September 1, 2011
It’s with a heavy heart I gave up my keys to the West End Cottage, 471 Notre Dame Street, Summerside. This had been my home away from home for the summer of 2011 and it was an opportunity unparalleled in my experience.
My original and primary intention during the residency was to begin work on my next major graphic novel entitled “The Allusion of Life”. This and so much more came out of my time as the PACE Artist in Residence.
Meeting with the people at Wyatt we planned out the two months events. I spent 2 hours of almost every day out on the streets of Summerside as part of the ‘Arts in Motion Festival’, letting people know about the PACE Program and talking about my work. This worthwhile event did much in the way of drawing people off the beaten path and into the house to see the artwork and it’s development.
As well I also held a presentation for a group of video game summer students talking about the art and design that parallels the gaming and animation industries. I was unexpectedly invited by local kids to help spray paint the graffiti wall at the park (didn’t have time unfortunately) and hosted a ’24 Hour Comic Marathon’ which turned out to be a massive success!
It’s worth mentioning this event further, as it was a definite high point of the Residency. I had a group of talented people take part (A film director, a tattoo artist, an animator from Ottawa and local comic artists) in each creating a 24-page comic in 24 hours! We livestreamed the entire event over the Internet and had plenty of people and media check in on our progress as the hours wore on. It was a lot of fun and I’ve heard some of the participants say they’d like to do it again!
Events aside, I myself am beyond pleased with what I accomplished with my time. I’ve written over 40 pages of the first draft of “The Allusion of Life”, did plenty of concept drawings and even the first 2 finished pages from the book!
Also, I began work on an “Angora Napkin” adventure comic strip - completing seven strips and numerous bits of pin-up artwork that will be included in the next book. I even managed to get in a little oil painting late one night with the company of a friend who was trying his hand at abstract art.
Some days I worked without interruption and others there seemed to be a flood of visitors to the property. Some local people came in to see what was going on after seeing it reported on the CBC, many just fell upon it by chance or word of mouth. I had visitors from as far away as San Diego, Maine, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The PACE Artist in Residency program was an incredible experience; I’m excited for the next artist to be able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. My undying thanks go out to the PEICA, The City of Summerside, Wyatt Heritage and all the great folks who helped bring this fantastic project into existence!