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Thursday, 5 April 2012


I love Nelly Furtado, she is such an amazing Canadian singer/song writer. She has inspirational music and a good positive appeal in society that it so desperately needs. One of her albums inspired me to draw. She captures so much emotion it's hard not to be inspired.

'Yield to Dance'

The word of the week according to is 'yield'. This dancer is yielding to the music and her angelic vibes around her.
Keiraz Designz

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Blossoming Art Block: Downtown Hamilton Interviews

What a lovely day it was to take a trip downtown and to connect with leading graphic designers Jeremy Freiburger and Steph Seagram from which is the new connecting element for creative communities. Jeremy has graced us with his talents from NYC and original started out in theatre. Jeremy has also done work for the Nutcracker here in Canada and now works with Steph, former Fine Arts student. They gave us insight on how their industry works and how important it is to keep up with the digital game in computer software. Graphic design surely has gone digital. These days it's important to have a blog or some type of website along with social media, although Jeremy begs to differ. It's no wonder graphic designer Leif Peng also strongly suggests social media is important when working in graphic design and the Hamilton Spector surely agrees. In today's Hamilton Spector the business section had a strong business view that the internet is here to stay despite early 1990s opposing view. Being a big internet user myself I always believed the internet was here to stay as I had commented in my grade 7 speech, in 1997, that the future would one day lead to school being on the internet. Today in 2012 it has become wide spread to gain education on the internet, you can even get university degrees online. Even so it is always good to gain personal work experience it seems like anywhere you go just about anyone wants work experience with no gaps. Not only is work experience crucial, but it's important to stay in your field even if you can gain experience with volunteer work, then it's surely a route worth taking. Resume appeal is still crucial in today's society, sorry folks. Furthermore, what is Cobalt Connects? Well if you have a dream, a goal, an aspiration in the graphic design area and need assistance with obtaining that goal and finding the people to reach out to, Steph and Jeremy are here to help. Not only do they have sharp business appeal, but their office sure is dripping with creativity.

It is a great place filled with experience, business and most of all creativity. 

After my meeting with Cobalt Connects I went downtown and met up at Mixed Media. 

Mixed Media Store is such a great place to find very and I am very unique everything from books, to magazines to art tools and medium. If you need it, they got it and more. There was so much to find and look at you sure could break a big dent in your wallet scouting out Mixed Media. Mixed Media is located in the James North Neighbourhood where artistic businesses have started to bloom. When you first walk in there are many books and bags and pens and pencils. These books are original in thought and very unique and interesting as well as their magazine collections which line up in the store. Further in the store their is older skate boards without wheels which can be used to be decorated and hung on your wall and if you want ideas and inspirations on that, yes they have a book for that too. In the back there is fabric and paint brushes and just about any type of art medium you can find. The store is definitely worth the drive to go back to, even out of town. 
After leaving Mixed Media Store I made my way down the busy yet, calm and blossoming streets of Hamilton where I passed by many art inspired stores with specific hours. I also walked by an interesting fabric store and some cafes and came across a delightful art gallery. I was welcomed inside by the owner and his friendly dog. The owner was a former Fine Art student with a love and passion for traditional art. His exhibit displayed for interesting displays of pop and modern art type works. Being a former art history student myself I was very interested to hear how 1970s artist was taking photography and and using paint and photoshop to display wonderful pieces of art and exhibiting them across the world, for around $3000 a pop. Not to bother with him with too many questions as he was busy conducting business I left and ventured out to find my way downtown and find more interviews where I came across what I thought was a digital print shop but was actually a book shop because they were switching locations. Anyways, it was interesting to hear the owner's concern for the obvious transition of downtown Hamilton blossoming into an art block. "Where are other business's to go" and "what about if you want a book to read?". Not only did he sell books but also vinyls, simply starting from a paper route and collecting money and keep track of dues and collecting vinyls and trading and selling. A good book is good for the go train for commuting back and forth. Will Hamilton be the new Toronto? Why not grab a book and travel out to see what we can find on Hamilton's art block. 

