Meet Your Crafters: Lisa Cinar, Draw Me a Lion

Like most of us, Lisa Cinar got her start as a maker at her family’s dining room table.  Armed with a crayon, colouring books, fresh white paper and her vivid imagination, she began to illustrate the stories in her young mind.  Seated next to her mother, she’d ask “Mom, can you draw me a horse?”, “Can you draw me a mermaid?” and “Can you draw me a lion?”

 

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Fast-forward to 2008, when Lisa’s first children’s picture book The Day It All Blew Away was nominated for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize.  Her second book Paulina P. for Petersen was published in 2009, followed by a full-length comic called A Murder of Crows.  In 2011, she launched her shop Draw Me a Lion, offering up irresistible colouring books, art cards, colouring posters, stickers and limited edition prints.
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Now, when she’s not writing picture books or dreaming up new designs for Draw Me a Lion, Lisa writes a blog on the art of picture book illustration – aptly titled I Heart Picture Books – and teaches a course on Illustration for the Continuing Education Department at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

 

Draw Me a Lion is part of the mini Got Craft? at Maker Faire this weekend, so I asked Lisa for the scoop on her delightful creations and what we can expect to find at her booth.

 

Can you tell me a bit about the how and why you started Draw Me a Lion?

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I have always loved Children’s products of all kinds from toys to activities to books. I noticed that I could have a lot of fun making things with kids in mind and that this was something that I was sort of naturally drawn to and good at. I wrote up a little business plan in 2011 and then launched the shop at the the end of that year. Now that I’ve been in business for over a year and a half I’m really happy with where I’m at. I love doing this!

 

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Where do you find inspiration for your books, illustrations and stories?

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I like to think back to my own childhood a lot when I come up with stories and images, and I don’t have to try hard to remember. There are a lot of things that just sort of stayed with me. You know how in Calvin and Hobbes Calvin always daydreams in math class about going to some alien planet? That was me sometimes, and…that is still me today sometimes too!

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What advice would you share with the little makers and crafters who experience your work?

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I always try to leave space for kids to really make the activities and items theirs. I leave lots of extra space in some of the Colouring Postcards for kids to add to the scene rather than just colour in. In my colouring posters there are speech bubble so that you can decided what animals are saying or to draw anything else you want in there. In the Colouring Mask Book the masks are two sided and one side is a more traditional colour-in-the-lines type of style while the other one is way more loose and open to interpretation and adding to.  So I guess my main message to kids is always that they are all artists just by way of being a child. I want them to know that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to draw anything! What’s important is that they have Fun while they’re being creative.

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What can we expect to find at Draw Me a Lion at Maker Faire next week?

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I just finished making some brand new Flower Bouquet Button Packs that I’m pretty excited about. It’s Summer and I have a little bit of a thing for flowers so I thought it would be a cool idea to make a sort of ‘everlasting bouquet’. And they’re not just for kids by any means! There are two different sets of buttons to choose from as well as our also still pretty new  Colouring Party Invites and Colouring Stickers Packs! It’s always super nice to meet people who are interested in my work so yes, please come on up to the Mini Maker Faire and visit the Draw Me A Lion table! See you there!

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For more treasures, visit the website and snag a free download, like Draw Me a Lion on Facebook or stop by Lisa’s personal site for a peek at her impressive portfolio. Or better yet, meet her at Maker Faire!

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Haven’t bought your Vancouver Mini Maker Faire day tickets yet? They’re cheaper if you buy them in advance!

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Stop by The Hackery and  Lee’s Electronics for a special promo code. The Hackery and Lee’s also still have paper ticket weekend passes available at EarlyBird prices. Get ‘em before they’re gone!

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Lee’s Electronics  — 4522 Main Street
The Hackery  — 304 Victoria Drive @thehackery







Meet Your Crafters: Steven Enns, Hand and Sew

Amongst the talented crew of artists you’ll discover at the mini Got Craft? at Maker Faire is leatherworker Steven Enns, an industrial design student with a penchant for minimal aesthetic and smart design.

 

Self-taught, Steven started his leather products company Hand and Sew with a desire to create simpler designs for goods he knew were in demand but could not be found in stores.  He now crafts leather wallets, lanyards, sketchbooks and custom items out of his Vancouver studio for sale at markets and local shops around the city.

 

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Can you tell me a bit about Hand and Sew?

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Started in late 2012, Hand and Sew was created after unsuccessfully searching for a simple, thin wallet made from natural materials. I picked up an amazing book, “The Art of Hand Sewing Leather” by Al Stohlman (pub. 1977) as well as a few tools and started experimenting. All of the products are made using no machinery, I cut, sew and finish everything by hand.

 

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What inspires you as a maker?

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In the leather working community there seems to be two main styles, Old country style leatherwork, and new age ultra modern leatherwork. I’m trying to fit between the two; taking the finishing and bulletproof construction of the old, and combining it with the minimalist smart design of the new.

From Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles for Design:
- Good Design is long-lasting
- Good Design is as little design as possible

 

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When you’re not crafting for Hand and Sew, what kinds of projects would we find you working on?

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I am an Industrial Design student going into my fourth and final year at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, where I experiment with soft goods, wood, furniture, programming and electronics.  I am also apprenticing at a local company, Palmer and Sons doing design, production and customer service.  Nik Palmer taught me a lot  about working with English bridle leather (a very thick, and structural leather), crafting a solid product, as well as building a business. He’s definitely someone I look up to.

 

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I took a peek at your blog, and saw a prototype for a sweet women’s envelope clutch. What else is on your list of things to make for Hand and Sew in the future?

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I actually finished the final prototype for the Envelope clutch here.  I started out small, making wallets and accessories, but really want to expand my product line to include larger items such as tote-bags, duffel bags, backpacks, and purses. I’m also very interested in using other natural materials such as cotton canvas, for some more cost-friendly product alternatives.

 

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What can attendees expect to find at Hand and Sew at Maker Faire next week?

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I’ll be there with all of my wares, including a full line of wallets and accessories  I’ll be there doing some live demonstrations of how to sew by hand using a saddle stitch, as well as showing some of my new and unique items that you’ll only see on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages!

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Haven’t bought your Vancouver Mini Maker Faire day tickets yet? They’re cheaper if you buy them in advance!

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Stop by The Hackery and  Lee’s Electronics for a special promo code. The Hackery and Lee’s also still have paper ticket weekend passes available at EarlyBird prices. Get ‘em before they’re gone!

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Lee’s Electronics  — 4522 Main Street
The Hackery  — 304 Victoria Drive @thehackery

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