Tag: #canada

Interview with Robert Vanderhorst – Surrealist Painter

Robert Vanderhorst’s creativity propels us to squint and examine the original or the rational with intention. At that point, you discover the conflict, the unacceptable, the unpleasant or the hidden desire. The imagery gushes over, the psyche is liberated, and the visual stimulus unravels the nuances of our ideas and rules.  He is adept at bringing together various mental pictures into a fusion of tenacious conventions, compromised perceptions, and wavering imaginations. His capability to point out that impressions, symbols, and patterns have unrealized possibilities, rattles the viewer. Although he deliberately composes the uncertainties, the freedom of thought, choice and the inclination of progress orbit symbolically and eminently in his artwork.

This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?
Lost – By Robert Vanderhorst – This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?

 

Fate's Passage Robert Vanderhorst
Fate’s Passage Robert Vanderhorst – The scene takes place in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. At the end of the light dappled gravel path is the Museum of Natural History. The ‘Museum’ is on this side of the doorway, not through it. The mother and her young son are going out through ’Fate’s Passage’. As she exits, she slowly becomes the space around her. The man standing at the doorway is the museum’s greeter. The astronaut has recently arrived, confused but intrigued. Near the exit, the shadow of a stooped Churchill leans heavily on his cane and the grey figure of an arrogant Napoleon standing on the balcony both suggest that they been guests of the museum for quite some time. This ‘Museum’ is a spectre of our future. Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax, ” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! ” Hotel California – The Eagles

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

RV: My talent comes through my father’s side of the family. He was an artist/graphic artist in Holland, and he continued that profession after coming to Canada post-WWII. Once I understood that art was my passion, my career path was set. Seeing Dali and Magritte’s work for the first time cemented my love for surrealism.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

RV: Exploration and mystery. Keep everyone thinking and guessing.

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

RV: Life is short. Be kind and generous, work hard and stay true to your passion, play when you can, travel and experience life as much as possible and keep your sense of humour intact.

The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst
The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What do you sell in your art-

RV: To think outside the box.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What motivates you to create, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy- 

RV: A desire to create realistic imagery that engages, asks questions and searches for answers where the answers ask more questions.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to illustrate-

RV: Time and space.

MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst
MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What does “confusion” mean to you? Also, what about “Normality”-

RV: I’m most fond of one of my image titles, ‘And You Thought You Were Normal.’ Says what I need to about confusion and what we perceive as normal.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

RV: Equality.

THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst
THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist-

RV: Develop a unique personal style and stay true to your art. Work your ass off, don’t compromise, network and promote using new and old technologies as much as possible.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

RV: Ignore it. Believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish and ignore anyone who tells you it can’t be done.

Magritte's Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst
Magritte’s Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The disruptive blockchain technology is addressing the problems of transparency and authenticity for artists; it will increase art sales, democratize art investment, and last but not least allow artists to be fairly paid.  What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of art? Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve?

RV: I am not versed in this platform and at this stage not particularly interested in another tech learning curve. Everyone should be paid fairly and on time, artists, in particular, considering they are often taken for granted and put at the bottom of the list. If this tech addresses the issues you’ve stated above effectively, then I’m all for it.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why- 

RV: I’m happy as is.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor- 

RV: I was a Zombie in a George A. Romero film, and that was perfect for me. Don’t need to be a lead.

THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

RV: Life is complicated. Keep your sense of humour and try not to be an ass.

In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
ROBERT VANDERHORST
ROBERT VANDERHORST

 

Images: Lost & Fate Passage courtesy of Robert Vanderhorst, other images from Saatchi Art Gallery.

2018: Winners at Festival d’Hyères – Fashion & Photography

The Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography is the oldest fashion contest, that encourages creative and unique perspective on the world and fashion. The global challenges, critical issues and the shift in conscious and sustainability are prevalent and desired in its context.  Launched in 1985, at Robert Mallet-Stevens’s aristo-modernist Villa Noailles, in Riviera coastline, is the “must attend” event on the fashion calendar.

