Friday, October 29, 2010

Little sketch: Bergere chair

Little sketch while on the phone with Janet.

This is the chair the sketch is based on.
(I love mixing an old piece like this in an industrial loft)
ps. Can ya tell my space is still a mess?
ps.s. Nat - Thank you for the correction. :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

A lot of drinking is happening at the moment

Rob Ford was just elected Mayor of Toronto.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Send me your pics!

I'm starting a set on Flickr which contains pics of my prints "in situ" so... if you've got a framed print of mine in your home and have a sec to snap a photo please send along. Is much appreciated! Email = alanna(dot)cavanagh(at)gmail(dot)com.
The shot above (with big orange scissor print in bkgd) is from the home of Interior Designer Jennifer Lawrence. I love how she set her table with lots of pops of hot pink. Photo taken by her talented hubby Jeremy MacFarland.

And the answer is... Polished Concrete floors

So have decided to go with polished concrete floors for now.
This pic from my new favourite magazine Living etc sealed the deal for me.
Thanks Kim!! (She leant me a whole stack of back issues - yum!)

Coming home

I love coming home at night and seeing the Drake Hotel sign.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Illustration: Wedding Cake

An illustration I did a while ago for Siegel + Gale for their presentation to American Express.

Stunning Wall designs

Wall art at the newly redesigned H + M in the Eaton's Centre, Toronto
Bold, very graphic flowers that really pop!

More great flowers and scrawly handwriting

Nama Rococo's black and white wallpaper called 68
Whaddya think? Possible influence?

Another amazing Nama Rococo walpaper

Nama Rococo's homepage
Quirky and Bloody marvelous!

Popped into the newly redesigned H + M this week and was really struck by their stunning new wall designs which included enormous popping flowers and scrawly handwriting all done in black and white for a very graphic look.
Couldn't help thinking the designers may possibly have been inspired by a fantastic, really out there wallpaper company called Nama Rococo. Check them out here - methinks you'll be gobsmacked!

ps. Would love to know which Design firm is responsible for this work. Please email if you know the answer!


Patachou with Kim.

A Vote for Light floors

A trip to comrags is always inspirational

The design of the store has been described as "Country farmhouse meets urban industrial"

Azure magazine characterizes the store as "basking in a warm, sentimental glow", reflecting "the romantic yet forthright character of its clothing". Loved that.

Love these floors!!

Ok so 3 of my friends: Andrew, Janet and the very helpful Jane Flanaghan have all piped in and informed that dark floors are difficult to keep clean so seeing as I can be a bit of a slob methinks it's back to considering the light floor!

Today popped down to the comrags store on Queen St. to visit my friend Carol and was immediately struck by their gorgeous wooden floor which ofcourse I had never given any attention to until I became a home owner! It has a real simple, authentic vibe to it which I love (as opposed to "Yee oldey fakey vibe" which I strongly dislike!).

Ps. For those readers more interested in illustration or prints - Apologies for the flooring obsession! Should be over in approx 10 days. :-)

The right thing

Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.

- Caterina Fake, Co-Founder of Flickr

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Inspiration: Elisabeth Dunker

This vintage book collection from Swedish Stylist/Photographer/Surface Designer Elisabeth Dunker is ridiculously beautiful.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back in a Nesty Mood: Much Ado about Flooring Part 1

Susanne Dimma's livingroom with dark flooring.
Together with the dark lamps I think it really grounds the space.
Love the sisal rug on top.

Suzanne Dimma's cozy entrance way.
The patterned table cloth and soft white walls look great against the dark floors.

Amanda Peet's daughters room
The mix of bright pink patterns plus that amazing rug again look quite great against the dark floors

Ok with my illo jobs completed for the week I'm finally able to turn my mind to the matter of flooring for my new pad. Am keen to cover up the cement floor which is makin' me feel a bit like i'm living in a garage! Not good.
My first decision: Do I go for dark or light?
I have long been drawn to lightish/honey coloured worn pine floors but these gorgeous pics of Suzanne Dimma's and Amanda Peet's houses are a definite vote to go dark!

Whaddaya think Dear Readers? Dark or Light?
Thanks for you input and feel free to leave a comment with any other flooring suggestions.

Inspiration: Olimpia Zagnoli

Style to burn. Check out those glasses.

Love her economical illustrations and sophisticated sense of colour.


Great window painting in Milan.

Check out that red lipstick. I think it might be Mac Russian Red. (Madonna's fave colour)
Will have to ask her....

