gary schneider the purple life mocca toronto

“Handprints series: After Noomi” by Gary Schneider 

(MOCCA Toronto Contact exhibit)

“Your hand
touching mine.
this is how
– #SanoberKhan



“They carry history on their backs.  It is not that they are turning their backs to it, but that it is something that they carry with them always” – Dawit Abebe

dawit abebe No. 2 Background 16 the purple life


“No. 2 Background 16″ by Dawit Abebe

dawit abebe no. 2 background 30 the purple life

“No. 2 Background 30″ by Dawit Abebe

May 12, 2015

Embrace This Space

May 6, 2015


May 6, 2015

Choose Happy

May 6, 2015

Where’s Your Fire?

fire zena the purple life


 “Fire 1″ by Zena Holloway

“I used to extinguish under the weight of living

but one day,

I reached  into my chest,

dusted off my courage

and asked myself,


-d. antoinette foy

INTERVIEW: Digital Storytelling with VG Waymer

VG waymer cover


VG Waymer ( also known as Vee Draws) is an illustrator  and self-taught digital artist from Boston, Massachusetts.  Her fashion illustrations have an unique duality: they transform white space into colourful patterns and  grabs the viewer’s attention with rhythmic lines. Her portraits are captivating.  Her attention to detail – breathless.  VG Waymer shares her personal narrative on style, inspiration and fashion…


art talk

The Purple Life (TPL):  For the people who are not familiar with your work, could you briefly tell them how you became an illustrator?

VG Waymer (VG): I drew comics as a child and decided to pursue a career in fashion design but after one semester navigating or rather misunderstanding basic pattern making concepts I knew I should become an illustrator specializing in fashion.

(TPL): Your style is distinctive. Was it hard to develop or did it come naturally?

 (VG):   In college while everyone was using water colours, I was using sharpies and graffiti markers. I used vellum and rubber cement thinner to get a wash effect. I still use a black line and then add color although I’m rendering figures digitally nowadays. I’m self-taught as a digital artist but I don’t see that much difference in my technique than when I worked in traditional mediums.


vee draws vg waymer 1 the purple life

vg waymer

vee draws 3 vg waymer the purple life

(TPL):  What other mediums do you work in?

 (VG):  Later on this year my son and I will have a joint showing at a gallery in our community. Not wanting to submit digital work we decided that I should paint. Of course everything is huge, the last one measured 7’x3′. It’s pretty scary venturing away from what I’ve become used to over the last few years but it’s necessary if you want to grow as an artist.

(TPL): Why portraiture?

(VG): I enjoy the face. It always tells a story. There’s so much more “there” than the camera captures. I stumbled upon how much I enjoyed creating portraits because social media has some definite (viewing) constraints. Instagram wants square shaped imagery and everyone is looking at what you post on their phones. I also enjoy cropping out pieces that I find interesting or where I really struggled with.


vee draws 2 vg waymer the purplle life

vg waymer

 vee draws 4 vg waymer the purple life

(TPL): What is it about celebrities that you find fascinating as a subject?

(VG): I’m a huge believer in self-marketing. I know “me” best so I try to capture celebrities that I admire, do or create work that speaks to me in some way, shape, form or fashion and have audiences that may like my work. I think the days of waiting for someone to discover your art are long gone. Art isn’t a passive activity. I may not listen to Rihanna’s latest as part of my playlist but I really like her “in your face” attitude.


narrative talk


(TPL):  Describe your relationship with your work in one word. Please explain why you chose that word.

(VG):  Intimate. My work has always been play to me. When I didn’t draw I sewed, I lamp worked (made glass beads), painted shoes, crocheted, sculpted, painted murals or made jewelry. I think an artist has to create just like a runner has to log in those miles or a weight lifter has to keep adding in more pounds. When I can’t create something I’m not happy. I’m almost biding my time until I can get back to “it.”


(TPL):  What inspires you? What motivates you to create?

(VG):  I am inspired by fashion, colours, nature, someone’s offhand comment, a sudden crazy idea, a “what if I…?” moment during my commute. Lately I am inspired by exploring how many different ways I can master what I do on my drawing tablet to translate successfully to large scale pieces. I’m interested in patterns.


vee draw vg waymer the purple life 10

vg waymer

vee draws 5 vg waymer the purple life

(TPL): Who are some of your favourite artists? What is it about their narrative that draws you to them?

(VG): My favorite artist is Egon Schiele. His portrayal of the human form was edgy especially for his time. His figures have so much of a tangible quality that you can almost envision them modeling for him even though it was so long ago. Their facial expression or the posture that speaks of freedom while staring down the viewer is especially mesmerizing. I love that period of art. My fashion illustration idols continue to be Antonio (Lopez), Viramontes, David Downton, Rene Gruau because of their bold lines, attitude and content. Vintage illustration is a great teacher. It helps you to see a foundation that you can use to develop your own voice. Fashion designers sketch and rely upon an illustrator to make you “feel” what it would be like to wear that garment, to be “that” person. I am very glad that designers are considering illustration again as a resource.


VG Waymer’s Social narratives

April 21, 2015


Jennis Cheng Tien Li

 “Prayer” by  Jenny Cheng Tien Li

“Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


chris slabber the purple life

“Empress” by Chris Slabber


“Endless moons, an opaque universe, thunder, tornadoes, the quaking earth. Rare moments of peace; forehead up against my knees, arms around my head, I though, I listened, I longed not to exist. but life was there, a transparent pearl, a star revolving slowly on its own axis.” – Shan Sa, Empress

April 15, 2015

Black Bird

black bird

“Black Bird Fly” by Elena Lyakir

I am so perfect
So divine
So ethereal
So surreal
I cannot be comprehended
Except by my permission
I mean, I can fly
Like a bird in the sky

‪#‎NikkiGiovanni‬, Ego Tripping

April 10, 2015

The Mouth Can’t Lie

February 27, 2015