The social projects with the flair of originality and innovation are realized in photography, accessories and fashion collections to challenge the uncertainties in our societies, to communicate the cultural pressures, to inspire and to help the collective to overcome their disabilities and inspire.

This year’s, winner of the Swarovski Grand Prize for Accessories in Festival d’Hyères, H (earring),  received an unanimous vote  from Christelle Kocher who presided the fashion accessories jury panel alongside Michèle Lamy, Mansur Gavriel’s Floriana Gavriel, Vogue Runway Director Nicole Phelps, and jeweler Elie Top, among others.

In an industry that attempts to make hearing aids as invisible as possible, the collaboration between the French trio,  Kate Fichard, Flora Fixy and Julia Dessirier resulted in transforming the hearing aid device to a remarkable accessory. They merged creativity, elegance and practicality to produce a confident fashion statement.

Crafted in gold and rhodium-plated brass sprinkled with Swarovski crystals, they offer elegant ways to wear by fusing jewellery and technology, without compromising the function of the device.

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Here are the winners in other categories:

Fashion

Grand Prix of the Première Vision Jury with Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh (Men’s Collection) Netherlands. The menswear collection spiced up with humour, pays tribute to the Caribbean fisherman, touches on cultural issues of gender fluidity, as well as causes and effects of environmental pollution.

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Chloé Award to Marie-Eve Lecavalier (Women’s Collection) Canada. The Montreal born designer reflects ambition, endurance and purposefulness by deconstructing and distortion in her design ideas. In her collection, the altered reality is achieved by transforming leather appearance into a knitted structure.

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Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Sarah Bruylant (Women’s collection) Belgium. A fan of Christian Dior, her vibrant and flamboyant collection pays respect to art and history.

Sara Bruylant - Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/
Sara Bruylant – Image from https://lxry.nl/amfi/

Audience Award of the City of Hyères to Cécile Gray , France. The accessories are made of steel wire, tinted in gold, and covered with a nylon sheath. Once woven, this gives a soft material, to be comfortable and to move with the person who wears them, and rigid, to work it in volume.

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Photography

Grand Jury Photography Award to Eva O’Leary, “Spitting Image” USA.

 

American Vintage Photography Award to Sarah Mei Herman, for a project called Xiamen, which she shot in the Chinese coastal city.

The Still Life Prize to Csilla Klenyanszki, for a series called Pillars of Homes which was shot at home.

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Ray Caesar – The Artist Who Embraces Gender Fluidity

Ray Caesar – The Artist Who Embraces Gender Fluidity from Jupilings on Vimeo.

Innocent to sinful, unrestrained to attentive, humorous to gloomy, flirtatious to modest, Ray Caesar, the acclaimed digital artist, unlocks his state of mind and his power of imagination through playful and witty themes. He chose to undertake one of the most difficult aspects of life by laying bare his painful and unpleasant life experiences, acknowledging his fears, submerging into his desires and fantasies through art.  His compelling imagery links the dreamy yet self discovery realities to earthly concerns. He  opens up the portals of his multi-layered universe and delves deep into his subconscious and emotional states of being.

Sol - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Sol – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Ray Caesar’s self observing depictions, challenge us, shake us and impel us in an unforeseen directions, perhaps to a place where we re-examine our own realities and progressively relate to our world with compassion. As he gracefully and brilliantly indicates:

” My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that ?, share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.”

Communion - Courtesy of Ray Caesar /Gallery House
Communion – Courtesy of Ray Caesar /Gallery House

Learn about what drives Ray Caesar’s creativity and his intentions, in an exclusive interview with Jupilings:

Tell us about yourself and how you got into art:

Ray Caesar: I grew up in south London in the 1960s in a very dysfunctional and abusive family. I began making pictures as a way to dissociate and cope from a difficult reality. After immigrating to Canada I began working at a children’s hospital in Toronto in the medical art and photography dept and ended up, staying there for 17 years. I had always painted and sculpted but during these years, I began to once again make art as a coping mechanism as the material I dealt with at work was quite overwhelming. I then worked for several years in the film industry doing 3D modeling and animation and from there began making art with digital tools.

Old Wounds - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Old Wounds – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

Who is your protagonist?

