Hello everyone! I have completed my map of a fictional island. I had so much fun creating this, I really wanted to paint a place that I would like to explore. While working on it, I found it helpful to imagine the story of a character from the trading town of Cold Harbour who goes on a journey through these lands. It was a fantastic exercise in design and painting environments, and I would love to do more maps in the future.
First, some process videos:
You can see more process shots on my instagram, @smalyon
And here’s the final! Click for a higher res image:
Thanks for checking out my work! Not sure what my next personal work will be, but I’m hoping to do more information design. Maybe something educational next time, we’ll see!
A couple of months ago I found out about an interesting opportunity, a request for proposals for decorative construction hoarding. The New Central Library here in Calgary is being built, and its located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of the East Village. The job required an artist to come up with a design to cover 500′ of construction hoarding, which is quite a task. My concept is a timeline of the East Village, culminating in the New Central Library, showing it as the pinnacle of Calgary’s achievements so far. At first I approached this all wrong. I assumed I could do one long illustration, detailed and refined… but the timeframe for the final artwork made that impossible. I would have less than a week to complete the work and send it to get printed, and that simply would not be able to happen with something so ambitious. I struggled with simplifying. At one point I did a sample painting to see if I could, indeed, complete all of the illustrations by the deadline. It looked terrible. I did some tiny landscapes to try and work things out… and finally it clicked. The paintings I did were minuscule, 4cm x 10cm in size, but I scanned them at 2400 dpi, creating a super high res image fit to be printed wall-sized. The fascinating textures you get with watercolour often get lost in large paintings, but when I magnified my tiny illustrations the paint became the subject. Granulation, gradients and brushstrokes were given the spotlight, and the paintings had a freshness to them that I couldn’t achieve before. I only had about 10 days to put together the proposal, and it was a real challenge. Lucky for me, I have an amazing family that helped me at every opportunity. On September 2nd, I received the news that my proposal was the winner. I couldn’t fully believe it until I went in for a meeting and no one revealed a hidden camera. Main stretch of the mural:
Smaller side mural:
After the proposal was approved, the deadline for the project was extended. The past few months have been occupied with painting, revisions and getting the prints made. I worked with the lovely folks at Run Digital here in Calgary to make the panels. I’ll save you the full Yelp review, but they were great to work with, very friendly and exceedingly helpful! About half of the mural is up now, though the second half will be going up in the spring/summer due to the construction timeline. Here’s the East Village’s blog post about it! I want to say a huge thank you to Mike Kerr, Ken Richardson, my family, and the CMLC.
Copyright Serena Malyon 2015
In 2010 I edited some of Van Goghs paintings to simulate tilt-shift photography (link). Last year I was approached by the Canadian band Octoberman about using the concept in their music video for the song “Waiting For Christine”. I created about a few images for them and Ryan MacKeen animated them (and quite a few other images) to make this awesome video. Very cool!
Earlier this month, Nathan Swayze and I completed the installation of my “vegetable anatomy” installation at MARKET calgary, an awesome new restaurant on 17th Ave. It was lots of work, but we received a lot of support from McKinley Burkart, Vanessa Salopek (the owner), Yvan Toulouse (the manager), and the whole kitchen staff. The chefs working there were great company and even let us sample some amazing dishes!
photo credit: @chefbohati
Me and Nathan Swayze, who helped design and install the mural. I couldn’t have done it without his talent, hard work and construction experience. Check out his work here.
The full ceiling mural design, complete with bulkhead wrap.
Wall mural design.
Here’s the part where I gush about how awesome the food is. So apparently the executive chef Geoff Rogers is on this season of Top Chef Canada. From the few dishes I tasted, its no wonder he’s on the show, each dish is beautifully crafted by him and the other wonderful chefs. Not only is the food amazing, but they make pretty much everything IN the restaurant. They make their own cheese, soy sauce, sausage, bread, pop, butcher their own meat, grow their own herbs, etc. etc. And what’s more, its affordable gourmet food! So go check it out and support these guys, they work extremely hard for their craft.
Recently I was approached by the interior design firm McKinley Burkart to do a mural for a new restaurant called MARKET. From what I’ve seen the food is going to be amazing, and it’s all locally sourced.
So for the past few weeks I’ve been researching and drawing “vegetable anatomy”. Here’s a little taste:
I’ll write a little more when Nathan and I start painting.
This illustration is for a poster for the CSIF’s Canadian Indigenous Shorts event. They’re showing some great independent films, check it out on October 19th at the CSIF.
Today I got a bit restless and decided to finish a sketch I did last night. Its inspired by the tale of Judith beheading Holofernes (and the dozens and dozens of paintings on the subject). It was fun to work on a personal project, but it’ll be a long time before I attempt to paint another delft plate.
So it’s almost the end of the year and you know what that means! I have to actually get work now. Which means I need a good business card (my old one was not so good). My boyfriend Nathan suggested I create a logo for it, and here it is. I think it suits me.
For this project I took several of the once well-respected Gods of Olympus and turned them into wine labels. Perhaps when I get some time I’ll do Poseidon, Athena and Artemis.
Some promotional banners for the theatrical production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe that I designed (see previous posts). These banners are composed of three translucent layers of fabric, which all combine to create the image you see above. This effect mimics the set design’s translucent curtains, and adds an air of whimsy to the ads. The figures you see are the White Witch and Aslan.