Dee Wilkie – The Art Project Does Jamaica: Sueno Swimwear


In a recent article that was published, it came out that Victoria’s Secret will no longer be selling bikinis.  (Insert freak out here.)  Don’t worry men and women everywhere, I have found the solution!

Sueno Swimwear is a Nova Scotia based company that sells custom made swimwear.  Sueno takes care of ALL the details, and although having a hand made bathing suit might SOUND iffy, I assure you, Seuno has the bathing suit making business down to a science!!  (For example, even the bottoms you buy come with a sticker on the…crotch…area to ensure sanitation and professionalism.)

The best part about Sueno swimwears’ bikinis? …Where do I start?!  They are completely customizable for one.  Joanna Tranter (the founder of Sueno Swimwear) asked that I send her my measurements which were so easy to take I took them by myself!  Then I got to pick the design I wanted.  (Sueno Swimwear already has tons of both cute and sexy swimwear to choose from, but I really wanted something specific for our trip.)

Secondly, Joanna designs the swimwear to not only to be fashionable, but also to be functional.  Joanna is a surfer, so she understands the importance of having a bathing suit that doesn’t fall off.  While we were in Jamaica we had the awesome experience of traveling up Dunns River Falls.  Our tour guides warned us time and time again to make sure our bathing suits were secure so they would not fall off.  Needless to say, out of all the things I was worried about while traveling up a 55m rushing waterfall, having my bottoms fall off was not one of them.  (AND they were not super tight causing a muffin top.  They legit just fit really well.)

My biggest regret about Sueno Swimwear?  I wish I had ordered a custom top to go with my super cute and comfy bottoms!

To order one of Sueno Swimwears suits, check out their website here.

“Life is too short to wear boring swimsuits.”




Dee Wilkie – The Art Project, Does Jamaica: Michelle Duncan


Tank top: Dainty Hooligan, Michelle Duncan, Dee Wilkie.  Shorts: Eclipse.  Heels: Spring.

Have you ever ordered something that looks super cute online and then when it finally gets to you it just doesn’t look quite right?  Maybe it’s still nice enough that you keep it and wear it occasionally, but it doesn’t look as good as you had hoped.  Or you get it and the size is wrong, or the fabric isn’t what you thought it would be or it just isn’t what you wanted.  I think most girls are probably organized enough that they would just send these garments back and get a new size or their money back, but to me that just seems like a headache.

While getting ready for my trip down south, I realized my wardrobe was in major need of some sprucing up.  I have a million racer back tanks and hoodies, but nothing that would look cute with heels.  My friend Sara introduced me to this super cute online store called Dainty Hooligan.  They have SO MANY CUTE CLOTHES!!!  I especially love their tank tops and dresses.  So I ordered two dresses, a tank top, (and of course the essential “sticky bra”.)  The dresses came in and fit like a glove.  The tank top on the other hand just wasn’t quite right.  I LOVED the back of it and didn’t want to send it back, but the chest area was…not flattering to say the least.

THANKFULLY I have some pretty great fashion friends.  I messaged Michelle Duncan, one of my most trusted fashion designers here in Fredericton and she reconstructed my tank with my own screen printed silk.  It turned out to be one of my favourite tops on my trip!  Basically all Michelle did was take apart the tank top and add a new front with my custom made silk and VIOLLA!  I got to keep the super cool back AND I now only have two boobs when I wear the top and not four.  It was a win win really.

If you would like to see more of Michelles’ work and to get a sneak peak of her new up and coming line, click here.

“Before something great happens, everything falls apart.” – Anon



Top 5 Reasons To Work With A Surface Designer

“What is a Surface Designer!?” You ask.  Well, the best way I can describe it is this.  You know the patterns on tissue boxes, fabric, shower curtains and wallpaper?  A Surface Designer is the person who creates those patterns.  It is our job to create the artwork that goes onto products.  My specialty lies in textiles.  I like to create patterns and artwork for fabric and then use that fabric to turn into beautiful things with other designers (or by myself).  I primarily work with silk, but I can work with other fabric as well such as cotton or velvet.

  1.  Surface Designers are constantly studying color and motif trends.  We know what the latest trends are, and what people are attracted to.
  2. Speaking of color…if you are a surface designer, you have probably taken at LEAST one course in color theory in your life.  We not only know what colors are popular and most likely to sell, but we also know what colors look great together, and what clashes.
  3. Buying fabric from a big box store can make it difficult to find just what your looking for.  Surface Designers can make something totally customizable for you!  Looking for that perfect shade of red, or just a different pattern/motife that you can’t find in stores?!  We are the people to call!
  4. Working with costume fabric takes your brand from “drab to fab!”  Having fabric made specially for you makes your project even more luxurious than if you bought your fabric from a big box store.
  5. Two heads are better than one.  Everyone has a different set of skills and talents.  Working with another designer just increases the quality and knowledge behind your work, and people will see that.

If you are interested in learning more, or placing an order through me, please contact me here.

“The right product in the wrong color won’t sell.”


Feature Friday: Bryanna Chapeskie

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“Hi, my name is Bryanna Chapeskie, I am originally from Ontario but have lived in Halifax Nova Scotia for about eleven years now. I came to Halifax to study Fine Art at The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design where I obtained my Bachelor in Fine Art. I worked various odd jobs while trying to keep up an art practice. Whatever space I had, I made sure to carve out a place in which I could work. My number one priority after school was to keep working away at my illustration skills. Eventually working full time odd jobs became tough. I felt like I wasn’t following my heart. I wanted to do work that I loved every day, and get paid for it. I decided with my twin sister Alyssa to start my own company called Double Dare Print Studio.