Ray Caesar: She is my alter ego and a way for me to present a side of the fluidity or ambiguity of my gender. As a child I used to behave and dress very much like the figures in my work but any expression of that soon became too dangerous in the volatile family I lived with in the 1960s. It was also unnerving to my father that I used to talk to dolls, and that I insisted they would talk back. Years of therapy has suggested this is a form of dissociative identity disorder but I have some ideas of this myself of a slightly more mystical nature. I am comfortable with the idea that my protagonist is a side of my subconscious identity that I had to hide in a paracosm or inner world in order to survive. Today my images are simply a window into that world that has been growing in my mind for over half a century…an aspect of my psyche of gentleness and femininity and also a way to manage a strange but dangerous inclination that in some way has grown up in a separate world from this one.

Sailor Boy - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Sailor Boy – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What is the fundamental principal in your creations?

Ray Caesar: To explore and heal my own fractured psychology through images by creating my story as if it was a book of pictures. To give the suppressed and partially broken aspect of who I am a physical presentation. I take memory and dissociated emotions and experiences and give them physical form not just in a 2 dimensional picture but as a 3 dimensional virtual environment with a 3 dimensional figure. My protagonist is movable physical doll covered textures of my own skin in virtual rooms and clothing and textures from a variety of memories from my own past. I am writing a story of my life in pictures that evoke feelings I can’t put in words.

You have indicated that your artworks are inspired by your childhood, life experiences and your involvement in Sick Kids Hospital which are the inner force, what about motivation, what is the outside force that compels you to create?

Ray Caesar: To personally see a reflection of who I am. To define myself in my own evolving mind image. We have no control in how others define us …we do have a choice in how we define ourselves and that plays into how we ourselves define others. I didn’t start publicly showing my work for the motivation of profit as I have other skills that could have and did satisfy that need. I certainly don’t do this for motivations of ego as I am extremely shy and uncomfortable making my work public and rarely attend openings and have to force myself to post on social media in fits of agony. For me, my work isn’t Art …it’s a presentation of who I am. A method for self expression so I can see myself presented in a way that expresses how I feel. I make it public as I have learned that showing work in some strange way “completes it” …it makes that image part of the greater whole and by doing that ….. its meaning changes with each person that looks at it in such a way that I am forced to look at it again as if I have never seen it before …that has always been its greatest mystery and surprise to me.

When you are creating a work of art, you are forging an engagement with a situation or an emotion. Do you aspire to drive public awareness to activism, in any stage of your creation?

Ray Caesar: There is no intended dogma in my work or social commentary other than a very personal exploration of who I am and it is a very self indulgent process that I need to do for survival. I think of it like a visual diary and personal emotional guide. My work is simply a self portrait of my own mind and self image. It’s about my own sense of fluid gender and my inability to comprehend who I am and where I fit in a world of polarized views. I believe we each need a mind view or image of who we are as a template to build our actions and progress and evolve in a strange world. Although my work is very self indulgent I do think self exploration leads into how we as a species have to define what it is to be a human being. So much of our problems with race and gender and cultural identity stem from the inability to connect as a species and define our long term goals and aspiration (this absolutely reflects my own problems with dissociation ) ….to take an active role in our own evolution by a series of smaller conscious revolutions that build the template of what a human being is and what it could be and should be. If we define ourselves individually as unique complex individuals with flaws and amazing potential and realize that there has never been another person in all human history just like us and no one has ever had our unique experience…..then that’s how we define others!  Not by our physical sex organs or skin pigmentation or where we were born, or what familial religion or organization we belongs to.  We are a species of unique individuals that are attempting to define our spiritual and practical goals and that’s something every single one of us share. My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that ?, share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.

World Traveler - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
World Traveler – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What does women empowerment mean to you?

