Tag Archives: inspiration

Five artists to discover: April 2013 edition

Tokyo summer festival

Here is what I’ve been listening to during the month of April: Once again, I’m noticing that my taste in music is all over the place, so I hope you discover something you like!

Annie: Music aficionados have been paying attention to the Swedish pop scene for years now, embracing the work of singers Robyn and Lykke Li. However, audacious pop music is also being produced in the country right next door, without garnering the same amount of praise or consideration.

Norway’s Annie is a pop star for the indie fans. She and her team of musician friends meld infectious beats together with different elements of sonority that create what the artist herself calls ‘pop with strange edges’.

Zion T: Kpop tends to be all about the big beats and bands with more members than most people have fingers. Here’s something different: Zion T.His sound is more akin to that of Justin Timberlake or Jamiroquai. An interesting change of pace in the sea of boy and girl bands!

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Five bands to discover: March 2013 edition

I’ve decided to write a post to share the music I’ve been listening to in these past few weeks. I’ll try to make it a monthly feature on this blog as of now.

Most people love music. I’d consider my feelings for music as a bit superior to love (yup, quite a big deal). One of my great regrets so far is that I haven’t learned an instrument yet. I intend to change that as soon as possible (right now I’ve got a few other things to work on, like learning Spanish, writing and getting to know my new camera).

This means that for the moment, I just enjoy listening to others playing it.

I’m not so trendy and am often a bit late on the new good bands to discover, but I’m curious and I like to dig around so I often end up finding some interesting stuff that isn’t popping up in the mainstream. The musical styles I listen to go all over the place and I’m sure everyone will find something they enjoy!

Here are a few bands that I’m liking right now (the quasi total female domination is purely coincidental):

Les Hay babies, a folk trio that hails from Eastern Canada. They sing pretty prose (in French and English) over sweet/sad banjo and guitar melodies.

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Cheap art: 9 tips on how to decorate without breaking the bank

Everyone wants to have pretty things on their walls but most people don’t have the money to buy expensive works of art. This lack of funds does not have to mean that you can’t own nice, original art to display in your house.

Here are 9 tips that I live by in order to decorate without breaking the bank.

1. Buy drawings instead of paintings

Drawings are much cheaper to produce then paintings, so the price tag goes accordingly. Some artists specialize in drawing, while others will sell sketches and preparation studies that were done for future artworks.

Where to find some on the Internet: numerous Etsy shops like Old Passion, Amelia Herbertson and Teva Gallery. The Untapped Cities Shop on Society 6.

Where to find some in person: Decorating stores, Art Galleries (In Montreal: Galleries at the Belgo Building)

Etsy drawing poster

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The mural

It’s been a while since I’ve told an actual story about my home (the initial point of this blog). So here is one about the mural in my living room:

Ever since I was little, walls have been like blank canvases for me. They are just waiting to be drawn on. For most, it would be seen as improper or impolite to color outside the lines in that sense.

It’s never been like that for me. Hand me a paintbrush and I’ll cover every surface I possibly can!

I remember being 8 or 9, when my little brother and I closed the door to our shared room and gave it quite the makeover. Once our parents opened the door minutes later, we’d drawn all over the walls.

Most parents would’ve grounded their children for acting this way. Mine weren’t and I will be forever thankful for that. Those drawings and various quotes professing my love for the Backstreet boys stayed put until we moved out years later.

As a teen, I kept going with the self expression through murals. The poetry got deeper, the drawings more detailed. It didn’t always look nice but I sure did love writing punk song lyrics on my wall. I felt especially cool when I wrote the curse words.

After my teenage angst phase passed, I decided to go zen (white walls) and covered it all up for a while.

When I moved to Montreal 5 years ago, I had a room in a shared apartment with 2 other girls that I didn’t know beforehand. It only took a couple of months before we got comfortable with each other and became good friends. Once I felt more at ease, I got busy with the paint again. This time, I was exploring different shades and textures, more than anything concrete.

Now, that we own a place, I’m pretty much free to do what I want on the walls (my boyfriend can veto).

Though I have a lot of freedom and could do more if I wished, so far the only place in our house where I’ve drawn directly on the wall is in the living room. The back wall of the room is very wide and our ceilings are high, so it was a perfect spot for a unique mural.

At first I wanted to do a zany design, covering the whole wall à la Keith Haring, but I finally decided on a less intense drawing.

The initial outline came from an old design that I created a few years ago. As a visuals arts student in college, I always had a blank book at hand. Anytime I felt inspired, I’d take my Staedler pens out to doodle a bit.

I was inspired to draw this ensemble of buildings after reading a book about Austrian artist/architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. In a way, he was to Austria what Antoni Gaudi was to Barcelona. He created colorful buildings that played along with the natural environment. Clearly, he wasn’t a fan of the straight line, which is both refreshing and rare for an architect.

I loved that, so I decided to create a fantasy city filled with such buildings. Wouldn’t life be a little bit more fun if more buildings really looked like this?

Hundertwasser designed this building that is located in Magdeburg, Germany. Source: Wikipedia

Since that is unlikely to happen any time soon, I decided to paint that colorful cityscape on my wall. It is my vision of a big city: twisted, funky, colorful, lively.

I love it. I think it makes for a fine mural that doesn’t make the room seem smaller, but that makes it all that much more colorful and fun.

To speed up the process in making it, I first drew the outlines with a pencil, then I went over them with a black paint pen.