Sorry You're Happy / Art Licensing & Surface Design

Sorry You're Happy / Art Licensing & Surface Design

'Jen and Kyle'

Had such a great time meeting the happy and creative couple from "Sorry You're Happy" Corp. It was really interesting to hear and learn about their individual graphic design stories and how they ended up collaborating together to come up with their company; which makes print design for fabrics. Jen and Kyle both have a great eye for design and talent. Within their collaborated collections Jen would be the brain behind the business with an eye for style, colour and composition. She loves working with patterns. Kyle was friendly and funny as he talked about his unique style which stemmed from collage type forms with the ability to draw anything and a talent to come up with unique characters that they have printed on fabrics now.

This is a sample of Jen and Kyle's work from their blog website I pasted above. Kyle would say "he rocks this pink". 


Sorry You’re Happy

Jen & Kyle

Sunday, 1 April 2012


According to the word of the week is 'return'. So let's return to music and who better to dance with than Shakira. Her dance moves are signature, her style original yet cool. Al Parker, a renowned graphic designer makes one heck of a design with flowers.
It's all about flower power and promoting a green earth and remembering it's beauty. I also came across this cd cover for Shakira and wonder if they too were a fan of Al Parker.

This cd cover really inspired me. The black and white is a signature style we can all appreciate since we mostly see colour and the flowers are just vibrating off the page, they are so full in colour. I love Shakira's pose her, it's very emotional and speaks to me, but I need to make it my own. I felt like it was too simple and needed something. So this is what I came up with.
I added a butterfly because I love them and butterflies go with nature's flower's and it's beauty. Butterflies seem to be popular, regardless I like butterflies. I put the butterfly around the title because I am remembered of an Al Parker picture I put up previously where he placed a flower behind the title to add beauty and attention to it. Then I felt like it was still missing something so I added songs notes and lyrics because they look cool. 

I added the song lyrics to the top so the illustration didn't have a lot of white space. It let's your eyes flow nicely through the illustration. I used gospel lyrics, because like J-lo I like to add God and thank him for supporting me through me work, I can't do it alone without him. Afterwards, I started adding colour and this is what I came up with. 

Return to music and let the rhythm soothe your soul. Enjoy. I'd like to thank Shakira and the illustrators of her cd for giving me inspiration and coming out with amazing and original music. Thank you. 

Now that my photo is complete I have submitted it to for entry to win, if I don't win, it sure was fun still.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

'Emotional Labour'

When becoming a graphic designer you need to go through a lot of emotional labour. A lot of people may ask you 'what does a graphic designer do' or 'where would you work', 'what do you do with that'. Graphic designers do not do physical labour jobs, they do emotional labour. What is emotional labour? It is the act of connecting to other human beings and making a change even if it is not easy for you to do in that moment.
There is a lot of art work involved to convey a meaningful expression to communicate information. In my blog here I have been striving to convey my skills while I am still learning and working on other projects. The projects that I am working on I do a lot of emotional labour to try to gain attention to a wider audience towards my career as a graphic designer. I really want to connect with a wide variety of people so they can see my ideas. I do not have a set of step by step instructions that I follow.  I take my own initiative based on one word that I get from such as 'capable' and I put that into an artistic piece while overcoming the thought that people may laugh.
From here I would like to move forward into a graphic design career where people may need an ad layout or logo or design made and I can use my own ideas and keep making new ideas. I will express and talk about my designs in new and exciting ways every time so you do not get bored when you come to my blog. It is a risky job because I never know my outcome, but if I fail I would like to learn from that and move forward. I use the internet on a wide level. I have this blog, a gmail account, twitter account, flicker account, and carbon made portfolio which I will add to the end of this post. It takes hard work to keep with producing new designs. I have a lot of designs laid out and though out and I will be making more time in the near future to sit down and further produce these designs for your viewing pleasure. I like to keep my ideas fresh, positive and unique. A website I have been using a lot recently is which shows amazing tutorials on photoshop. While I am on my twitter account I have recently been viewing different art blogs and websites that you can view via through my twitter account or google+ account. I like to view through different magazines online such as, teen, vogue, Guess, Chanel, Gucci. I also have a list of followers involved with environment causes and animal rights. I have many ideas to start a new magazine of my own involving chips and pins that can be read with your mobile device. The spread will involve fashion, trend, while still relating to the everyday world around us. So many magazines are focused on one genre without much else to read about. My magazine will involve many ideas including the government, animal rights, religious freedom, and the environment. It will be conveyed in fresh new designs, by me, Keira Stirling.