Ray Caesar: As someone who is fluid gender and who has never really felt entirely male or female and lives in a mind that could be described as ambiguous and hermaphroditic, I am fascinated by recent events in a gradual growing realization of enlightened women and men that patriarchy is fundamentally flawed. I would love to see our species grow beyond a system that is based on self centered fear, power and dominance. It’s time for our species to evolve and acknowledge that we all have masculine and feminine aspects to our subconscious psychology. The balance of Anima and Animus is crucial, not just in the individual, but in the very fabric of human society and the way we choose to govern ourselves and interact in a variety of social levels. In my own attempt to reflect this about myself through my work …it is not lost on me that our own personal struggles reflect the greater struggles of our species and society. The empowerment of women is really a foundation stone in the self realization of what direction we need to travel for the species as a whole that can ultimately benefit the whole. It is evolution in progress and from a personal point of view it is amazing and beautiful to witness. In a hopeful way I see our planet as a fundamentally feminine thing. Earth or Gaia is a living goddess, a tangible deity that exists and is the giver of life. This thin strip of atmosphere is like a womb feeding and nurturing and protecting the fragile life that exists within it. Within her is a sea of conscious awareness of millions of species and She is the the sum of all the consciously aware life on this small blue world. She is a tangible touchable living conscious Goddess and we are destroying her through our primitive patriarchal arrogance, our fear and ignorance and our need for power and dominance. This planet is alive and a living thing! …we are part of this life and not separate from it and our conscious awareness is only part of the sum of existence that lives here,  life on this planet is more than just us. We are part of a caring protective matriarchal ecosystem called Earth and dependant on her like a child is of a mother. We cannot exist without her and our species will have to evolve and learn to treasure this Eden before we are expelled from it.

Kat in Laundromat - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Kat in Laundromat – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Tainted by the sea - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery of House
Tainted by the sea – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery of House

What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

Ray Caesar: Make the art you love and explore avenues that excite you and that are fundamentally about you. Realize that your own choices and values create your brand as if it is an expression of your world view. If you make what you love someone else will love it too. Network and find people that have the same passion for art or creation that you do and realize you can’t do this all alone. I work with my wife Jane and my friend and manager Belinda Chun as a kind of team or family. We like to think of all this as a collective of different skills not unlike a fashion house or crew of a ship and we call that “Gallery House”http://galleryhouse.ca/. I make the Art, Jane keeps spreadsheets tracking every single piece and keeps me balanced and Belinda then builds a series of partnerships with galleries and dealers and organizations around the world that become a kind of extended family. It’s no longer a world of just one gallery and one artist splitting everything 50/50. We learn to trust these galleries and they learn to trust us and it all starts to work like a functioning engine that creates work, markets work and puts that work in places that visitors and collectors can view it and experience it online and in real spaces like galleries and art fairs and boardrooms and charitable events. It’s not just about me ..it’s about the different parts of the engine that function in tandem that create something of emotional value from nothing but a concept and a piece of paper and canvas. Dior wasn’t just Christian …it was a house and a company of people who believed in something beautiful and worked together to build something that was more than just a dress…they made that dress a piece of art.

Merchant of Venice - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Merchant of Venice – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:

Ray Caesar: I don’t as these are valid emotions … I use fear and self doubt in a positive and creative way ..it’s not so much the conquering of a thing ( that’s a patriarchal practice ) but understanding that my feelings can create a choice of actions and that’s what I absolutely love about emotions …they give us choice. If I am afraid of something I acknowledge it and calmly look at my choices and use the negative energy in a creative positive way that creates a positive result. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear or the control of it, but understanding you have a choice of calm contemplative action despite the fear. I think a wonderful thing to learn is that fear can actually create calm when you realise it’s a way for the subconscious to communicate to the conscious mind that makes action. I think of all emotions like a unformed energy that can be modified like a lump of sculptural clay into form …it’s only when we take action and that clay is cast that we will know the result. If I doubt myself that means I need to examine why I am doubting myself and sometimes that doubt is a very useful justified thing and sometimes it is an illusion. I don’t just try and be creative with Art ..I try and be creative with life.

Helios - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Helios – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House

 What are you thoughts about the blockchain technology specially in support of digital art? Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in the Art Market do you want these platforms to solve?

