Alison Garwood Jones

Who knew?

November 18, 2019

Wes Anderson is inspiring

I met my friend Sam for lunch last week. We caught up on work and life.

Then he told me that walking into his living room and seeing the Watches Pillow I made for him was like receiving a little jolt of Wes Anderson. I’ll take that!

The things you learn about your designs from the people living with them!

Sam, this drawing is for you!

Peace out.

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30 Gift Ideas For The Month of November

November 6, 2019

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Every day for the month of November, my store Pen Jar Productions will be posting a different Holiday Gift Idea.

I like coming up with designs that make people smile or sit up. It makes me feel like I’ve just looked you in the eye and found a way to turn down the volume on your stress.

Let’s conspire: I’ll help you start planning your Gift Giving Strategy for family, friends and co-workers this holiday season.

Here’s how it works: I feed you the unique gift ideas > you take all the credit!

Over the past year and a half, I built a small online store and filled the shelves with one-of-a-kind Throw Pillows, Tote Bags (many with a Toronto theme), Custom Chiffon Scarves, Tees, phone and laptop art, and my first enamel pin of Jane Jacobs.

I only focus on Badass Women who have moved mountains.

Here are a few pages from my 2019 Holiday Gift Guide. If you see something you like, click the image and it will take you to my store at PenJarProductions.

Pinecones and Berries Laptop Skin from PenJarProductions.com

Spring Branches Pillow by PenjarProductions

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Coming soon

October 25, 2019

2019 GIft Guide Announcement for PenJarProductions.com

Preparations are already underway! Plus, I’ve hired Buddy and Hermey to help me out in the Pen Jar Productions workshop (my Shopify Store).They’re good at making unique gifts!

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I made a zine

October 21, 2019

Monetize That comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

Monetize That comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

Monetize That comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

Monetize That comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

Monetize That comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

Monetize That comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

Monetize That comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

Monetize That Zine By Alison Garwood-Jones

Thank you, Art Gallery of Hamilton for mounting the thought-provoking show, “This Is Serious: Canadian Indie Comics.”

And a big thank you to Meredith Park for spending time with us over the last six weeks and showing a group of eager students the ins and outs of journaling through comics (we each made an 8-page zine!).

Co-curator Alana Traficante best captured why I think I’m “drawn” to comics at this stage of m
y life: “The format of comics is one that uniquely compels readers through literary and visual experiences, and when used to recount personal, nuanced narratives, can awaken an essential, critical understanding of ourselves and one another.” My comic is another episode in a strip I started last year called, “Monetize That: Living in a Success Culture When a Soul Culture is More Your Style.

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The future

September 28, 2019

Kid portraits by Alison Garwood-JonesPhoto and Illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

Josh is in the fifth grade. He likes history and basketball.

Kid portraits by Alison Garwood-JonesPhoto and Illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

Adelaide likes hearts and story time.

 

Today, I joined forces again as a portrait artist with my wonderful partners at @JamiiEsplanade.

It was their 10th year organizing @culturedays and the program, “I am me. I am mighty,” a celebration of iconic female characters in books and stories that inspire us to be who we are.

We gathered at the St. Lawrence branch of the Toronto Public Library (@TorontoLibrary). By day’s end, I felt complete.

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Visual Journaling

September 17, 2019

My Week in a Nutshell - Comic by Alison Garwood-Jones

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Art Helps

September 17, 2019

In ten seconds, the ticker tape of a woman’s mind can go from, “I need a snack,” “When do I pick up the kids?” to “What’s the root cause of misogyny?”

Most gals who pay attention to the way the world works are only two or three thoughts away from dystopian spirals.

Afternoon cheese and cracker plates and whistling kettles help.

Making art is ESSENTIAL.

Name what you see, then discuss.

Art Helps: A Comic By Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
Art Helps: a comic by Alison Garwood-Jones
#UseYourVoice
#MakeArt
#TorontoIllustrators
@TimesUpNow
@NYTGender

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Meeting my customers

August 9, 2019

The best part of owning and operating  Pen Jar Productions, my online store, is creating the product and meeting my customers. Here is my interview with Fernanda van der Laan, proud owner of my Jane Jacobs enamel pin.

