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The Zeta art journal tour!

I’ve nicknamed this journal Zeta because it’s a Stillman and Birn Zeta series – original, I know. But it be like that sometimes.

Anyway, at the end of 2018  the beginning of 2019 I finally finished all three of my main art journals for the year. I could have finished them on time, but then several events kicked me squarely in the ass and I was forced to process them before I could get back to creating art.

So now I have the task of filming and uploading three flip-throughs, and this will be part I. The Zeta series sketchbook tour:

Art Journal Tour video

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Something that has become very important to me over the course of 2018 has been learning about my personal finances and, in connection with that, my habits of consumption. I never really realized how much I’ve taken on the habits of my parents when it came to what I buy and my thought process when making financial decisions.


My mother spends money on things that she never (or rarely) actually uses and on things that are cheap but will never last long. I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that for most of my life, I’ve been emulating that pattern and how unhealthy that is. This past summer I renovated my bedroom and that meant cleaning out my entire room and in the process, I got rid of about 70% of my possessions. It felt so. Incredibly. Liberating.


From that moment on, I started monitoring what I buy and why I buy it. It’s helped me so much in understanding the value of things and how to be smart and save my money – especially because this year has hit me hard in the finances.


This page was created while thinking about ethical and long term smart consumption. We’re bombarded with ads and emails and sales all day long. And making a purchase is easier than ever because now you can do it with a few simple clicks so I’m hoping that in 2019 I can take the lessons I’ve learned and go further. I’m hoping for prosperity for all of us!!!

Mini Art Journal Tour

Another mini is done! I started out on the ‘west coast’ field notes series of notebooks. This was the first one of the series and the last one of 2018. I managed to finish it and film the video just in time!

If you’re interested in the video tour, take a look at the video here:

Mini Art Journal Tour

Launching the Store!

After months of dithering and doing a ton of research, I finally did it! I opened my own store, exclusively for my stationery and art.

Find it here:

The Mercurial Milk Store!

I’m selling prints of my work, stickers and soon I will transfer my handmade journals to this store as well.

I’m not a big fan of dealing with Etsy again but at the end of the day, I’m familiar with their policies and as of right now, I’m not planning on making this a huge venture, just a way to sell some fun stuff.

I hope you check out the new store! And if you’re not interested in buying anything yet, hit up that ‘favorite’ button to give me an ego boost!

July: Photo Diary

I watched a skillshare course on city photography by this guy who specializes in urban and travel photos and I absolutely loved it!

It’s not something I’ve ever really given much thought and I realized that I love hearing the stories of people who do creative jobs I’ve never even considered.

My own photography has been focused on nature and the predominant color is green. Possibly because I live in the pacific northwest and moss covers every surface.

My city is relatively young; only 150 years old in comparison to London or Paris… we’re babies! But I think every city is special in some way and every city has something unique about it.

So, I sent a text to my sister, grabbed the DSLR and off we went!

We started off right in the parking lot. The alleyway that was behind the lot was covered in street art and looked absolutely stunning!

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We went the rest of the way down and watched a young guy showing off the street art to his mother, who looked on with awe:

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We stopped by the Vancouver Pen Shop, where I got myself a few nibs to stock up my supply, and then to a fabric store where I found a squeaky toy shaped like a shark and nearly scared my sister to death when I loudly set it off in the middle of the store.

Then we grabbed some delicious food, and wandered around Gastown for a bit, where again, I got obsessed with alleyways and also fire escapes.

We also patiently waited as a man in a kilt walked down Water St playing the bagpipes:

A true legend.

We decided to head over to Granville Island and spend some time cruising through the indie stores and art shops until closing time.

Look at this kid! My favorite model.

It was hot and sunny, and the seagulls and tourists were out in full force.

We went to opus where the sister got herself a black sketchbook. Then to paper-ya, where I found a Delfonics canvas pouch that I couldnt pass up and finally, we ended the day at Maiwa, where I got myself a little pot of ground madder root. I’m curious to know how well it dyes, and maybe I’ll make myself some natural pigment watercolors… who knows.

My favorite photo of the day is this one:

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I dont know who that lovely lady is but I loved the way the wind was blowing her hair, and I especially love the horizontal lines of the railing. I hope that her food tasted good.

Overall, it was a completely wonderful day! I think I’ll have to come back downtown again, maybe in the Autumn when everything starts to glisten from the rain.

Do I love city photography? Yes! Am I any good at it? Not yet, I dont think. I’m loving the thought process when it comes to composition and lighting. It’s something new to me to work with so many elements. But I’m really excited to try it again.

And there’s something magical about catching complete strangers in a snapshot of their lives.

And alleyways, of course.

 

We All Begin

I guess I should actually title this: “I should have done this years ago”

This is me:

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You can call me Mercury or Kay. I prefer the former. I’m 28 years old and I really love art. Almost enough to call myself an artist.

I’ve been drawing, painting and making a general mess since high school, where my grade 11 fine art teacher made me fall in love with creating, but it wasnt until 2015 that I actually started to really love it. It all started with a film called Crimson Peak, directed and written by Guillermo Del Toro.

The film itself doesnt really have much relevance to this story (other than the fact that I love it) but the director… oh, the director changed my life. I loved the movie so much that I read a few interviews, gushed to my friends, and eventually, someone sent me a link to an interview of his where he talked about his design journal.

For anyone who doesnt know, Guillermo Del Toro is famous for his monsters. And in this design journal he drew, painted, wrote about and basically created his monsters. I loved it. I really really loved it. The mix of text and sketches spoke to my soul.

Now, I’ve never managed to fill a journal. I tried! Back when I was 14 and had a big old crush on a cute boy and having all sorts of problems with my parents, I wrote in my diary, because I saw it in a TV show and thought that’s what you were supposed to do. I got through maybe 15 pages before giving it up.

Filling an entire journal seemed completely impossible. But a sketchbook… that seemed feasible. In fact, that same high school art teacher told us that 30% of our final grade in her course will depend on a sketchbook that we are to hand in. It didnt have to be finished, but it did need at least one sketch per week and our thoughts on what we created. Most people in the class handed in a sketchbook that was 1/3 finished. I handed in 3. I still have them. They’re some of my most treasured possessions.

The concept of mixing text and art didnt occur to me for some reason. Dont ask me why… I just thought that Art (yes, Art with a capital A) was supposed to have rules.

I gave up on rules for art a long time ago.

Back in 2015 I started a sideblog on my tumblr account where I started to find and re-blog peoples journals and sketchbooks and that’s where I learned about art journals. It wasnt until 2016 that I felt brave enough to post some of my own. By that time, my little blog had gotten quite a bit of attention. There were a few hundred people actually listening and seeing my work.

A few months later I also started an instagram. I had one for my personal ramblings and my knitting projects but @mercurialmilk became my new home very quickly. I found some really amazing artists and a community that was welcoming, kind, generous and so so creative!

While I have a few issues with instagram as a platform, the people that I met there are honestly the reason I keep creating. I know it ‘shouldn’t be about the number of followers’ but at the end of the day, an artist craves a connection to their audience. They need to know that they’re connecting to people in more than words. And that’s what I’ve found through this amazing community.

My goal with my art journals (and my art, in general) is to keep pushing the limits of what can be considered art, to find people that connect with my work and to inspire.

My  journals have also helped me with my constant battle with mental health – and you’ll see a lot of that pouring through on my pages. I journal so that I can get the monsters on the page and out of my head and as Guillermo once said:

“Since childhood I’ve been faithful to monsters. I’ve been saved and absolved by them because monsters are the patron saints of our blissful imperfections.”