Angelica Yiacoupis' Creative Process

Find inspiration. Follow your instinct. Experiment and perfect.  We asked illustrator Angelica Yiacoupis to walk us through her creative process.

i2i Art: Where do you start?

Angelica Yiacoupis: When working with a client, I start with brainstorming words from the brief, which then leads off into numerous spider diagrams. Following this I draw tiny sketches from these words. These turn into little rough thumbnails of jumbled up ideas.

i2i Art: What’s your go-to inspiration?

Angelica Yiacoupis: I ‘google’ of course, and I look through my pinterest collections. Sometimes I find inspiration off websites such as Bored Panda and exhibitions; the ‘Pick me up’ Graphic Art Fair being my personal favourite. Magazines such as Computer Arts are also full of great ideas.

I am also inspired by several artists work such as Leandro Castelao and Mick Marston with his bold use of vector animals. The fascination I have with Leandro Castelao’s work stems from the mechanical inside workings of machines and technology from a young age, which I also incorporate into my own work.

 i2i Art: What’s the next step in your process?

Angelica Yiacoupis: I never normally have the final image completely drawn out before I start on my mac, as I find the idea changes as I’m creating the piece. I don’t take my sketches onto the mac either, instead I draw them out digitally from scratch to create a more structured, symmetrical look that I find is better suited. I experiment a lot with composition and ways of drawing elements of the image in Adobe Illustrator, as well as testing out lots of colour palettes. Most of my creative process is spent on the computer as I’ve always found it easier to jump right in.

My final outcome is always a polished structured piece as I love perfection in my own work.

Let’s take a look!

Coca Cola & the Gods

Angelica Yiacoupis: A completely open self initiated brief. I wanted to create something fresh and out of the ordinary. I started by choosing to advertise Coca Cola because of my strong interest in advertising and the fact that they have such fun and lively existing adverts, they would be a a major dream client for me. I decided to tie in the concept with the idea of Greek mythology. With this unique idea I wanted a unique layout. I came up with the idea of dividing the series of pages into three sections and then showing three ways Coca Cola was being used by each god to tell a story in each piece. And so Coca Cola and the Gods was born.








Global Warning

Angelica Yiacoupis: This idea started from a drawing I did a few years ago. I decided to create the quirky character and as I did the evolution began. The outdated robot on it’s last legs transformed from the drawing into a much more complex creature. I always like to give my work some sort of meaning, to add a purpose and get a strong message across to an audience. The original piece with the robot bomb bumble bee seemed to fit in very nicely with the idea of self destruction and the effects humans are having on the environment and the world. I then added the landscape and combined with the character, I feel it carries a strong message.  I decided to add to the seriousness of the message of climate change by showing more aspects of climate change such as gas emissions and the effect carbon dioxide is having on animals—by killing them.


Watch Angelica at Work

Mark Hoffmann's Mural at the Montserrat Gallery

The exhibition SEVEN: A Peformative Drawing Project at the Montserrat Gallery was a perfect opportunity for illustrator Mark Hoffmann to spread his creative wings even further. Mark, along with six other artists, put their creative process on display by executing a large mural on one of the gallery's walls in an open studio environment. The mural itself was meant to be the "residue of an artistic performance." We found both the process and the final product pretty spectacular.  

Mark Hoffmann's 'Men of Mountains' Mural

Mark Hoffmann Mural

 Close up of Mark Hoffmann's lettering

Mark Hoffmann Mural Close Up


We chatted with Mark Hoffmann after the show...


i2i Art: How were you approached with this project?

Mark: Leonie Bradbury (the gallery director at Montserrat College of Art, where I teach) contacted me in the fall to see if I had any interest.  They usually try to get one faculty member involved and thought I would be a good fit with the other artists.


i2i Art: Was this your first mural?

Mark: Yes, and it was quite overwhelming.


i2i Art: Tell us about the piece.  What was your inspiration?

Mark: I really wanted to paint a giant horse and started to research. Somehow I ended up reading about the early exploration of what would later become the first national park of the U.S., Yellowstone. In my research I found the story of the Cook, Folsom, Peterson expedition to explore and survey the land. I thought this might make a fun image with them, a horse, and geysers. I also had a previous color palette worked out that I wanted to apply to the piece.


i2i Art: What was it like working on that scale?

Mark: Difficult. It's hard to get a sense of the scale until it is right in front of you. I found that I had to stand back and look at it a lot, otherwise I wouldn't take the scale into full consideration.


i2i Art: The gallery was open while you were working on the piece, tell us about the atmosphere.

Mark: As I was working, quite a few folks stopped in to look, but very few chatted with me. They later told me they were afraid to interrupt. I must look deep in thought when I paint. It was nice to have the freedom to paint and explore at that scale and really knock people over with an image.


i2i Art: Do you have any tips, tricks or lessons learned you want to share?

Mark:  I realized that some of the techniques I planned to use are hard on that scale and surface. Use a paint with primer in it (I used house paints) so you don't have to apply it twice to get good coverage. Bring plenty of Aleve and Tylenol, the work can be a little back breaking.

Hyperlapse: Watch Mark Hoffmann's mural come to life


On view through March 28, 2015 at the Montserrat Gallery.

Mark Hoffmann offers a playfulness to his americana, folk art style.  View Mark's entire portfolio.





Tracy Walker: Print's Hand Drawn Competition

  Tracy Walker's "In Pursuit of Little Red Riding Hood", a hand-cut paper piece, was selected as one of 30 winners in Print Magazine's Hand Drawn Competition for 2012.

The work was created as one of a series of fairy tales, cut into paper, and bound into salvaged books. The series was exhibited and all pieces were sold.

Deadline for entries for Print's HandDrawn 2013 competition has been extended to December 1/2012.

John Webster in Covet Garden Magazine

John and his friend Stephanie Power were recently featured in the lovely Covet Garden decor magazine.  Their spaces are perfectly aligned with Covet's interest in environments that have not been styled by  interior decorators.  Both John and Stephanie's artistic esthetic is reflected to a 'tea' in their uniquely delightful homes.  John says, "The best part of the house is that for the first time, my apartment feels like a collage--my art and way of living have become one."  Look at John's portfolio here and see if you can find some of his "curious curios" living in his art. Photos courtesy of Covet Garden, photographer Ashley Capp.

John in his delicious kitchen!

Jillian Ditner: TIFF 2012 Walking Map for Timberland

A little while back marketing agency trevor peter communications contacted us about a walking map for Timberland, an official sponsor of TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival).  When Jillian Ditner was chosen, we were pretty excited about this great opportunity!  Creative Director, Alexandra MacDonald and Jillian, along with Josh McKellar, Marketing Manager for Timberland, began the collaborative process of creating the first ever eco friendly tool for navigating TIFF. The initial direction was for Jillian to create her own artistic interpretation of Toronto, the TIFF ‘playground’ and the area venues downtown that host the Festival.  One of the key objectives for this user-friendly map was to inspire TIFF-goers to ‘get outside’, walk the festival, and connect with the community.  The finished map below is available as a downloadable pdf at the Timberland online Community here.  Enjoy the Festival!

Here is a glimpse into Jillian's process.