Alison Garwood Jones

Multicultural Day on The Esplanade

June 25, 2019

Multicultural Day on The Esplanade by Jamii Esplanade


If you are near Crombie Park this Thursday, June 27, please come and say hi. I’ll be working as one of the artists at Jamii Esplanade’s Multicultural Day, along with Andrew Patterson and Alicia Herbert. There will be live performances by dancers, musicians and poets from around the world.

Stroll by Jarvis and Esplanade between 11am and 1pm, and 4pm and 7pm and get your portrait done while a musician, poet or dancer serenades you.

By having the three of us create portraits of you, the festival hopes to explore our own and other people’s perceptions and interpretations of “self”, all the while embarking on a journey through childhood memories and culture revival.

Poster artwork: @visiblenoise

Featuring artists  Alison Garwood-Jones, Alicia Herbert, Andrew Patterson, @indritk @imanabdulrazzak@djennielaguerre, @jimadams51, Valérie Descheneaux

In partnership with @corpusdanceprojects and @theatrefrancais

With the support of Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage.

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June 11, 2019

My Art Desk is My True North Strong and Free - illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

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May 15, 2019




I’m fundraising because it’s time to do more than just shake my head at the news.

Women’s reproductive freedoms are eroding around the world, wiping out decadesof hard-won human rights gains.

I designed this T-shirt* to say that the female body should never be subject to government control.

#NotHere Tee by Alison Garwood-Jones

#NotHere Tee by Alison Garwood-Jones

#NotHere stands for Canada, the United States, Poland, and beyond.

For every T-shirt sold, I will donate $10 (all profits) to Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights(@ActionCanadashr), a progressive, pro-choice charitable organization committed to advancing and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally.

To make your contribution, go to:

Please take note of the hashtags and spread the world.

And I’ll see you on July 20th for the cross-Canada Pro-Choice rally organized by Women’s March Canada (Women’s March Canada).

*Tees are from JERICO, the Canadian-made, socially-conscious apparel company.

Remember, women are the majority that’s treated like a minority.

“Your silence will not save you. Speak up!”  to quote Ava DuVernay (@Ava)

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Humanity with a brush pen

May 14, 2019

Brush Pen Sketches by Alison Garwood-Jones

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May 13, 2019

Shock, illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

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Sunday sketch

May 12, 2019

Women of the world

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Sakura in High Park

May 11, 2019

This weekend Toronto is heading to High Park to take in the cherry blossom trees (“Sakura” in Japanese) at their peak.

I painted this delicate pattern last spring while I was sitting on a streetcar in downtown traffic.

The design is available in my Shopify store, Just search the term “cherry” and you’ll see how it looks on pillows, phone cases, laptop skins, and, new this Spring, a scarf!

Music credit: “Ishikari Love” by Kevin MacLeod, YouTube Audio Library

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Jane’s Walk Toronto

April 27, 2019

Another Story Bookshop teams up with Pen Jar Productions

A full circle moment for me: several springs ago, I bought a copy of Jane Jacobs’ groundbreaking book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, at my favourite shop around the corner, Another Story Bookshop.

This week, to drum up interest in next weekend’s Jane’s Walk Toronto, Laura and Eric, the owners, have kindly put up a display of my Pen Jar Productions line of Jane Jacobs merch (a tote, a tee and an enamel pin). At the front of the store no less!

I’m proud to be teaming up with a neighbourhood retailer that makes social justice, equity (gender, race and class) and diversity the guiding force of their existence.

Jane’s Walk Toronto is happening May 3-5. For a list of walks you can join, go to and check out their Instgram feed at @JanesWalkTo.

Let’s celebrate our city and our stories next weekend and all year round!

Another Story Bookshop painters with

The staff at Another Story Bookshop were thinking that my tote bag would be a nice way to transport this copy of Walking in the City with Jane Jacobs by Susan Hughes.


A week after I teamed with with Another Story, I put on my party shoes and headed to the opening bash for Jane’s Walk Toronto. The Urban Space Gallery hosted the event. My illustration studio, Pen Jar Productions, was a sponsor.

Jane's Walk Toronto 2019 Sponsors

It felt good donating my Jane Jacobs enamel pins to all 130 Walk Leaders, each of them committed storytellers and determined community activists who are working towards a more diverse and equitable world. Here’s how they responded:


The next morning, Juan, one of the festival organizers, went on the CBC’s Metro Morning to share details about this year’s Jane’s Walk with host, Matt Galloway.

I missed it. I was at my desk journaling in silence during their interview. By the time I emerged and let myself check my phone notifications, I saw from a friend’s text that my little pin had caught Galloway’s eye.


The best thing we can do with our ideas and talents is to catch someone else’s eye and make them think or take a more positive action.

Ever since it hit us that technology has gained control of our weaknesses, we’ve been asking ourselves, how do we fix this?

The hundreds of Jane’s Walks that took place this past weekend in Toronto (and 250 cities around the world) are a grassroots, citizen-led effort to improve the physical and emotional habitat we live in, be it cities or online communities. It puts our shared humanity ahead of individual interests.

Let’s keep looking for more ways to stop the spread of human downgrading. (Tristan Harris’s term).

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Splishy colours and Squiggles

April 22, 2019

I’m feeling abstract today.

Abstract painting by Alison Garwood-Jones

Cooking Fiddleheads Illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

Cooking Fiddleheads Illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

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April 22, 2019

A Girl Can Dream, Illustration by Alison Garwood-Jones

In 1967, she was thinking: air hostess (for the glamour), nurse and office girl with oodles of charm and personality. In 2019, she is thinking of algorithms, black holes, oncology, Odyssey translations, and true crime. She is still being instructed to improve her hair, her voice, her figure, her walk, but the joy of applying herself is stronger than the drumbeat of criticism. Keep going, sister.

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