Ray Caesar: One of the reasons Belinda Chun and I developed a different method of working with galleries is that I had so many problems being paid by previous galleries that sold my work. I have had many problems of my work on consignment not being returned. We now only partner with good trustworthy galleries that work fairly with artists and in doing so we make sure we work fairly with them. Blockchain holds a promise of improving that situation by giving greater clarity of any sale and transfer of work in any gallery in the world and letting everyone involved know when and where it happened. I am also interested in the potential for providence in terms of a digital form of certificate of authenticity that can make providence absolute and travel from collector to collector. Blockchain is sort of like a digital Antiques Roadshow that carries the history of each item along with it and that history becomes part of the fabric of the art itself and can ultimately even increase the value or story of that particular object. As a print maker of a unregulated commodity each piece of an edition is very much like printing currency and in doing so one faces the problems any currency faces. Many years ago I was surprised I had absolutely no control over the price of my work …it developed a price based on demand or more accurately, someone’s guess or gamble of its demand. If I held the price down on my work, dealers bought it all and sold it for a higher price. I learned how market creates the price and value of a limited unregulated edition whether it is a stamp, a dollar bill or a piece of art.

What super power you would like to have ? and why?

Ray Caesar: The ability to become consciously aware of subconscious aspects of my own reality and move towards a greater awareness of not just my own existence but a greater awareness of our species and the multi dimensional universe we live in … it’s a super power I am currently learning to cope with and not like trying to cope with X-ray vision or with the difficulty of wearing a spandex mask and tights and high heels and a troublesome cape that tends to get caught in revolving doors.

Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:

Ray Caesar: From childhood I always wanted to be Emma Peel in the old British Avengers TV spy series…I loved her outfits and how she finished each show drinking champagne. She laughed at fear and always took humorous control and action in any difficult situation. She was a spy and secret agent, a lover and a sculptor and was probably one of the first strong independent female characters on television. I have modelled myself on Emma Peel since I first saw her as a child in the 1960s….it’s a bit tricky to get into a leather outfit now and zip it all up but I suppose Diana Rigg has the same problem…. I also think that she was the basis for M in the recent James Bond films …in fact in She was even referred to as Emma and Bond himself almost gave it away when he said he was mistaken when he thought M was a random letter.

Silent Partner - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Silent Partner – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House

What is your life motto?

Ray Caesar:: Pick yourself up ..dust yourself off ..and try again….keep in mind the only way out is through and leave by the same door you came in….also Fibre is good but too much Fibre isn’t so good.

Home Coming - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Home Coming – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Bound - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Bound – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Precious - Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Precious – Courtesy Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Blessed - Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House
Blessed – Courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

How To Bring Your Personal Brand Voice To Life?

In a previous blog post, I talked about how to define your personal brand voice and frame recognizable standards to create your brand story. In whatever field, your distinct voice, signature image and style determine your relationship within your circle or group, overall in society at large. Let’s expand our topic to the critical element of bridging your brand identity/voice to real life and social media.

Let’s start with your engagements through myriads of social media platforms. Generally, the nature of these mediums is spontaneous and fluid. Cultivating your personal brand voice on social media calls for identifying your tone, your language and your purpose.  Creating contents that are authentic and endorse your brand voice; requires clarity, discipline and consistency. Blissfully once established, it takes away the distracting flotsam in your busy lives.

Sweeping through your list of what I am and what I am not, can be used to create contents that give a hint or a splash of your identity. It pays off if you have done your homework.  For instance:

You prefer the visual appeal of Instagram to adapt your screenplay and engage with your friends or the public. You are an empathizer but not a sympathizer; you prefer soft rock & relaxing music but not techno; you love to read fiction concerning social issues not science fiction; you are an advocate for a specific cause, you love to eat french pastry, the list goes on.

Indeed, the efforts to define your personal brand voice gives you a clear idea to share images and micro stories that exhibit your opinion and position. Creating snaps, videos, tweets or pictures to showcase what matters to you; putting into words effective captions that firmly support your perspective; sharing your odyssey, together breath life to your brand.

Each medium evokes different experience and connection. Tapping into the most compelling one to convey your intentions, you need to tailor your brand story to fit. No matter what form you are using, there are few techniques that you can apply to stamp your brand story, whether through snaps, images, conversations or attire:

Show don’t tell: your choice of clothing, manner, your posture, your eye contact, your images, a piece of art, snaps or pins,… should be in harmony with your brand voice.