The young Milan based illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli is kinda ridiculously talented.
The influence of her mentors Paul Rand and Bruno Munari can be seen through out all of her wonderous illustration, lettering, and mural work.
I also find her personal style very inspiring.
Intense red lipstick combined with her plucky haircut and big tortoise shell glasses is such a great combo. Total inspiration.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sketch: Seamstress

This is a sketch I did last week for a book cover I'm working on with Penguin Ireland. In the novel the protagonist works as a seamstress in a high end Manhattan shop. I liked the little pins in her mouth! The creative team decided to go focus on another aspect of the novel after I sent this so I'm able to show this one. The Art director is the lovely Justinia Baird Murray of Head Design UK.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thrilled to bits: Special commission for Paul Buckley of Penguin

Paul Buckley in his office in the West Village, NYC

Paul's requested title
Note this is a different penguin from the one on my existing prints. This guy has more of a belly and is I will need to make a new screen for the print.

Penguin 75
Edited and Introduction by Paul Buckley

Thrilled to report that I have been commissioned to create a special Penguin Silk screen print for Paul Buckley, executive Art director of Penguin USA. I mentioned Paul back in August as he is also the editor of the great book Penguin 75 which I read this summer. Paul has requested I screen the title The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. When I deliver the print I will definitely inquire as to the appeal of this title. Added bonus: Delivering the print = excuse to go to New York. Yipee!

ps. Good interview with Paul Buckley here.

Sketches: Birds of a feather

Thursday, October 14, 2010

HOWL and the Canteen

James Franco as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg


Espresso after dinner in the Canteen

Saw HOWL tonight at the Lightbox.
Allen Ginsberg is inspiring and James Franco is a babe.
Lovely dinner afterwards at the Canteen downstairs which has quickly become one of my favourite places to eat in the city. It has a wonderful energy + great people watching opportunities - oh and the daily pasta was divine.
Highly recommended.

Very cozy dinner

Dinner at Alison Lawrence's house last night.
Balm for the soul.

ps. Alison just got awarded a big fat writer's grant. Very proud of her.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Favourite images from last couple weeks

The last couple weeks have been crazy with the move + working on several new projects = no time for proper blogging.
Herewith a collection of my fave images from the last little while.

My bedroom for now.
That jam cupboard is one of my favourite pieces of furniture.
Wonder how long that chandelier is gonna be on the floor. :-)

Sept 27

Janet and I enjoying a cowgirl bagel at one of my fave spots: The Rustic Cosmo cafe.
(Cow girl Bagel = bagel with egg, bacon, cheese tomato guacomole - yum!)
ps. Janet - hope you won't kill me for putting up this pic.

Chris behind the counter

Sept 29

Kim's shoes at the Drake cafe

October 1

Someone made me a nice omelette. :-)

October 8

Thanksgiving dinner with Shannon
(One of my favourite cooks - and friends!)

Shannon's stuffing = out of this world

October 10

Radiant Child at the Lightbox Fantastic
Love his work + Does anyone, and I mean anyone have more style than Jean Michel Basquiat?

Wonderful dinner

Starting another morning at the Drake

One of the servers shows me his fab tattoo which is a quote by Rimbaud which translates as " What soul is not without fault"
ps. I am starting every morning at the Drake because I have yet to find my Braun coffee grinder!! Oy vey.
Much to be done on the loft front.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wow. The Social Network.

Jesse Eisenberg as facebook founder Mark Zukerberg. Heartbreaking.

I went to see The Social Network last night and it did not disappoint.
Aaron Sorkin's script and Jesse Eisenberg's performance were both fantastic but what really stayed with me after I left the theatre was the dark score by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. The music added an ominous unmistakable layer to the film.
The first track Hand Covers Bruise is particularly eerie. Trent Reznor explained that the anxious techno buzz was meant to represent a computer while the quiet piano over top of it represented the human element of the story.
Listen to it here. It's so great -- and so creepy!

The movie has an intense melancholy running through it and ends with what feels like darkness closing in on an isolated soul. Intense!
Go see it. (That means you Eric. ;-))

ps. David Denby's excellent review here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Please note: While I'm in the middle of my reno email is the best way to contact me. alanna(dot)cavanagh(at)
Thank you!

Advice from Milton Glaser

Really like this 10 things I have learned piece by Milton Glaser.
Part of his AIGA Talk given in London on November 22, 2001.
Fave bit is No. 1: You can only work for people that you like.
Ideally this is the way it works.
via swiss miss. (ofcourse)