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From the Archives: “Tah-Dah”!

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Upon graduating from Sheridan College in 2009, I completed my thesis animated short film entitled “Tah-Dah”. It ended up making it into over 40 film festivals and winning two awards in filmmaking! I went to LA twice for festivals, and to Hawaii & Maryland to teach animation workshops. I sure squeezed a lot out of my little 2-minute film! 🙂

*Original music for “Tah-Dah” composed by Corey Wallace

I was going through my own archives, realizing it was over 10 years ago (!!) and found it neat to discover some old interviews. What would I have told myself ten years ago about my life now? And where will I be ten years from now…? I have to say, I am pretty proud with how hard I have been chasing my dreams.

Here’s a short radio interview I did with CBC in 2010 in Winnipeg – I remember going down to their studios very early one morning. What a fun experience chatting with them!

 

Here’s a little interview I did on the red carpet at Feel Good Film Fest I went to in LA – they screened the films at the iconic Egyptian Theater – such a surreal experience to see my film play there!

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Here’s a newspaper I was featured in Maryland for their International Film Fest – I was lucky enough to go down and teach a series of animation workshops to kids there. SO much fun, and the people there were so incredibly hospitable & wonderful!

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Thanks for all the fun & memories, “Tah-Dah”! I can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring.

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Schitt’s Creek fanart

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I know I am late to the fanart train for this show, but I have loved this clearly Canadian classic since it started airing here – well before it got wider acclaim!

I grew up in Winnipeg watching Eugene Levy & Catherine O’Hara and their amazingly brilliant antics on SCTV. I would curl up at the foot of my parents bed and laugh, even though I’m sure I had no idea what most of the skits were about. The costumes and funny voices were enough for me! I was in awe – they were like Canadian Carol Burnett’s!

“Schitt’s Creek” is genius, hilarious, heartwarming and groundbreaking. I want to do so SO much more fanart for it, but SIGH, I am overloaded with projects. So here is one sketch for now – available on my Etsy store if you want to buy a signed print. 🙂 I am filled with glee whenever I can get back to drawing on paper, so I hope to do more soon.

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Local travel posters

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Since I work full-time in children’s animation and illustrating kids books, sometimes I love to dust off my graphic design skills for fun.

I have always loved those vintage-esque travel posters – but who is traveling anywhere right now?? Well, they are opening up some local things around us, which helps ease the Groundhog Day feels a bit.

So the idea came to me to do a couple posters for my fav local Maple Ridge places, as a fun exercise. I have already gotten some custom orders from people – so if you want your fav place illustrated in a poster like this, feel free to reach out! 🙂

Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Provincial Park – this beautiful lake is about a 10 minute drive from our house, and we often escape for the day or bring dinner and let the kids play in the sand.

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Gold Creek, Golden Ears Provincial Park – a fav hiking spot, and a location used often for filming shows & commercials.

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Ridge Meadows Dyke trails, Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows – biking about 25-30K almost every day on these trails has been saving my life during quarantine!

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June 17 update:

A friend commissioned me to design three custom travel posters of their fav spots, with their kids built into the designs! 🙂 Such a fun idea!

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Human DOING.

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This quarantine time has made me see I am way better at being a human DOING, rather than a human BEING. I like to be busy. I don’t like to be still and feel hard things. It’s ugh, and uncomfortable. But this time is teaching me that’s exactly what I need to do.

Slow down.

Breathe.

Feel it. Stay with it. See what it can teach you.

This illustration came to me when I jogged passed one of my fav trees this week. Man, it felt good to dig out my pencils & ink pens and lose myself on paper. (Drawing on toothy watercolour paper is also really satisfying. My Moleskine sketchbook was full so I had to – happy accident.)

Hope everyone remembers to slow down! Love to you all.

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Blippi’d

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My son Hudson is OBSESSED with Blippi. Can all the Mamas & Papas raise your hand if you have a toddler who is requesting to watch Blippi AD NAUSEAM?! (Send wine and headphones.)

My only appropriate response to this is to draw him in his glory wearing Blippi’s garb. Even when he asks for his children’s vitamin (which are Frozen-shaped because he has a very opinionated older sister), he pulls out ANY shape and yells, “BLIPPI ONE!”

Gosh, I love 2-year-olds.

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Side note…. I wonder if Blippi has any kids books out there and needs an illustrator…..

Quarantine art club

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Sheesh, friends.

This new normal, this quarantine life – it’s not easy, right? I don’t do well with unknowns, with large fears, with missing people. I am thankful for so many things, and also struggling with so many things. I know we all are. For me, music helps. Dancing helps. Working out helps. Hugging my kids helps. Getting outside on my bike helps.

Making art helps.

Here’s a couple sketches I have done outside of my book/animation projects that I’m not allowed to post about. I will keep adding as I do them!

Hang in there, we are all in this together!

Sending many social distance tight hugs. I can’t wait to have a big dance party when this is all over.

Stay safe and healthy!

May 5 – I don’t know why, but it gave me immense joy to paint my favourite chair tonight. I need to actually sit and rest (or write!) in it more, though. #notetoself

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May 3 – I think one of my fav things is hearing/watching someone playing violin. Man, I love that sound. (Best sound on film scores, too.) When I worked in Gastown (a trendy part of Vancouver) someone would take up residence on a bench and play their violin. It ALWAYS made me smile. Sending hope, love and music therapy to everyone tonight.

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Apr 24 – The sun was setting as I was biking the other day, so today I painted it. I’m hopeful, I’m sad, I’m trying my best not to give up. Remember, each day is a new one!

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Apr 21 – My daughter turns 4 today! I have been dying to draw her in this most awesome Mr. Rogers dress she constantly wears 😀

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Apr 20 – My daughter chose my outfit for me 🙂

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April 18 – saw this guy on my bike and his outfit made me smile, so I had to draw it 🙂

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BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!

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Friends, I can’t believe I get to announce this dream come true. If you don’t mind indulging me, I will give you a quick timeline of how I got here:

I have always wanted to do a project combining my art and faith journey as a gay Christian. In late 2018 I thought of doing a kids book so that my kids, and other kids, could read it. I called it “Dear Younger (gay) Me”.

Nov 2018 – I had a call with Jennifer Knapp (childhood icon!) about an unrelated project we were going to collaborate on, and I brought up my book idea. She encouraged me to do it.

Feb 2019 – I started sketching storyboards & writing on the train to and from work. I was shocked at how quickly it all came pouring out of me. I reached out to Rachel Held Evans. (I wrote a guest post for her blog in 2014 and had kept in contact with her.) She wrote me back saying: “What a beautiful book, Stacey! I’m happy to share far and wide. Thank you for making this.”

May 2019 – I sent out my book idea on a whim to see if I could get an agent to represent me. Within four hours of sending it out, and to my total shock, I had two offers of representation. I signed with The Bent Agency in NYC a few days later.

July 2019 – My agent Claire sent out a formal book proposal to a bunch of editors and we wait. (I am learning publishing is a slow game!) Claire helps me evolve and expand my story from a kids book to a YA illustrated novel.

Oct 2019 – We are approached by Beaming Books who are very interested.

Nov 2019 – Beaming Books sends Claire a book offer to publish! Claire goes back and forth to negotiate the terms as I vibrate with excitement in the corner.

Feb 5, 2020I officially sign the book deal with Beaming Books!! They start a discussion about changing the name of the book to be more suitable for a YA audience. They land on “Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming of Age Story (An Illustrated Memoir)”.

March 5, 2020 it is officially announced in Publishers Marketplace (above image) I can fiiiiiiiinnnnnnally share this with you all!!

I am beyond grateful for this opportunity. I am trying to do my best writing and drawing for the privilege to be able to represent a voice for the gay Christian community, and for younger me. ALL. THE. FEELS.

Children’s Bookshelf also shared my book deal in their list (below), and I still can’t believe this is happening. But it’s been a long road, so I’m going to celebrate each milestone! (In a perfect coincidence, I was having a dance party with the kids when the tweet came in! 😆) Click image for link.

 

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Stay tuned for updates as I continue to work on it!

Oscar Posters 2020

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It’s my fav time of year! I have loved the Academy Awards since I was a little kid, and my love of film has only grown since then. A few years ago, I decided to do a poster for any of the nominated films that I managed to see. I don’t get to use my graphic design skills as much anymore working in animation, so this is just a fun exercise to stretch those muscles. I will keep adding the ones I do for 2020 as I do them.

*See below for a gallery of past years posters!

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Previous years 2016 – 2019:

“Rainbow Boy” book announcement

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Friends, I have some exciting news!

With the help of my agent Claire at The Bent Agency, I’ve been hired by Beaming Books to illustrate a really adorable picture book entitled “Rainbow Boy” (written by Taylor Rouanzion)! I’ve been working on it for a little while, but it was officially announced this week in Publisher’s Marketplace!

Here’s the official announcement. Stay tuned for updates! 

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UPDATE JAN 5, 2020: RAINBOW BOY is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca (for my Canadian friends)! It releases in September – and I am working hard now on the rest of the illustrations! Until then, here is the cover and a sample spread of the inside. 🙂

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Being a guest on “Blessed Are the Feminists” podcast

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A few weeks ago, the kind folks at the “Blessed Are the Feminists” podcast invited me to be a guest, and talk about my experiences with Christian feminism, having LGBTQ faith and being a gay Christian mama.

It was such a great conversation, and I think, so important to have right now! The episode aired Sept 1, and can be heard on their website here. Or look them up on iTunes & Spotify to subscribe! Follow them on instagram & twitter @holyfeminists!

Here’s a few tweets they put out about my episode:

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