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Serena Williams sleek feed on Instagram attest to her qualities and values.

 

 

 

Foreshadowing by giving hints and clues: your choice of accessories, food or wine; a quote or a proverb; building anticipation by composing contents that your circle looks forward to,…. are few tips to consider.

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For instance, one accessory that reflects your character in an understated elegance is a watch. Let’s say; you are a sportsman, a thrill-seeker,  drive a Porsche 911 and choose to spend a weekend in Circuit  des 24 heures de Mans. Certainly, you wear an Omega wristwatch that communicates the style with power in a subtle way.

 

 

Appeal to senses: your choice of music to include in your storytelling; a description of a taste;  narrating the mood,…. invoking a sentiment that one hopes for and allows your audience to relate.

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Jess Hoffman snapchat account (@ChoosingChia) focus on wholesome plant-based ingredients. She shares the fresh produce that goes into her juice of the day, step-by-step videos of her favourite recipes.

 

 

Ability to find solutions: Be a thought leader by sharing your knowledge; talk about your experiences;  be the expert on your topic of choice; tell what motivates you; your worldviews,….

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Lewis Howes, an American author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player. He hosts The School of Greatness; a talk show distributed podcast. He makes use of his knowledge of marketing, product design and human behaviour through his online media company.

 

Set up a unified visual branding: this technique surely applies both to your social media engagements and physical attributes. Use of colour that matches your emotions and fonts that appeal to you personally. Be expressive and include a signature style to indicate your distinct voice.

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Christoph Niemann Instagram account @abstractsunday is innovative and witty. His whimsical signature is apparent in all his visual storytelling.

 

 

We might not have the unique experience of cheering people up, influence, entertain, tell and hear stories around a campfire at all times, still adapting the same approach and emotions to our social and career networking brings our personal brand voice to life.

 

Canada’s Great Women – Kenojuak Ashevak

Kenojuak Ashevak was an Inuit artist and one of the most remarkable Canadian pioneers of modern Inuit Art.  She was born in an igloo in an Inuit camp, Ikirasaq, at the southern coast of Baffin Island, on October 3, 1927.

Kenojuak Ashevak
Kenojuak Ashevak, Inuit Artist
Rabbit Eating Seaweed
Rabbit Eating Seaweed, Kenojuak Ashevak

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1959, Kenojuak’s print Rabbit Eating Seaweed” was immediate success.

Her valuable work of arts such as carvings from soapstone, drawings, etchings, stone cut prints and prints are sought after by museums, collectors and corporations.

 Ashevak Kenojuak
Ashevak Kenojua

She designed several drawings for Canadian stamps and coins, and in 2004 she created the first Inuit-designed stained-glass window for the John Bell Chapel in Oakville, Ontario.

Stained glass, Kenojuak Ashevak
Stained glass, Kenojuak Ashevak

Her 1960 print “Enchanted Owl” has become an iconic image in Canadian art.

Enchanted Owl Kenojuak Ashevak
Enchanted Owl Kenojuak Ashevak

 

 

Best Concept Boutique in Toronto Accessories, the Art of Self-Expression: Talk with Jaleh Farhadpour

Are you looking for a present for someone you want never to forget you? Do you like to be radiant? Do you like to exaggerate your ensemble? Do you like to treat your beauty to pure luxury? Do you want to possess that effortless “look at me” aura? Then you must stop by Archives Toronto. The one stop destination to explore the whimsical, avant-garde  & unique creations in fine jewellery and accessories. Artfully showcasing the fine collections with all white interiors and mouthwatering one of a kind accessories, you are in the glamour land.

We met with talented and capable Jaleh Farhadpour, the owner of Archives Toronto. She studied architecture & fashion from which she has discovered her signature style and nurtured her creativity.

She offers diverse collection from brands like Germany’s Meissen, JAR, to designers such as Delfina Delettrez, Elie Top, or Fernando Jorge.

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Tell me about your beginnings in art and design: I am an architect by training and worked in the fashion design industry in Dubai & across Europe. In 2005, my fascination with gemstone, their healing power, my inner experiences and emotions propelled me to create my own line of fine jewellery.