I have several websites in which you can review my artwork:!/KeiraStirling

*These designs are not to be SOLD in any shape or form ON ANY PRODUCTS for any reason unless you have my signed written permission.
Please feel free to contact me here at for my resume!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012


According to the word of the week is capable. In dance, dancers go through many sessions of practise to become capable on stage. The capability they achieve is to remember a dance routine by heart and to be able to nail it on stage or in front of any audience, really.

I came up with a few thumbnails to incorporate this into an image for your viewing pleasure:
These thumbnails are my own ideas and thoughts. Except the girl in the corner with the pigtail braids. That was inspired from my flicker gallery set on the Ojibwe Ottawa tribe. The girl is getting ready to perform on for the Ottawa pow-wow.

I wish to draw the thumbnail in the top right corner. I recently took my daughter to see a dance recital, hosted by the studio Dance Discovery in Brantford and was inspired to draw little performers on stage. The whole time I watched the recital my daughter would not stop bugging me to dance on stage. She would say "mommy, I need to go on stage, mommy you need to buy me an orange and yellow sparkly outfit." The best dancers throughout time usually start at a young age. Dance is the art of music visually interpreted to us.

I am using adobe photoshop CS5 to complete my art work. I like using the paintbrush. Here is my work in progress.
Practise makes you capable to perform on stage.
Thank you.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Modern Design Illustration: The Top Ten IWD Designs for 2012

Modern Design Illustration: The Top Ten IWD Designs for 2012: Ten Mohawk College faculty members from Graphic Design, Art & Design Foundations and Integrated Animation judged this year's competition. ...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fluid Dance Moves

According to, 

Lori Mulligan 

suggested that this week's topic be "Fluid".

“The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice. ” ~ Mark Twain

I will be designing a cd cover for the Famous Shakira. She will be dancing in the water.

Here is a few images of Shakira I could use to start my design template:

I like these images because I love incorporating nature. It's important to remember the environment around us.

After viewing through Leif Peng's flicker set I cam across an Al Parker image I liked. I like the cheerful border he illustrated.

I started working on my cd cover for Shakira and I decided to use adobe photoshop CS5 on my macbook pro. I am using a picture of Shakira but didn't like the water shot she was in because it wasn't as pure looking. So I grabbed another photo of nicer water and put that in her background and added text. There is more to do but here is an update.

I then added a colourful wavy border like Al Parker to add excitement and colour to the cd cover. I placed her name Shakira down the side for aesthetic appeal so you can read her name while viewing her image. I placed a tropical trendy, pink flower behind Shakira's name to add flare, like Al parker did in his above ad. I thought the different water view would be more appealing as it looks fresh. It looks like a good day at the beach, may you listen to her tunes and envision yourself on the sea side at the beach with the sun beaming on you.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Whitney Houston is Popular!

Whitney Houston changed the world one music note at a time and her trends in the eighties resembled the same dresses on your barbies. This weeks theme according to is 'Popularity'. Throughout the last century there has been a lot of heavy, solid talent to step out in the music and dance industry. So many people we have seen test the waters with song and dance, some have become stars, legends, or one pop song hits. Regardless, there is only few who inspire us world wide and touch our hearts with their amazing vocal notes such as, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. These ladies bring forth a musical front that not just anyone can master while they dance along in their creative music videos. Their lyrics are positive, upbeat, and touching. Most of all the power of their voices are angelic.