The studio has been going strong for about three years now, we make hand screen print greeting cards and art prints which we sell in local shops as well as online. Eventually I started being approached to do design work for other small businesses, and folks looking for customized design projects. Though I didn’t have a background in design, I worked hard and delivered my best! It was not long after that I decided I would go back to school after seven years to study in the Graphic Design program at NSCC. I’m finishing up my first year there and loving every minute of it. My work is becoming more marketable, yet I am still able to retain a bit of personal work for my own enjoyment. That is a very important balance as a designer and artist because it’s so easy to let the thing you LOVE become the thing you hate once it becomes work and deadlines.
I am inspired by lots of different things, mostly by other artists and designers. I love looking at other people’s work, and hearing about their ideas. The idea generating process is fascinating to me, it’s another reason I love being in school again because I am able to engage with so many ideas coming from so many different types of minds! I have a real passion for illustrated children’s books and hope to someday illustrate my own. Some of my favourite illustrators and designers are John Klassen, Tom Froese, M. Sassek, Mary Blair, and Lisa Congdon. Colour is a big deal to me, it makes my heart skip a beat when I mix bright watercolours on a pallet! That’s what really gets me really excited! I also LOVE paper goods. Stationery, hand printed books, stuff that has texture, and life, and was made with care.
To sum it up, I have lots of different types of things going on at the moment! I love having several creative avenues. Double Dare allows me to do my own thing, and continue to develop my own style, while design allows me to problem solve, and use my skills as an illustrator and artist to transform an idea into a form of visual communication.”

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The Heart of Art



GLUTTONY – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Jessica Hughes Hair: Mike Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Fashion Design: Aly Keeley Silk Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
LUST – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Kayley Reed Hair: Michael Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Fashion Design: Michelle Duncan Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
ENVY – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Sophie H-L Fashion Design: Michelle Duncan Hair: Michael Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
WRATH – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Gillian Glover Fibre Artist: Aly Keeley Hair: Michael Drost MUA: Billy Peterson Silk Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
SLOTH – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Athenais Testi Hair: Michael Drost Fashion Design: Adrienne Goodine Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
GREED – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model: Jake Clark Hair/MUA: Billy Peterson Surface Design: Dee Wilkie
PRIDE – Photography: Lance Kenneth Blakney Model/Fashion Designer: Bronwen Robbins Hair/MUA: Billy Peterson Surface Design: Dee Wilkie

“SEVEN” was an idea I came up with almost a year ago when, one night, I started to get really envious of other people who were making their dreams come true and really “making it” in terms of their craft.  I didn’t just want to sit in my living room feeling jealous, so I decided I would make a piece on jealousy and envy as a productive outlet. Then I started getting more and more ideas and thought, “hey, why don’t I do a series on the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth, lust, greed)!?” I messaged one of my favourite local Photographers, Lance Kenneth Blakney, right away and told him about my idea. He was totally onboard and as enthusiastic as I was.

Of course I couldn’t do a project this scale on my own 😉  So I recruited a group of local fashion designers, hair stylists,makeup artists and models (read more about them here).  We did a professional full grade photoshoot for each look (the process stretched out over five months) and then finished it off with a gallery showing at the George Fry Gallery and a feature on CBC!

“Turn lemons into lemonade.”



Feature Friday: Veronica MacIsaac

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Photography: Brent McCombs
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Photography: Brent McCombs
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Photography: Brent McCombs

When/How did you learn to sew? 
My mother taught me how to sew when I was 4 years old. I’ve been sewing ever since! By the time I got to my first home ec class in grade 7, I was already making full outfits for myself.

What made you want to be a designer?
I was ALWAYS into fashion. I used to plaster the walls of my room with Vogue pages. But I didn’t think of it as a career until 2008.

What are some of the highlights that you look back on in your career up to this point? 
The New York trips were amazing. Being in British Vogue was a dream. I was on the cover of a couple of Scottish and Celtic magazines a few years ago that I was really proud of. But I’ve also still loved the shows I’ve done at my favourite local pub (Durty Nelly’s).

How easy or hard was it for you to find your niche market? Was that intentional or did it just sort of happen?
Actually, for me – the niche market came before the idea of being a designer did. It was most certainly intentional. I wanted women to be able to represent their heritage in a way they would dress normally. So I created my first collection with that in mind.

How would you describe your brand?
Modern styles in traditional Scottish fabrics.

You are definitely one of the more established designers on the East Coast. What is your advice to new and aspiring designers?
I always say – you need to find your niche. Lots of people can make ‘pretty dresses’. But what makes your stuff different from the rest? In today’s economy, you can’t compete with the mall. So you have to create things that don’t already exist.

What makes you stay in the East Coast?
I love to travel, and I love traveling to other cities. But I love the East Coast atmosphere.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I imagine pretty much where I am now? I’d like to do more international shows, and I’d like expand my brand a little more. But my focus will still be on the Scottish and Celtic communities.

What is your favorite piece that you ever made and why?
I’ve made a lot of pieces I’ve loved over the years. But my all time favourite thus far would be the backless MacQueen tartan gown with the floor length pleats. It was an idea I’d had in my head for a couple of years, but I’d pictured it in another tartan. When it came time to make it, I saw the MacQueen tartan sitting there, and all of a sudden the picture in my head altered. I knew it would be a game changer (and it was!).

“If you aren’t a little different than your competition , you’re in trouble.” – Mark Sanborn

Facebook – Veronica MacIsaac 
Instagram – @Fashiontart