What experience or situation compelled you to design jewellery:  My childhood memories. Being the eldest, my grandmother gave me permission to ferret around her treasure trove, dress up and adorn myself with her diamond studded and precious stones fine jewellery. That was my fantasy land and those recollections fanned my inspiration.

The first designer piece you owned was from which jewellery designer: Van Cleef & a Rolex watch.

What is your advice to a man buying his partner an anniversary gift: Choosing a piece with authentic design that can be passed down for generations will carve a special place in her/his heart. Fine jewellery made with passion, considering originality and craftsmanship should have greater importance to the monetary value of the stone or the weight of the gold.

And if you were to give one tip to a woman buying their partner a birthday gift: A watch is always a cool piece of jewellery, is stylish, has a functional use and tells the time.

Is jewellery an investment: Definitely fine jewellery is an investment. Designer pieces such as JAR have their own cult and unquestionably increase in value.

How does your showroom make life easier for busy fashionistas : We go through myriad of designers and pick the ones who are basically avant-garde, fashion forward with an edge. From boundless simplicity to divine complex designs, our selections are not only for early adopters who embrace the cutting edge aesthetics but also the romantics, the bohemians or the adventurers. The uncompromising novelty of our collections whether fine jewellery or accessories such as sunglasses, hats & bags have the “wow” factor.  We offer what the trendsetters around the world are wearing. We have clients  from New York, who used to travel to Europe to learn about the latest trend and add to their jewellery collection or accessories, now they are coming to us .

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What is your favourite accessory: Definitely, a pair of earrings, I cannot go out without them.

Graduation season is coming up, any suggestions to parents and grand parents who are looking to buy a gift: A pair earrings by Delfina Delettrez, fourth generation Fendi and celebrated jewellery designer.

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What genre of music inspire you:  Rock, Stairway to Heaven is one of my favourite songs.

What is your idea for social responsibility: Environment is important to me, I strongly believe that we should buy quality rather than quantity. If we all use less, buy less we are helping mother earth. I love this quote: “I am not rich enough to buy cheap stuff”. Personally I am committed to recycling, cooking local, eating local. It is our responsibility to preserve our planet for future generations, and try to eliminate consumerism as much as we can. How? Well, try a  minimalist wardrobe, which helps with “decision fatigue”, and invest in your accessories like sunglasses, hats, handbags & belts and jewellery. You can wear the same outfit over and over, it is about how you pull out looks. High quality accessories is one time investment that add personality & zip to your ensemble.

Are you involved in a charity? and why? Giving back goes hand in hand with my beliefs. It makes me feel good & my life meaningful. Many years ago, I’ve started a shelter for battered women and children in Iran and to this date gratefully is enabling many individuals to re-gain their integrity, self confidence and the ability for re-integration into society. Philanthropy is a connection with your community without it your spiritual self would be broken.

Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor? Roman Holiday.

What is power? Love is power.

Your favourite place to travel? Well, it changes, up to year ago it was the magical Sri Lanka & recently I had a vacation in Nevis and loved it.

Who is your muse or style icon? Audrey Hepburn.

What is your favourite book? Through the narrow gate”, by Karen Armstrong. I’ve read few of her books and they all had a great impact on my spiritual awakening. Her views gave me a clarity that we are all part of one human family.

Among the politicians who would you like to play card with? Emmanuel Macron.

What is your “life Motto”? Do it with love and passion or don’t do it at all”.

What have you learnt from your kids?  I have learnt that my capabilities are limitless because of my kids.  I learnt when you love deeply, you are unstoppable. From the very first day they were born, I learnt about my strengths, my resilience and how to deal with my fears.

Photos courtesy of Archives Toronto, 1275 Bay Street Toronto On, Canada, M5R 0B3.  Tel: +1 416 922-2229
Store Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 11am- 7pm,  Sunday: 12-5pm

Elie Top – Talented Jewelry Designer

What would you do, when you are nostalgic or affectionate, and as a strong woman you want to reveal your emotions in a subtle & intelligent way? How would you project your inner strength, compassion, and beauty to draw the good in your professional and social galaxy similar to the cosmos movement? Your uniqueness is your gravity. Developing a personal style accentuates your self-confidence and allows you to shine.

