DEFINE

Copy of dark-largeDEFINE is a collaboration between a photographer (Lance Kenneth Blakney), a clothing company (Wear Your Label), and a surface designer (Dee Wilkie – The Art Project) who all have one thing in common – They want to end the stigma and start the conversation around mental health by showing a raw and personal side to the struggles of real people.

Role Models were cast from across Eastern Canada; from Toronto to Fredericton to Halifax. From over 200 submissions we narrowed it down to one brave person to represent each of the nine categories.

What was the Art Projects’ role in DEFINE?  WYL has something called the bracelet project which unites fighters, survivors, and supporters.  Each colour symbolizes a different mental health challenge, and 10% of profits help fund their giving initiatives. Dee hand dyed silk in coordinating colours, and then helped style the silk in ways that demonstrate the feelings surrounding different mental health struggles.

After months of planning, interviewing, and shooting, here is the final result.  http://www.define-project.com/

D.W.

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Dee Wilkie – The Art Project Does Jamaica: Heart Strings

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I am so in love with heartSTRINGS Jewelry!!  Each piece is so unique and is made out of both new and used guitar strings.  I wore this off and on during my entire trip in Jamaica and it was one of my favorite pieces.  I was worried that the wire which held the beads on it might get caught on my clothing, or scratch my skin.  It didn’t at all, and actually, I tried looking at my bracelet to see where the wire began and ended and I couldn’t find it.  The craftsman ship of Melanie Browns’ work is excellent!

“Once a year, go some place you’ve never gone before.” – Dali Lama

D.W.

Designing My Silk For Red Dress

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Our beautiful model: Marilyn Luscombe

 

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Fashion Designer Adrienne Goodine with our model!

 

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Detail shot!!  (Adrienne LOVES bows and cute details.)


Sometime in March.

I don’t know about you, but  when I have an important project to do, or something that will take a lot of work, I procrastinate.  WHY do I do this!?

This year Adrienne Goodine asked me to design and dye silk for her red dress for the annual Red Dress Fashion Show which is a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  I knew that tie dyed silk would not stand out amongst the rest of the other gorgeous hand made dresses.  So I decided to hand paint three meters of yardage with my signature roses.  WHY DID I THINK THIS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA!?  It’s not.  Setting up the frame to stretch out my silk takes forever!!  Not to mention I have to find a space to do this first. UGH!  Now that I am writing this I have answered my own question as to why I am procrastinating dying this fabric…

March. 21st
Update!  I cleared a spot in my living room and finally started dying my silk (hooray!) now for the bad news…the news that always seems to follow when you’re me and you’re a surface designer.  There is always an obstacle to over come, always a barrier to break down, always a problem to fix.  My “scarlet red” dye is looking more pink than red.  WHHHHYYYY!?  I have painted one and a half meters of silk THREE TIMES now, and it finally looks somewhat red.  I am worried about what it is going to look like once I rinse and wash it out.  Oh well, another problem for another day really. lol

March. 25th
Silk is painted, steamed, rinsed and washed!!!  It turned out red (hooray!)

April. 3rd
As well as the red roses, I have to dye a piece of silk that is solid red.  Guess what…I ran out of dye!

Sometime in April
Thankfully I finally finished dyeing all of the silk and it turned out RED, thank gosh!  I will post more pictures soon on my instagram or facebook account, but I would love to know what everyone thinks about how the dress turned out!

“My head says, “who cares?” but then my heart whispers, “You do, stupid…””

D.W.

Dee Wilkie – The Art Project Does Jamaica: Sueno Swimwear

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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.”

D.W.

 

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

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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

D.W.

 

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.”

D.W.

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.”
-Bree

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