Lessons in Confidence

I decided to draw Iris Apfel after seeing the documentary “Iris” (on Netflix). Have you seen it? It was directed by Albert Maysles, who made Grey Gardens. Love this lady and her DGAF attitude, whether it’s regarding her sense of style, beauty standards, or other people’s expectations of her. That level of confidence is something many of us aspire to have, and it almost feels a little contagious as you watch her go about her day. I was often told that confidence comes with experience, but lately I’ve been thinking  that it’s something you have to fake or imitate until it becomes a true part of yourself. Maybe I’ll try that. Let’s pretend to be Iris for a day.

While I’m at it, here are some podcasts featuring a few other queens:

Tips for a gallery wall you’ll love

gallery wall littlekokomo.com

It took a little more effort than expected, but our gallery wall is finally complete. I love how it makes the living room feel so much more cozy and colourful, and an extension of ourselves (Josh and I) in a way. Here are 8 pointers I’m sharing from my own experience:
1) Select the right spot: Preferably somewhere well-lit, but not in direct sunlight as the colours in the artwork can fade and the reflection will bounce off the glass. It will have more of an impact if it’s the central focus of a room, so the wall that is most visible when entering the room is usually a good choice.
gallery wall littlekokomo.com2) Choose art or pieces that are meaningful to you: signed autograph, concert tickets, a child’s doodle, inside jokes… pieces that hold happy memories will conjure up good feelings when you look at them. I’m pretty fond of my Mick Jagger autograph from 1979, passed down from Josh’s mom. I also love objects that were collected during our travels, such as the alligator head from New Orleans.  Continue Reading ›

Not just a fashion girl thing: Stan Smith Adidas, illustrated

stan smith adidas illustration by littlekokomo.com

I’m on a huge Adidas kick lately, it’s all I’ve been wanting to draw and paint. Alright so maybe they were the must-have shoes of last summer, depending on how on-top of trends you are. But it looks as though the sneaker movement is here to stay for a while. And even though I’m late in the game, I’m getting on board.

Most fashion trends usually make life uncomfortable and difficult (hey, crop tops! no, I haven’t gotten around to doing those 8000 crunches yet…). But trainers actually make my everyday getting around easier. My closet is full of pairs of shoes that kill my feet, yet are too pretty to give away. I have Band-Aids floating around in all my purses, just in case my shoes actually cause me to draw blood. Needless to say, this was a long time coming.

Hey, if someone is gonna tell me it’s ok to wear sneakers with a long skirt or trousers, and that Kate Moss and Charlotte Gainsbourg are doing it, I’ll gladly follow suit. I win this round, blisters.

P.S.: See more of my illustrations here.

stan smith adidas illustration by littlekokomo.com

Stan Smiths in gold, also very tempting

Stan Smith Adidas illustration

The OG, drawn by yours truly

My favorite print shops on Etsy

little kokomo etsy favesI’ve been working on a gallery wall for the past few weeks, and it ended up being a little harder than it looks. I needed a few pieces to complete it, and turned to Etsy. While I love browsing through different artists’ shops on Etsy, it can sometimes be intimidating. There’s so much to choose from, where does one begin? Here’s a roundup of a few of my favorite shops. Are there any artists on Etsy you love? Please share!
1. Raymond Biesinger
Montreal-based artist Raymond Biesinger creates silkscreened art prints that sometimes have a historical or political context. One of my favorites, which I own, is this map of europe from 1919, which also functions as a RISK boardgame thanks to some cards he includes with the print.
2. Leigh Viner
Colourful and feminine, Leigh Viner’s work captures what I love most about fashion illustration. The soft colours contrasted with strong makeup are often combined with collage and pretty scribbles. The women featured look beautiful with a usual hint of sadness to them, which is what makes the images so captivating to me.
little kokomo etsy picks3. Clare Elsaesser
Clare Elsaesser paints timeless paintings of women and the sea, among other things. Textured brushstrokes capture the movement of the waves and the light that is uniquely found when one is at sea. I had a tough time choosing which one, as they all transported me to my own memories by the ocean.
4. House Grafton
If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan, you probably at least know a few. I purchased this piece from House Grafton, an artist who made his own rendition of the Sigils of the Houses of Westeros. little kokomo etsy faves

5. City Map Art
City Map Art offers prints of different city maps, but the best part is, you can choose between 48 different colours. Definitely makes things easier if you’re looking for that specific shade to match the colour pallet you are working with.
6. Linton Art
I love the natural effortless art that is found in nature. These tree ring stamps offer a geometric quality to any room as well as a reminder that simple beauty surrounds us in all living things. These prints are all original pieces, no copies were made, and the trees are true to size.

