It was December, many years ago, when my partner and I were out holiday shopping. We stopped at a bookstore to buy a present and were greeted by a retired racing greyhound. An odd combination to be sure — books and greyhounds. But the dog was there as an ambassador, accompanied by his guardian, to introduce the public to the special and gentle nature of the retired racing greyhound. And this one was a pro. We were smitten with greyhounds from then on.
Flash forward to the start of the pandemic, some 20 years later, and we were still keeping up with greyhounds and following rescue groups on social media even though we’d never had one as a pet. With tracks closing due to covid, the need to find permanent homes for racing greyhounds was more urgent than ever. We applied to become a foster family through GPA-MN, a rescue group that finds homes for greyhounds in need, particularly retired racers. The foster family is a greyhound’s first brush with their new life, helping them transition from working dog to companion animal while they wait to be matched with their forever family and home. Continue reading
You know you have been spending way too much time at home when you start naming the squirrels. Yes, you read correctly, naming squirrels; So far, I have White Ears, Delta, Fatso, and Stubs. But, that’s not why I’m here, and nor are you.
The one time I did leave my home, it was the middle of June, and I was opening a dusty drawer in an antique store; here is what I found: A box with mold flecks and gold flecks.
The idea of food as purely sustenance has always been foreign to me. For me, food has been a reason to gather, a way to explore the world through different ingredients, a way to remember people and moments in my life—most importantly, food has always been the most nourishing when shared with others.
When the lockdown began I was living in Reading, UK completing the MATD programme. I was set to fly home to Toronto at the end of March, but made the decision to cancel my flight for the safety of my family (imagine if I knew just how bad it was actually going to get). I was almost 6000 km from home, living five hours ahead of everyone I cared about, and attempting to navigate a pandemic alone. The future felt uncertain and my only social interaction was through a screen. Cooking became my only solace. Food has always played a significant role in my life and culture; growing up, the kitchen was where we gathered when people visited. And cooking for someone was, and remains for me, the ultimate act of showing you care about them. Continue reading
There’s nothing quite like the beauty and diversity of letter forms carved in stone. The level of craft that went into making the forms is evident, even if the product has been eroded by years of exposure. My passion for the many eclectic shapes and styles that glyphs can take was first ignited by my participation in ‘Urban Lettering Walks’ with design historian and writer Paul Shaw. The vernacular typography that I observed during these walks became the inspiration for two digital typeface designs, Bowery and Bequeath. Both were designed with the intention to create distinctive digital typefaces for use in contemporary design contexts, with reverence to their historical roots.
Bowery was based on letter forms carved into a stone plaque from the late 19th century, located in the Bowery Mission meeting room on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Bequeath was based on 18th century gravestone inscriptions found in the cemeteries of New York City. Continue reading
It was Saturday evening in middle of the dark Finnish November. I found myself digging deeper into what fun activity I could do. Virtual hangouts have been an effective activity for staying connected with my family and friends in Amman and around the world. One virtual hangout that is always of particular importance is a call with my calligraphy teacher in Amman, Master Riad Tabbal. Continue reading
So the pandemic hit me hard. I am not saying I was fully sane before the pandemic but remote MATD workshops, spacing my typeface in solitude, and dissertation writing affected my judgment and I just went crazy with tea. Some people spent their money on toilet rolls during isolation but I spent (yes, I still do it today —sorry, not sorry—) my savings on tea. That majestic hot beverage commonly prepared by pouring boiling water over some fresh or dry leaves. Continue reading
APRIL 2020. I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed and I see a post from @ofcommoninterest offering a free-of-charge 5-weeks long remote workshop. It’s a collective research looking into feminist periodicals in collaboration with @lesigne_cndg. The possibility of taking part in something exciting is plutôt rare these days! I applied immediately. A few days later my participation in the workshop is confirmed. Continue reading
During these crazy times when this world has been turned upside down, we look for some moments of distraction from this new ‘reality 2.0’ that we live in nowadays. After living in another city for four years and in the Netherlands this past year, I moved back to my hometown, Madrid, in July. It’s astonishing seeing how fast a city changes. And it felt even more weird being back with the world upside down. For me, being able to go to museums after they re-opened became a big way to reconnect with my city, my new reality, and with the life we all had before the pandemic.
Mel Bochner’s pieces resonate with this year, It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This, 2013 and I’ve Had It Up to Here, 2012. Part of the exhibition “The american dream” in Caixaforum Madrid.
A significant part of a typeface designer’s job is looking at small details. A regular person might look at a font and be able to identify the difference between a sans and a serif. But if they take the time to look and learn, they could appreciate the little quirks that make each typeface unique. It’s the same with hiking; For a first stroll in the woods, someone might only be able to distinguish between trees and bushes. But they might look closer, at the tiny differences, at the blossoms and berries and lichens. They’re in a fascinating world with so much to explore.
Cherry blossoms, Northern bayberries, and Old Man’s Beard growing on branches.