Whitney Houston shaking it to "I wanna dance with somebody who loves me". Her dance moves were simple enough to follow for most people, but her voice notes were unreachable. 

The image below was taken from J Lo's video "Hold you down".

Most recently, Whitney Houston passed away. The cause at this time is unknown. Her death will touch a lot of lives. We can still keep her in our thoughts and prayers. Whitney Houston will go down in time as one of the most memorable singers of all time. She was Native American, African American and Italian and she sold 170 million records world wide.  She was born in 1963 and was one of the first African Americans to appear on 'Seventeen' magazine. She also appeared on 'Glamour', 'Cosmopolitan' etc.   I did not follow her social life, or her un perfect habits. I will only remember her positive and uplifting song lyrics and her amazing voice that could melt anyones heart and make me cry for no reason. She truly was touching.

Whitney Houston as the first female African American to be on "Seventeen" magazine.

Whitney Houston started out as a regular person like any of us, except her godmother was Aretha Franklin and she first learnt to sing in a church choir. Being in the lime light and having millions of dollars isn't everything. I am sure it can be very nerve wrecking and stressful, in which probably lead to her drug use. I know she was very nervous to bring out her first cd.
Some of my favourite hits of hers was "I wanna dance with someone who loves me". Her official music video for this is very popular in trend. It shows bright vibrant colours, including pink, a shopping mall dress room and the splash in which J Lo herself used in her "I'm Glad" video, most recently.

This picture is taken from J Lo's "I'm Glad" video which was clearly influenced from Whitney Houston's "I wanna dance with somebody who loves me" video.

Whitney Houston's competitors were strong singers like Mariah Carey who sung songs like "Hero" and also Celine Dion who sung songs like "My heart will go on".  More singers who make me cry for no reason. I am a very stable person emotionally, but these ladies sure know how to bring it.
Other popular songs of Whitney Houston were "I will always love you" and "Greatest love of all time".
It is rare to hear such positive song lyrics like "Saving all my love for you" another Whitney Houston greatest hit. It would be nice to bring back this positive energy to the media that society misses out on.
Whitney's awards "included two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010"

I would like to make a tribute to Whitney Houston, stylizing on a magazine cover spread. 

This is a good way to start. This magazine cover layout is done by a popular Graphic Designer found on
I am also inspired by spirituality. This image is taken from google and also gives me inspiration.

Here is a template I designed in memory of Whitney Houston:

Thumbnails being processed of popular theme and Whitney Houston for magazine cover.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Heart is full of Suspense !

Hello all, how are you today? I would like to express with this week's theme, the theme of love according to Valentine's Day. Historically St. Valentine was a real Saint who married soldiers secretly.... the Roman Emperor Claudius II forbid soldiers to get married... the Priest Valentine married them regardless and then was buried on Feb 14th... he was killed and buried for marrying soldiers... the emperor thought he would build a stronger army if soldiers didn't worry about such things as love and marriage..... we use to celebrate more Saints on the calendar but over time the government has taken it out.... St Valentine survived the calendar, because it has become so commercialized. 
According to the word of the week is suspense and in dance we can all feel full of suspense when waiting to see our favourite number about to perform, or when we are dancing with a special valentine for the first time. 

This image was taken from goggle.

This image was taken from it was from a cd cassette cover about, you got it, love songs! 

Love is in the air!
This image was taken from which was hosting a contest called "Share your Love".
If you check out the link and are an American you can have a chance to win, all you have to do is write a love song.

This week's inspiration comes from Dance magazine, the word suspense, and Valentine's Day. Many dance couples across the nation await the suspense of performing on stage in front of hundreds, thousands, or perhaps millions. You, yourself at home may await the suspense of dancing with a special someone, perhaps for Valentine's Day?

Here is Keiraz linear concept:

Possible colour scheme: