Archives: Academy of All Things Awesome

getting it done at centre 3

Erika McMeekin of The Academy of All Things Awesome, Jacqui Oakley illustrator of talented magnitude, and myself have combined forces to bring to you a piece of artwork that you will most definitely want to have up on your wall.

After scoping out and compiling a long list of Hamilton gems throughout the spring and summer, Erika and I met with Jacqui to see if she could make an illustrated map of all the gems. We love Jacqui’s style and her body of work, so were confident that whatever she would create would be amazing –and it is!


Once Jacqui had drawn and inked her work she embarked on the process of getting the piece ready for a large scale colour silk screen print. Jacqui had to rework her illustration into four separate colour layers in a complex mind bending process that would’ve broke my head in two (makes my head hurt just thinking about it). From there we made four silk screens that Erika and I would use to make a poster sized silk screened print of Jacqui’s illustrated map.

Enter Centre 3. Guys you have no idea how lucky we are as a city to have this place around. They have a digital lab, classes and workshops (from t-shirt printing to drypoint), gallery space, art education programs, and the print studio (which is what we used for silk screening).

We got a fifty dollar one year membership (which gives all sorts of perks & discounts) and booked some one-on-one studio time with Matt McInnes print maker, artist, and Centre 3 studio tech extraordinaire. Matt was awesome and showed us the ropes, making sure we were confident and well on our way on our silk screening mission.

hamilton-gems-print-studio-acetates hamilton-gems-print-studio-emulsion hamilton-gems-print-studio-washing-screen

With some dedicated studio time we will be working our bods, blood, sweat and tears into printing these bad boys up for you.


Early next week I’ll give you a look at the whole finished piece with details on where you can snag one for yourself or for a gift for someone else (after all, the holiday and Christmas season is upon us). Until then, if you wanna find us we’ll be a the Print Studio printing away.


*Centre 3, 173 James Street North, 905.524.5084, Twitter, Insta, Facebook



teaming up with AWESOME

One evening in late spring Erika McMeekin (aka The Academy of All Things Awesome) and I took an evening bike ride around the lower city. We were floating out a whim of an idea to uncover some real Hamilton gems. Now there’s is nothing that I love more than exploring this city but roaming it together with someone who’s brimming with optimistic enthusiasm was really pretty energizing. We found ourselves perched on various rooftops admiring different vantage points of the city. hamilton-gems-jackson-square-roofEventually we made our way through the grounds of Dundurn castle, and across McQuesten bridge peeking out from lookouts and gaps where the trees parted in search of a rumoured secret garden. hamilton-gems-mcqueston-bridge A few times we took wrong turns down different trails that lead to nowhere (all part of the adventure). It was an eerily breathtaking sight to finally find ourselves standing in an overgrown and lush green modern day ruin. I’ve got to give thanks to my Hamilton writing hero Paul Wilson who wrote about the Sunken Garden, which is what led us to check out the forgotten space ourselves. Hamilton Sunken Garden/Memorial Garden   hamilton-gems-memorial-gardenAs the evening was starting to stretch its way across the bay we biked through Hamilton’s oldest cemetery looking in awe at the old epitaphs, and admiring the ornate and beautiful mausoleums.hamilton-gems-cemetery hamilton-gems-princess-point From downtown rooftops, secret gardens, to Bayfront Park, roller skating and sunset views throughout the city; the minute we started peddling around town Erika and I were scheming plans for future adventures. Our first ride out was a super awesome way to kick off the start to summer. This one evening of exploring turned into a series of summer time bike rides. hamilton-gems-barton hamilton-gems-barton2 hamilton-gems-temple hamilton-gems-pink-house We wove our way from east to west, up the escarpment and down, on foot and by bike, with a road trip to Dundas and the mountain to confirm urban legends of secret lakes, the best peanut butter cookies, and an abandoned obstacle course. Not everything was as glamourous as we’d imagined in our minds but some places were breathtaking and made us fall in love with this city a million times over. hamilton-gems-sam-lawrence-parkThe best part about hanging with Erika on these adventures is that she actually puts these lofty city daydreams into action in the form of super cool events through The Academy of All Things Awesome (check them out!).  But most importantly all this Hamilton exploring actually culminated into an amazing collaborative project between myself, Erika, and fab friend and illustrator Jacqui Oakley. Stay tuned for more posts later this week and for a sneak peak of the project. Can’t wait to show you what we’ve been up to! You’re going to loooooove it. Trust me –you’ll want first dibs.

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