystery loot bags at the door, raffles throughout the day, and of course, a piece of artistry with every purchase they make.

General Admission $2.00
or $5.00 with a mystery bag (Limited Quantity)
Kids 12 and under free

Both nook and Kid Icarus are located in Kensington Market, so make sure to do the rounds on Saturday December 3rd!

Note: Admission to the nook Holiday Sale is free and artists are accepting cash only.


Mecanismos by Carl Wiens

It's still a week and a day away, but the opening of the Mecanismos show by illustrator and all around great guy Carl Wiens promises to be amazing. Comprised of an impressive 100 unique screenprints, the idea for the collection began as a series of experimental digital collages based on Carl's collection of old textbooks and catalogs. Channeling his inner Dr. Frankenstein, he remixed 16 heads, 16 bodies, 45 background elements and 7 colours to create the charming robotic characters, "animating the inanimate" to use his own words. Domo arigato Mr. Mecanismo! The show opens on November 26 at Oeno Gallery in Prince Edward County. More info here



Trio Magnus at Beatbox Canada 2011

I'm not sure how you spent the evening on Saturday, November 12, but along with my mates Steve Wilson and CTON, I spent it doing live drawing at the 2nd Annual Canadian Beatbox Championships. We were there representin' as our collective Trio Magnus and doing a 5 x 9 ft live drawing with red and black Snowman™ markers while the contestants onstage used only a microphone to churn out sounds and beats I didn't think humanly possible. Check out the final showdown here, and thanks to Gary for the opportunity!


Spike Jonze: Mourir Auprès de Toi

Spike Jonze: Mourir Auprès de Toi on


We love this! The Celebrated Filmmaker and Designer Olympia Le-Tan Co-create a Tale to Pierce the Heart... Check out the interview here!