I met Liz Emirzian on the train. I had decided to go last minute to New York and we were both in a rush looking for the hidden train platform (Note: VIA Rail needs visible signage, seriously ). Later, we watched rural NY state fly by in the café car, and I learned she was an illustrator and a very talented one.
Liz’s art is wry, moody and gothic, in a similar sensibility as Edward Gorey. It feels at once removed, distant, yet, intimate, almost like looking at someone’s faded picturesque memory. Children wear wolf and swan headpieces against patterned wallpaper. In her world women wear ornamental shrouds and lone figures play violin in the mottled inked sea. Masked heads eat jewelled insects, butterflies and wormed apples in a faery tale display. Other pieces explore mental illness through architecture and natural structures; human limbs weave in and out of windows and heads are melded into landscapes.
Her work can be seen in books, magazines, and she regularly exhibits in New York and Toronto at galleries including The Ossington, The Greenpoint and The Living Gallery. Grab a copy of LYCAON: The Story of the First Werewolf, an illustrated children’s novel that’s currently sold at MOMA!
JT: Tell me about your work….it’s ethereal, dark but there’s also a childlike innocence to it.
EZ: I think I allow myself to be very free when it comes to creating my artwork, finding that pure enjoyment in exploring and creating has always been a part of my life. I don’t disregard ideas that seem too absurd or intense. I find the humor in absurdity and a beauty in strangeness. I tend to create ambiguous scenes and situations, and I like for the viewer to create their own story. I don’t mind making people feel uncomfortable, or question what they are seeing, it’s a part of the discovery.
JT: So, you’re in NYC, what’s the neighbourhood like?
EZ: The neighbourhood i’m in is great, Bushwick has a lot to offer artists. I love working in and going into Manhattan but Brooklyn feels more like the place you can live like a normal human being. Looking for places in this city is insane, but it is a part of the experience.
JT: What’s a day like for you?
EZ: I will often be working on several commissions at once, communicating with my clients, spending many hours drawing and painting or planning. I am currently busy promoting a book I recently illustrated called Lycaon: Story of the First Werewolf, written by Brendan Schweda. It’s currently on sale at the MoMA Book and Design Store, as well as two stores in Brooklyn and on Amazon.
JT: Train vs bus vs plane? Where do you meet the best characters?
EZ: Well, have to say train since we met on one! But really, I have met some seriously terrifying characters on buses in my life (Greyhound, I’m looking at you).
JT: Tell me about your casts and jewellery boxes.
EZ: My experimentation with life casts and sculpting was very freeing, and an exciting leap from the 2D to 3D world. I enjoy creating environments that people can get lost in, and again, to create their own stories.
The jewellery boxes were inspired by books, treasures, secrets, and past lives. I have always been a fan of various boxes and trinkets. I love collecting random objects, which is how the whole collection started to begin with.
JT: What was like illustrating for LYCAON: The Story of the First Werewolf? What was the creative process like?
EZ: The creative process began by reading the story, getting a good feel for the characters in my mind, what they would look like, and how they should be represented.
The creative process for this book went a little crazy. There are actually two sets of illustrations for the book, I started out with one style and ended up doing something completely different in the end. I ended up re-doing six of the illustrations (including the cover) in less than a month, and we put it all together into book form just in time. This is a great example of my mania, my constant experimentation, and my ability to create large bodies of work in a short period of time (thanks art school!).
(Below is one of the old illustrations not used in the book, of Artemis as the bear)
Thinking about an alternative to the traditional pie for Thanksgiving this year? Try making a galette. It is a free form, organic shaped pie and can be sweet or savory, you choose! Came across this whole wheat dough recipe at A Couple Cooks, cute! For a savory galette take a look at Smitten Kitchen’s Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion galette.
Through The Woods
A new Milk Made exclusive fashion story by photographer Meghan McGarry and stylist Kacie Carter.
For some, karaoke is an art form; an opportunity to channel their inner songstress or rock ‘n’ roll star. But for those not blessed with strong pipes and pitch perfect voices, karaoke can be a humiliating ride on the public shame train.
However, it’s inevitable that at some point in your life, you will unwittingly find yourself in a karaoke bar facing the fierce peer pressure from your friends to get on stage and sing.
Rather than awkwardly kill the party with your stage fright, HuffPost Music Canada has come up with a list of close-to-surefire songs that, if ideally performed at that point in the evening when the audience is good and drunk, will earn you high fives from strangers as opposed to a reputation as a stick-in-the-mud.
So find some ‘liquid courage’ and grab that mic! Here’s 10 karaoke songs perfect for bad/novice/shy singers:
Who doesn’t love a refreshing cocktail on a hot summer day? Traditionally, cocktails were made up of two or more hard liquors mixed with a variety of fruit juices, spritzers and bitters, mostly revolving around the key ingredient of whisky, gin or vodka. Here at Food Television we asked Brassaii’s mixologist , Jordan Stacey, for his list of summer concoctions for Canada day. Whether you’re sitting back at a nice bbq on the patio, a sit down dinner, or a peaceful cottage weekend, these new twists on the traditional cocktail will be a lovely addition! Take a note from the dapper ladies and gents on Mad Men, knock back a few, loosen that tie and collar, and relax with friends and family with these brews.
Ever wonder what it would be like to build your entire house by hand — with no experience? That’s precisely what artists Janna Burford and John Hiscock (pictured below) did in 2008. They moved to Prince Edward County (PEC) to build their studio, and bed and breakfast home, Owl Farm Studios.
I visited Owl Farm Studios, laid in a field and wore a straw hat all weekend. It was fantastic!
Masked parties, Savage parties, Victorian parties, Greek parties, Wild West parties, Russian parties, Circus parties, parties where one had to dress as somebody else, almost naked parties in St John’s wood, parties in flats and studios and houses and ships and hotels and night clubs, in windmills and swimming-baths, tea parties at school where one ate muffins and meringues and tinned crab, parties at Oxford where one drank brown sherry and smoked Turkish cigarettes, dull dances in London and comic dances in Scotland and disgusting dances in Paris – all that succession and repetition of massed humanity … Those vile bodies …
Check out my article on Budokon. I managed a round house kick and meditate at the same time. Impressed?