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Introducing Andra Mares and Amelia

The start of summer has brought a new collaboration about at Graven Feather, this time with recent Humber graduate Andra Mares. We are working with Andra to release a series of letterpress cards, each one hand printed in the Graven feather studio. I first met Andra as she first officially met the Graven Feather studio; tho she had been introduced to Pam this spring at the Grimsby Wayzgoose. She walked in with a folder of images and full of the special spark which lives in a recent graduate excited to be on a journey and path in a field they love. As we looked through her images there was a series that really jumped out at us of four simply adorable, tho not simple bunnies. It was an easy decision that these illustrated cuties should be the ones added to our line of cards. With that printing began in a flourish and the first in the series of four is available now in our shop and online. I was curious tho about the story behind this happy hopper, so I chatted with Andra and here is what she had to say:

Graven Feather art gallery studio Diy workshop Andra Mares Letterpress cards

Alexis:  Does your bunny have a name?

Andra Mares: Yes, she is named Amelia, after the American aviator and feminist Amelia Earhart. I wanted her to embody the boldness and courage it takes to go against the grain. This little bunny has a lot to teach us, if we only give her the chance. Just like her namesake she had an unconventional upbringing that encouraged her sense of adventure. 

She’s made this her mantra: “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” (by Amelia Earhart)

A: Is it the same bunny that is going on adventures through out the series?

AM: It’s indeed the same bunny that is going on adventures throughout the series. In every season she shows off her quirky boldness in a new way while looking for adventure!

A: It looks like this bunny is having a wild time! How did she find herself riding on top of the bull? 

AM: She is definitely having a wild ride! This little adventurous bunny decided to travel the length of Spain but realized it was far too dangerous for a solitary bunny. Instead of giving up she enlisted the help of this bull, exchanging stories for protection and transportation. She’s quite the storyteller and the bull is a sucker for a thriller, so with Amelia’s rich imagination and life experience, she spins enough tales to keep the bull entranced.

Here she finds herself riding the bull towards Barcelona, in search of art and adventure! 

Graven feather Toronto Art Gallery studio Diy Workshop Andra Mares letterpress card

A: The series is drawn using illustrator creating a scratchboard style. That seems very labour intensive. Can you walk me through the process that brought the bunny from an idea to life?

AM: This was definitely a labour intensive process but also quite rewarding. I started out sketching out the character in pencil, the way most of my work starts. Then, thinking that I would one day like to scale these bunnies to various sizes I decided to render them using vectors. 

Using a Wacom tablet, and filling my mind with scratchboard art, I embarked on the creative journey that lasted many hours. The characters evolved and changed shape as I rendered them but I stayed true to their essence. 

A: How has your back ground in graphic design helped to shape this project and how is it inspiring your work now that you are out of school? 

AM: My background in graphic design has helped me shape this project into one that is strongly inspired by research and concept. Ideas don’t come out of thin air and Amelia was born out of a creative struggle to find a way to embody both nature’s seasons and a certain outlook on life. I researched and sketched until I was happy with the concept. 

Now that I’m out of school bunny Amelia inspires me to continue approaching life and work playfully, enjoying the process, remembering that that’s when the good stuff is born.

A: What can we expect to see happening with the bunnies in the rest of this awesome series?

AM: In the rest of this series Amelia the bunny enjoys other traveling adventures, influenced by the seasons that surround her. The rest of the series captures her in various stages of her next adventures. 

 

Graven feather Toronto Art Gallery studio Diy Workshop Andra Mares letterpress card

All photos are courtesy of Andra and you can see these along with a post Andra has written and her other work, here on her website.



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