This summer my Jane Jacobs pin (circled in blue) entered a special collection of over 300 pins, curated by Fernanda van der Laan. It features a selection of giants in civil rights, music, art, and architecture. Fernanda lives in Washington D.C. and is on staff at Sidwell Friends, the school where her daughter Sophia graduated this past June. Here is my conversation with Fernanda about her collection, and how and why she is using her voice and her pins.

Q: How many pins are in your collection?

A: About 300.

Fernanda van der Laan's Enamel Pin Collection

Q: Why did you start collecting, and who was your first pin?

A: I started collecting just before the Women’s March in January 2017. I was looking for something besides your basic t-shirt, something to make astatement in a subtle way that I could wear multiple times. I bought aHillary Clinton pin, and then the collection grew from there.

Q: How do you organize your pins?

A: I organize them bygroup: movies, fine arts, politics, music, architecture, etc. Whenever I go to book launches, protests or concerts, I select a few to wear.

Q: Which figure(s) do you admire the most in your pin collection, and why?

A: For music, it would be Aretha Franklin. From my art collection, it’smy Girl With A Pearl Earring by Vermeer.For politics, it’s Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela.

Fernanda van der Laan's Enamel Pin Collection

Q: Have you ever met one of your heroes/sheroes?

A: Yes, I have Michelle Obama, Diane Keaton, Malala, and Joe Biden…

Fernanda van der Laan's Enamel Pin Collection

Q: How did you first hear about Jane Jacobs?

Fernanda van der Laan's Enamel Pin Collection

My Jane Jacobs pin is circled in blue. She fits right in!

A: Learning more about architecture.

Q: Have you participated in a Jane’s Walk in your area? (they’re really fun!)

A: No, but would LOVE TO. And I could wear your pin!

Q: How did you find my Jane pin? You know, what key words brought it up? (ahem, this question is for my Digital Strategy students who learned about long-tail keywords and some SEO basics two weeks ago)

A: I put in a search for “architects/architecture pins” and you came up!

Q: Do your friends (female and male) share your commitment to social justice? Who is more vocal?

A: I am lucky enough to live in Washington D.C., so we are constantly surrounded by friends and colleagues who are involved in politics. But I have to say that not all my friends share my passion. The person who is with me in every social/political eventismy 18-year-old daughter, Sophia.

Q: What are your biggest causes right now? And why?

A: I am VERY worried about the right-wing extremists in power here in the US, Brazil, and in some parts of Europe. Everything I care about (gun control, racism, immigration, the environment, etc.) is being affected by crazy policies and people who don’t believe in science, in social justice, in income distribution, etc.

Fernanda van der Laan's Enamel Pin Collection

Fernanda van der Laan's Enamel Pin Collection

Q: Beyond collecting pins and posting to Instagram and Twitter, how are you trying to move the needle?

A: I sometimes blog to advocate for causes I believe in. I volunteer, donate money, and try to educate myself. And I go to the streets (March for our Lives, Women’s March, etc.). When I travel, I go to “difficult” places, such as concentration camps and plantations. Lots of people don’t understand why I choose to spend time doing these
things.

Q: Where did you grow up?

I was born in Brazil and lived there until I was 20. I am Dutch by marriage and spent 10 years living in Belgium. I havebeen in the US since 2001.

Q: Does the political feel personal to you?

A: Yes. I don’t think we can afford it otherwise. I have no problem with different opinions. But nowadays I just can’t bring myself to tolerate the intolerable.

Q: What is the best thing your mom and dad taught you?

A: Empathy and compassion.

Q: Will women save the world?! (I couldn’t resist!)

A: I have high hopes for my son and daughter and their whole generation! I’m making sure to raisedecent human beings who will hopefully not only do well but do good!

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August 9, 2019

Toby the Dog - illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

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Hi Tomato

July 31, 2019

Tomatoes by Alison Garwood-Jones

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