Alison Garwood Jones

Willful web series

January 3, 2017

Alison Garwood-Jones interviews Andrew Dobson of dobbernationloves.com

This is me talking with my pal, Andrew Dobson, creator of the food and travel media empire, DobberNationLoves.

Andrew is one of dozens of creative entrepreneurs and artists I’ll be interviewing in Willful, a new web series I co-created with my friend, Yann Yap, a producer, photographer and videographer currently working at TFO.

yann-yap-and-alison-garwood-jonesA selfie of the creators, Yann Yap and Alison Garwood-Jones

Willful tracks how creative entrepreneurs work, thrive and survive, and today is the series launch!

I’ll be interviewing one artist a week, then posting five three-minute snack films from that interview on YouTube every day.

As freelancers,  Yann and I are always looking for good stuff to jump start our day, whether it’s an inspiring story, advice on process, how to pivot or transfer your skills as jobs change, and tips on the economics of being (and staying) creative. I know tons of people who geek out on that stuff. So, this is for you!

In each episode, you’ll meet women and men who are:

• Gutsy and joyfully oblivious to “You can’t do that” and “Who do you think you are?” (it’s a Canadian thing)

Opera5 Creators

Rachel Krehm and Aria Umezawa (above), the co-founders of Opera5 are a good example of that.

• Determined to make things, then put them out into the world.

Filmmaker Maureen Judge

Genie award-winning documentary filmmaker, Maureen Judge (above), is someone I admire because she has chosen a career that matches her determination to stay curious and interested in life. Her latest doc is called, My Millennial Life. Maureen is our first guest this week.

• Innovators and disruptors whose focus and positivity has elevated them above the snark of flabby, anonymous commenters.

Alison Garwood-Jones interviews Ricardo McRae

Painter turned “vision activator,” Ricardo McRae (above), has many insightful things to say about dancing with fear. And I’m not talking the kind of fear spread by crooked politicians, but private fears that stop us from speaking out or crafting original solutions to problems. In addition to his work with brands, Ricardo is the founder of Black in Canada, an organization that seeks to shift the popular narrative of Black achievement in this country, and around the world.

There’s a current of willfulness running through every creative person I’ve ever met — a certain scrappiness and determination. “Willful” is something you have to be if you want to make a real difference in the world. Hence, the name for the series.

Ladies and gents, the trailer to Willful:


 

If you like what we’re doing, please share using the appropriate buttons down below.

To be a part of “Willful”

If you are creative and have a “Willful” story worth sharing on camera, contact us at willfulproject@gmail.com, or on Twitter @WillfulProject.

Our thanks to The Merchant Tavern for generously offering us a stage.

 

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Mrs. H.T. Miller

December 17, 2016

Mrs. H.T. Miller from Truman Capote short story from 1945, "Miriam."

Mrs. H.T. Miller, widow: iron-gray clipped hair (lightly waved). No makeup. Smokes occasionally. Eats peppermints. Keeps them in the right pocket of her full-length beaver coat. #CapoteCharacters, 1945.

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Marilyn

December 8, 2016

Water-soluble graphite drawing of Marilyn Monroe

“Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.” — Marilyn Monroe to reporter Patricia Newcomb, 1962.

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Poets

December 4, 2016

Eileen Myles quote

So says Eileen Myles on Design Matters podcast with  Debbie Millman#Auden #Cohen #Whitman #Kunitz #Neruda #Collins
#Dickinson #poetry

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Thursday sketchbook

November 24, 2016

Waiter carrying plates. #PentelBrushPen #Watercolour

After the banquet.

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November 22, 2016

I'm torn between being happy and being informed.

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Monday sketchbook

November 21, 2016

Watercolour and Pentel Brush Pen drawing

In her next role, Jessica played a 1930s stenographer.

Micron pen and watercolour drawing

Bruce wondered if he would find another job.

In her next

Pedro’s days in the band took him all over Mexico.

image

Barbara swims every day. She doesn’t talk to the other swimmers.

image

Stephen wrote Carrie in a trailer on a portable typewriter.

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Flesh tones

November 20, 2016

Mix the primary colours for all the flesh tones

The only thing I remember about colour mixing from grade school is: red + blue = purple.

I’m guessing you also discovered that the result was an ugly, muddy maroon, not the Tyrian purple worn by Roman emperors. For that, according to Aristotle, I’d have to source some crushed shellfish. I only had a Prang 12-colour paint set. But it came with a pre-mixed violet, so I used that.

Coming in a close second was: blue + yellow = green.

From that I got a pukey bog green, not the mesmerising emerald green I insisted on seeing. Nor was it the radioactive sap green I thrill to every time I order the seaweed salad at my favourite sushi joint. These experiments were deflating.

I spent the rest of grade school and high school avoiding colour mixing and using hues straight from the pan or tube — everything from bright magentas and peacock blues to flesh tones and black. I also mixed in a lot of white which, of course, obliterates the special veiled magic of watercolour painting.

I’d say my early work showed promise, but with no concept of colour mixing or glazing, and an over-dependence on white, my paintings were flat and lifeless.

Now that my love affair with art is back on, my curiosity with colour mixing is insatiable. My art table is plastered with colour swatches. Running out of mixing wells, I’ve turned to dinner plates to accommodate all of my experiments. As the holidays approach, I’ll be finding a new spot for my tree because my art table isn’t going anywhere.

art-desk-final

What I’m learning is that some colours really do have to be purchased because they are made from rare and expensive pigments sourced from nature. But things like black and flesh tones are better and more alive when you create them from scratch using the three primaries: red, yellow and blue. You just have to play with proportions. Use lots of ultramarine blue and you’ll get black. Use more red and yellow and you’ll get peach. To make it paler, don’t add white, add water.

The rows of tube paints that my parents furnished me with in the 1980s and nineties are long gone. Today, I’m learning what it means to work with the absolute basics.  Finding out that there are infinite possibilities when you pare right down is heartening.

The lesson extends beyond painting.

Mixing the primary colours to create black and flesh tones

 

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November 15, 2016

when they go low, we go high

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Ancient find

November 2, 2016

Two markers from the 1970s and '80s: A Pantone and a Buffalo Marker

Remains from the ancient city of Hamilton: Pantone broad-nib marker carbon tested to 1981, and Buffalo Artist Marker, circa 1976 (note the teeth marks on cap, thought to be placed there by a small child).

These exceptional finds post-date the Minoans, Mycenaeans, Greeks and Romans. And while they may be grouped with other common finds — like metal work, lamps and pottery — they add immeasurably to the material remains of past cultures.

Badly preserved drawings of the period, thought to be executed with these tools, include highly crude representations of people, decorative flowers and sober two-dimensional structures with puffing chimneys.

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