Alison Garwood Jones

How to stop a mean girl

Originally published in February 2016 in Blog

A reprise of one of my favourite posts: I wasn’t a mean girl in school. That automatically made me a target. I didn’t solve this by auditioning to join the girls on their power trips. Rather, I tried to exist in the world despite them. My refuge was drawing. Trays of rainbow markers thrilled and distracted me […]

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Wednesday’s sketchbook

Originally published in June 2015 in Blog

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Originally published in May 2015 in Blog

Photo from the Melissa Rivers Collection Joan Rivers was by turns vicious, smart, snarky and deeply caring. Back when when I watched more TV I occasionally landed on one of her fashion rants, but never stayed long. Most of the time, I don’t find that kind of aggression entertaining. But I felt her talent, so […]

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Why I didn’t work it

Originally published in February 2015 in Blog

I don’t normally take requests on my blog. But a good friend of mine who has been watching me play at this piano for the last six years, and who has more than once thrown encouragement in my tip cup, says he wants me to write about beauty. My beauty. “I keep talking about beauty […]

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Dude, you inspire me

Originally published in January 2015 in Blog

Just before Christmas I attended an ACI artist’s talk at Massey College. At the end of it, I turned to the woman sitting next to me and said, “Wasn’t that good?” She agreed and we shared our favourite ah ha moments in the life and career of Paul Kane. Kane was born 150 years before Neil […]

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Failures, I’ve had a few

Originally published in January 2015 in Blog

“Lost and Found at Uni” series, by Alison Garwood-Jones When I met Stewart,* he was standing outside the coffee shop I’d suggested with his hands pushed deep inside his pant pockets. “It’s closed, isn’t it?” I said, walking up to him. “Yup,” he said, and we gave each other an awkward hug. “Sorry about that,” […]

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Think like a newsroom

Originally published in July 2014 in Blog

When my story pitches for magazines or newspapers tank, it’s usually because: 1. My story idea is lame. 2. The story is good, but my pitch sucks. 3. My editorial connections are too thin. 4. It’s already been done (and, tut tut, I should have known that). 5. It’s a good pitch, but the wrong magazine […]

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More on loving your job

Originally published in June 2014 in Blog

He was all shiny and aquiline when he walked up to the lectern.* His face was pulled tighter than a drum. Jeff Koons, Julian Assange and Andy Warhol stood backstage and watched. Meanwhile, a team of caterers behind some swinging doors at the back were preparing to serve us His Menu of grilled salmon and […]

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Pilot Coffee Roasters

Originally published in May 2014 in Blog

Thanks for the ‪#‎Woot‬, Williamson Chong. In my humble opinion, architect Don Chong is the next Jane Jacobs. None of that made it in to my profile of Don’s work for Pilot Coffee Roasters, but the evidence is sprinkled throughout the transcript of my interview with him. Some of you may remember Don for his “Small Fridges Make Good Cities” […]

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Street smarts

Originally published in April 2014 in Blog

A version of this post appeared in the April issue of Applied Arts Magazine. “Electric City”: The author at the Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Spring 2014. Partnerships with big-name brands are the bread and butter of most multinational ad agencies. They are what built Tokyo’s “Electric City,” New York’s Times Square and Toronto’s rapidly expanding Dundas Square — all […]

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