Illustrated Recipe: Mushroom Paté

I’m extra excited to share my latest illustration, mainly because it’s a recipe by an awesome and inspiring friend of mine. Danielle Levy is a nutritionist based in Montreal who has taught me so much about health and food and how they are related. I went to get a consultation from her a few years ago after having been on antibiotics for about 9 months. My immune system was hit pretty bad, my skin was developing rashes non-stop, my energy was low and I had frequent heartburn. Doctors didn’t seem to listen to my issues at the time, but rather prescribe me more antibiotics which just added to the unhealthy cycle. Danielle helped me turn things around gradually while still maintaining a positive relationship with food. Food is, after all, one of the greatest pleasures in life, right?

I encourage you to check out her nutrition blog here to see her inspirational posts and recipes!

Illustration: Rewarding Yourself as an Adult (in Marc Jacobs form)

lipstick braces watercolour by littlekokomo.com

Remember how when you were a kid, you got rewarded for things? You got a sticker for doing well on a test, or a lollipop for going to the doctor? My personal favorite was at the end of each dentist visit, I got to choose a pretty toy ring. Well, I feel like we should continue getting these rewards as adults, especially when we get through rough things in life. I recently got some very good medical news, and decided to treat myself to some high-end top quality lipstick. Because when else am I going to splurge on something like that? I picked up Le Marc crème Core Cora by Marc Jacobs lipstick and have been wearing it everyday since. I had been looking for a perfect coral for a while now, and it’s a tricky colour to pull off. They’re often too orange or make your teeth look like you smoke a pack a day… but this one just hits all the right notes for summer.

Favorite summer colour: Core Cora - Le Marc Lip Creme

Favorite summer colour: Core Cora – Le Marc Lip Creme

Apologies for the radio silence these past few weeks. I have 2 main excuses:

  • I am slowly painting every room in my house. SOLO. By my self. It was my decision and as a result, my home is a little chaotic. Random furniture is shoved in every room, I’m finding paint splashed on EVERYTHING (including myself). But it will be SO WORTH IT once it’s all completed. I can’t wait.
  • My computer, my beloved 5 year old macbook, is on the fritz. It takes about a half hour to turn on. Uploading pictures? I’m looking at about 2 hours of rainbow swirl time-outs. So it’s incredibly frustrating and frankly I can think of better ways to spend a sunny day. I need to look into fixing it up, or just biting the bullet and buying an upgrade. ::Soon::.

In case you missed it, I wrote a fashion article for YUL.BUZZ on my Made in Montreal Wishlist (collage featured below). For details on all the items, check here.

My Made in Montreal Wishlist on Yul.Buzz

My Made in Montreal Wishlist on Yul.Buzz

And there you have it! Despite a few setbacks I have some fun posts coming up, so please check in! I appreciate each and everyone one of you stopping by. xoxo

Illustration of the week: Stevie Nicks + Music suggestions please!

stevie nicks watercolour littlekokomo.com

What have you been listening to lately? I’m open to suggestions as I’m looking for a good soundtrack for the season. I tend to get driving anxiety and music usually helps keep me calm. I made a little tribute to Stevie above, since Fleetwood Mac has been my go-to for any long drive or road trip. Also because she’s just awesome. In case you’re also looking for music, here are the albums/songs I’ve been into over the past little while. I’m always late to the party when it comes to new bands or artists, so please, feel free to share!

  • Spoon -They want my soul: always puts me in a good mood and I always sing along.
  • Perfume Genius – Too Bright: Slow and dramatic, this took me a few listens to get into but now I am HOOKED. The lyric “No family is safe when I sashay” says it all.
  • Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly: Just got into his latest one, but I have a feeling it will be the perfect summer soundtrack so I’m trying not to overplay it.
  • Taylor Swift- Welcome to New York: alright, no judgements here, everyone needs a catchy pop song once in a while. And as far as pop singers go, Taylor seems like the kinda girl I could hang with. As in, she’s the type of friend you can lend your favorite dress to and not be worried she’ll bring it back with a giant wine stain. She can keep it together, even when things aren’t going so well personally. Not the type of friend who you have to hold her hair back in the bathroom cause she had way too much, again. Bonus: She’s a fan of Joy the Baker, loves cats, points out sexism in music.
  • Jenny Lewis – The Voyager: A great indie folk country album, perfect for when I want to listen something a little melancholy.  Loved her since her Rilo Kiley days when I was kinda emo, so it’s a familiar comfort.
  • Mac Demarco – Salad Days: Love this album! it has a happy summer stoner vibe, jangly guitars and reminds me both of  Harry Nilsson and Ariel Pink.