Category Archives: Blogging

Masquerade by James Jean pairs well with our home office bouquet.

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We’ve been working from home much more than at the studio since the pandemic hit a year ago and honestly, we don’t know how we could have done this without tools like Slack. With Aiken working remotely from Calgary we are still able to maintain regular office hours using tools like Slack, Google, and just the telephone.

Here’s a photo of our current home office. The James Jean ‘Masquerade’ (signed, 207th print of 500) piece just looks too good with the bouquet to not share. Have a great week!

Photo taken with the Google Pixel 4a.

Returning to the stage for Creative Mornings, Vancouver. Feb 5th 2021.

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I free styled this illustration for this post.

Exactly 7 years ago, I gave my first Creative Mornings talk where I also did a live drawing session instead of using slides. Well, on Friday I’ll be returning to the stage (online) as a Creative Mornings Alumni for an event called ‘Divergent’. A wonderful topic that many like myself would welcome to hear how things have diverged since the pandemic hit.

This time, instead of a talk, I’ll be returning to draw live (streaming via Zoom) for all three speakers Rachel McKinley, Darryl Condon, and Juno Kim. I always get giddy when I get to freestyle draw and improvise as the unknown excites me.

Big ups to my studio mate and good friend Hubert Kang for helping me set up with all his fancy video equipment for the best visual fidelity (No pressure Hubert!) an illustrator can get at our studio. Also big thanks to Rick Etkin for all his video tech wisdom.

There will also be a live musical performance by Craig Addy, a Musician, Pianist, Composer & Improviser.

Hope to virtually see you all there this Friday. The event is free to register.

Aiken Lao on Collective Arts Brewing.

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We’re so proud to see Aiken’s work featured on Collective Arts Brewing’s ‘Amplified Voices’ section. Not only does she manage all our projects at the studio, but she’s also a kick-ass illustrator, a serious triple threat alert. We can’t wait to see her art on those brew cans in person.

If you still haven’t checked out Aiken’s amazing illustration and design work, you really should. Just saying. ;)

Tangible Interaction is offering its studio for free for a day. Here’s how.

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Have a great idea for your next art-related project but need the space to make it happen? Here’s your chance by submitting your idea to Tangible Interaction’s studio site.

I am very honoured to be one of the 3 judges for selecting the winning idea. The deadline is Jan 30th. Show us what you got.

Finally, new studio address numbers adorn our studio door.

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990 Nicola St., Vancouver

Thanks to Frank from Northside Signs for putting up the address numbers designed by our studio mate, Annie Chen of Lemonni. Also, how is it December already? Someone said to me that 2020 is the slowest yet the fastest year ever.

Although the store is closed due to COVID, we’re still working in the studio as much as we can while our studio manager Aiken is working remotely from Calgary. It’s amazing how we can still make things work with everyone being everywhere and that’s only possible with platforms such as SLACK that we all use religiously.

We’ve very grateful to still be insanely busy with so many new projects that continue to flood our inboxes.

My work desk as of yesterday. Trying to map out our workload with many sticky notes to the side.

Super fresh mural up by Green Horn Cafe, beside our studio by J Nasty.

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New mural up temporarily by J Nasty before new windows get installed at Green Horn Cafe.

Loved seeing this rad piece in person when I came in the studio this morning done by Jeremy Wong. It’ll only be up for another 3-4 weeks before it’s taken down for the installation of new windows, so be sure to come check it out in person at Green Horn Cafe.

Applied Arts, Speaker Series: Aiken Lao, First Year On The Job.

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Aiken Lao is the studio manager at Vancouver’s Chairman Ting Industries and a freelance illustrator/graphic designer. She is a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia’s business program, specializing in marketing. Aiken will discuss her first year as an intern at Chairman Ting, the technology they incorporate into their designs, and notable projects they’ve worked on at the studio. She will also be sharing job hunting tips and how business can be combined with creativity.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 3:00-3:30 PM EST
Session focus: Technology at work + Job hunting tips


Our very own Aiken Lao will be speaking for Applied Arts Speaker Series. She’s our amazing studio manager that helps manage and traffic projects for both Hubert Kang and myself at the studio. She’s proven to be an invaluable asset over the past 2.5 years. She first started at the studio as an intern at the beginning of 2018 and by the end of the year, Hubert and I decided to hire her full time as our studio manager where she has helped out with projects for Fairmont Hotels, Nike, Porsche Canada, Kabam Games, 19 Crimes x Snoop Dogg and much more. Aiken has helped pick up a few Applied Arts awards in between for many projects she has helped manage and produce. Check out the full line up of speakers here.

She’ll give you the full low down. The good, the bad and the ugly. We’re all very proud of all her achievements within such a short period of time. Here’s a fun little interview we did with her back in March of 2019.

Check out her work here.