Alison Garwood Jones

Originally published in July 2023 in Blog, Illustration, Pen Jar Productions, Toronto Illustrators

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“Toronto Made”? Yes please!

Originally published in September 2020 in Blog, Pen Jar Productions

Ok, artists and creative entrepreneurs, the ground is rumbling.  Could this be the start of the repatriation of manufacturing? If you want to source products and services (t-shirts, totes, pins) from Canadian, better yet Toronto-based, companies, and stop relying on cheap foreign labour, please take a few minutes to fill out this survey. I’d like to see […]

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Will the fashion industry listen?

Originally published in August 2020 in Blog, Pen Jar Productions, Surface Design, Toronto Gifts, Toronto Illustrators

As I search for a new fulfillment partner for my design biz,, all eyes are on the fashion and garment industry. How long will it keep promoting a race-based caste system that only benefits people who look like me? And will it finally decide to listen to scientists and consumers who keep documenting and […]

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The Ink Spot: learn perspective

Originally published in May 2020 in Blog, Illustration, Pen Jar Productions, The Ink Spot, Toronto Illustrators

THE INK SPOT 🖊 In today’s 60-second art lesson, I’ll show you my very un-mathematical trick for capturing perspective. No rulers were involved! 🎨 If you would like to practice the steps I teach, swipe left and use my Neighbourhood Trampoline drawing as a tracing tool. Or, go crazy and colour the houses! Featured here: the marker magic […]

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Coloring during Covid-19

Originally published in April 2020 in Blog, Illustration, Pen Jar Productions, Toronto Illustrators

More parents are buying trampolines during the Covid-19 Quarantine to keep them entertained.

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Thoughts on the Supply Chain

Originally published in April 2020 in Blog, Pen Jar Productions, Surface Design

This is the Squill Pillow I designed and began selling last year from my Toronto Studio, PenJarProductions. 🎨 It’s squill season in Ontario and the ravines in Toronto are carpets of purple. The arrival of Spring flowers and beer on patios 🍺 are two phenomena that make grown Cannadians squeal like children in line at an […]

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Coming soon

Originally published in October 2019 in Blog, Gift Ideas, Pen Jar Productions, Toronto Illustrators

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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Meeting my customers

Originally published in August 2019 in Blog, Custom Portraits, Enamel Pins, Jane Jacobs Enamel Pin, Pen Jar Productions, Profile,, Toronto Illustrators

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, […]

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A cure for homesickness

Originally published in July 2019 in Blog, Illustration, Pen Jar Productions, Toronto Illustrators

I got homesick at university. This is me on the left with my good friend, Kelly. Every time I went home, I would pinch something — a blanket, a framed photo, one of my dad’s sweatshirts, even a favourite soup spoon — and take it back to my dorm room. Technically-speaking, I was a thief […]

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Sakura in High Park

Originally published in May 2019 in Blog, Pen Jar Productions, Toronto Illustrators

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 […]

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