As a spirited campaigner for individuality, how would you integrate your beautiful mind, your identity and your taste in jewellery? Yes, body ornaments are part of your brand and developing a signature style for a woman with a purpose in life is imperative. Indicating your allegiance to your dearest, a society or ideology through jewellery is not only delightful but convincing.

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Elie Top – Yellow gold, silver, diamonds, cornaline intaglio

Last week, I was invited to meet with Elie Top a brilliant and genial fine jewellery designer at Archives, Toronto and had the pleasure to conduct an interview. His collections, mécaniques célestes, cosmogonie secrète or étoile mysteries,, reassure the strong woman that design, craftsmanship and modern rendition of the symbols and celestial mechanics, undoubtedly play upon her strength and evoke harmony.

 

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Elie Top – Bracelet
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Elie Top – Bracelet

The pieces are about discovery as they unfold through interlocking cages and artistically engraved compartments. The precision is achieved by ambitious design, the technology of three-dimensional printing and high artisanship. Luckily, with the cosmogonie secrète collection, you are in “control,” you have a “choice” in selecting signs and symbols that represent an idea, a message, a renewal, an advent or a new life.

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Elie Top – Diamond necklace

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The Interview:

Elie Top, French-born jeweller started his career in design at YSL and continued to be the celebrated accessories Director at Lanvin for 15 years. He has launched his own brand in 2015 with Elie Top, Mécanique Célestes Collection. 

Jupilings: Tell me the story of Elie Top, the first project that had set you on this path of designing fine jewelry: 

 

Elie Top: I have been designing costume jewelry for years especially for Lanvin alongside Albert Elbaz. So Fine Jewelry was the natural next step to express myself in the most personal way.  I went back to my roots, a mix of baroque and industrial aesthetic, ornamental and mechanic.”

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Elie Top

Jupilings: What was the source of inspiration behind the current collection: 

Elie Top: After “mécaniques célestes” and “étoile mystérieuse” , “cosmogonie secrète” is the third series. A trilogy about the space, but in more narrative, ornamental and esoteric way: based on the four elements: fire, water, air, earth, every single thing is connected from the colours, the animals to the seasons. Nothing is unbound, perpetually significant. I was dreaming of the portrait of Agnes Sorel by Fouquet, the priestess of Dune (the Lynch movie), or Excalibur and the heraldic language and shapes. Bestowing on the object of protection and power.

Jupilings: What is the voice of your brand:

Elie Top: I would say medieval, futuristic and casual, based on the idea of a secret for independent and strong women. It talks about design, structure, and systems.

 

 

Jupilings: If you were to describe your team of craftsmen in two words:

Elie Top: Enthusiastic and inventive!

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Jupilings: What is your advice to a man buying his partner an anniversary gift:

Elie Top: not to do it on his own but always with his partner! Women know remarkably well and much better what suits them!

Jupilings: What makes a piece of jewelry an heirloom:

Elie Top: Not necessary its value, certainly more the person, maybe the first owner, who has been wearing it, the way and the circumstances it was worn creates an aura and symbols that the descendants will enjoy to carry on.

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Jupilings: Who is your muse or fashion icon: 

Elie Top: I admire and love many women, but certainly the most important and influential in my life is Loulou de la Falaise. I met her very young at YSL, and worked with her for many years; her taste of huge, bold, barbaric jewels worn in a total free spirit made a deep and definitive impression on me. I miss her every day.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

Elie Top: I work! Fear and doubt are essentials to move on.

Jupilings: Which side of Elie Top drives the wheel of your life?

Elie Top: The creative part is the most important, since ever. I always gave the creativity the priority: looking for beauty.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:

Elie Top: Eh…, Eric von Strohiem in all his movies.

Jupilings: What is your life Motto:

Elie Top: Remain faithful to yourself.

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A selection of Elie Top jewelry can be found at Archives Toronto, 1275 Bay Street Toronto On, Canada. 

Images are courtesy of  Elie Top.