I think the first time I saw supermodel Stacey McKenzie was on the TV show Canada’s Next Top Model. She was one of the judges and I just loved how unique her look was. I was impressed to see that models didn’t have to all look the same and it was very refreshing. I’m even more fascinated by her accomplishments and her story about how she became a model. She had a vision of who she wanted to be as a child and despite the difficulty to make it in the world of fashion she made it happen. She never gave up and trusted in herself. Reading her bio was very moving. Her spark happened when she saw a photo of Jean-Paul Gauthier and Madonna in a magazine when she was 6 years old in Jamaica. That’s when she decided she wanted to become a model. Fast forward a couple years later, the first designer who fell in love with her and booked her for a fashion show was Jean-Paul Gauthier in France. How amazing is that!
Melanie Fiona is another successful artist from Toronto with quite a few hits on the musical charts, including collaborations with several internationally renowned artist. She has an amazing voice perfectly suited for her traditional R&B style. She also used to be part of a girl group called X-Quisite.
I first found out about Bob Proctor through a friend who shared a clip of one of his seminars two years ago. He’s a successful author and coach from Toronto. There’s one thing he said in the clip that literally turned an light bulb in my mind and got me to start focusing more on improving myself. He said, everyone should read books that allow them to study themselves and learn more about things that interest them. I had stop reading books after being force fed tons to technical books in university in such a way that my interest for reading completely vanished after graduation. But when I heard him say read books that help you understand you, I thought “why didn’t I think about this before? It makes so much sense.” So I started listening to audio books and reading books about things that interest me and that help me understand me and others more. I’m slowly building my library and expanding my mind :)
k-os is another great Toronto artist who marches to the beat of his own drum. He has a very creative and unique style. The name k-os originally meant “Kevin’s Original Sound”, and later developed to “Knowledge of Self”, very fitting for this artist. I love his videos and the fact that he’s got something to say and things that make you think when you take the time to listen to the lyrics. I think the first songs I heard from him were Crabbuckit and Heaven Only Knows.
There are various triggers when it comes to choosing a model to sketch in the subway. For the two drawings above it was the models’ hairstyle. The one on the left had a really high bun and I like her way the hair was wrapped above her head. The one on the right presented a great opportunity to study how hair falls in a loose ponytail. She was standing and reading a book. I’ve also taken a liking to add snippets of conversation I hear in the subway. Coincidentally on both occasion they were talking about a girl.
Kardinal Official has been a major player in the Canadian Hip Hop industry for a while now and judging by the songs he puts out, he’s a very proud Torontonian. His videos are always fun to watch and he has a lot of great collaborations song with many internationally renown artists.
I think the first music video I saw from Fefe Dobson is “Take Me Away”. There was something about her style, energy and attitude that was very refreshing and unique. She’s got a great voice and style and has done quite good for herself thus far. I really like the creativity and storyline behind one of her latest videos called “Legacy”.
I had the opportunity to see Russell Peters’ show in Montreal a long time ago. It was in a small venue, small enough that you could pick your seat and we sat at a table right in front of the stage, a couple feet away from him. He even asked me and my sister what was our background and made a funny impersonation of the Haitian accents. I think it’s the only time I laughed so much at a show that my stomach muscles were hurting the next day. He’s definitely one of my favourite comedians. I hope I get to see him again in a small venue perhaps in Toronto at some point in the future.
I’m starting a new series this month to practice portraits with watercolour pencils. I thought it would be fun to sketch various well known Torontonians. First up : Mayor Rob Ford. The media loves to talk about him a lot. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to be mayor of such a big city. Mind you the city seems to be doing well despite all the complains I hear about what he might have done in the past. So far, all I’ve seen from the ones competing to take his job are bad jokes and repetitive insults but not much about what they are actually going to do for the city and day to day lives of citizens. It will be interesting to see how the elections pan out in the fall.
Today’s challenge was to draw a traffic sign. I sketched a no entry sign I saw when I was in Barcelona last year. I had to do a double take because it looked legit for a moment. I realized that someone had added a little stick figure on to of it cutting the white bar. Well done.