Hey thanks for dropping by! I’m an illustrator and Dad of 4...yes 4, ranging in age from 19 to 13 months. This is my first blog under “Vegan Dad” and it’s really just a place for me I throw down thoughts, feelings & frustrations about my plant based journey. I decided to wrap this blog in with my illustration site because ultimately these life changes I’ve made have touched every part of my life.
So, where to start. When I met my wife in 2010 she had already had experience with a vegan diet - I on the other hand had no idea what vegan was, and when I heard it involved not eating anything from an animal, I couldn’t wrap my brain around why the hell anyone would subject themselves to such torture! No pizza? KD? Chicken burgers?? But besides the whole animal cruelty thing, I dove into reading the amazing health benefits from adopting a vegan lifestyle - specifically the great content from Forks Over Knives. It became clear the more I researched, that this was not a fad diet, but a way of life. And having a 13 month old at 40 - I want her & my other kids to see me as an example as I get older, not a cautionary tale.
Long story short, over the next few years I’d attempt the vegan way of life, but slowly the draw of the processed goodies and the sweet sweet allure of bacon & burgers would bring me back to the dark side. I also questioned why I was doing it to begin with, even after researching the astounding health benefits. This back and forth continued until September of this year when something just clicked. I just told myself I could no longer eat the things that weren’t good for me. Not without some hiccups - especially with kids in the house, but it’s been 2 months and still going strong. I even made it through Halloween, and only ate a few mini coffee crisps, and that’s saying a lot for me.
There’s tons more I’ll touch on in future blogs, but it’s taken me forever to just sit down and finish this, so for now I’ll leave you with a super simple recipe, because at first when starting your plant based journey, keeping it simple is what will keep you motivated.
The Spicy Spud Bowl
This is a super simple bowl you can make even with a baby by your feet (that blurred figure is our 13 month old Callie, who bum shuffles at super sonic speeds).
A WARNING - I’m not much for measuring because I live on leftovers so when in doubt make lots!
I'm so super fortunate in my day-to-day, to be able to get my creative hands dirty in all kinds of projects. 7 months ago I joined the guys at birchbarkmedia, hired on as a freelance in house content marketer & illustrator. I work from Birchbark HQ 3 days a week to service our content marketing clients - mostly in the adventure travel industry. I write blogs, maintain social media accounts, and work towards spreading their brand stories, as well as our own.
Birchbark has a solid reputation in the community for film production and marketing, but also for having stupid amounts of fun, so work never really feels like work. A healthy amount of craft beer is always stocked in the fridge, viral videos play in the background to keep us up to speed on what's weird in the world, and provide us with inspiration. We're always on the lookout for different ways to offer more value in what we create, and do it better than anyone else, while - again - having stupid amounts of fun.
This lead Scott, Phil & I in the direction of a new project (still under lock and key) that would tell our own brand story, but hopefully help others to tell their's as well. Part of this process was to revamp a section of the office space to house this new initiative - "get to work Wilkins!" so that's what I did. With the help of a few Mad Tom's - a Square Nail or two, we put together a visual representation of what we're all about (give or take) in the form of an old tavern, complete with mounted unicorn, sports paraphernalia, and lots of booze. . I created a digital rough then drew it in sharpie on our walls in my "Live Line" style - serving as a backdrop for the project.
I can't wait to share more soon! Thanks to Scott and Phil for making me your dysfunctional third - it's been a blast!
Some pics here of the wall illustration process, but we also love visitors (especially those who bring beer) so drop by and say hi and see it for yourself! We're at 188 Hunter Street West, Unit #7, Peterborough, Ontario K9H 2L2.
I was asked again to illustrate the MNRF's Biodiversity event! Love working with these folks. They totally trust my process and give me creative freedom.
My daughter Averie & I set out to hit some area hot spots on the first warm weekend of the season. We encountered some pretty interesting characters.
It was important to both Rob & I that the heart of the project be dedicated to raising funds for a local organization.
About 7 weeks ago I was approached by Rob Howard of Kawartha Local with the inspired idea of creating Action Trading Cards with a super hero spin. These cards would highlight 6 local individuals who embody community spirit & are viewed as ambassadors for change and the betterment of Ptbo as a whole. It was important to both Rob & I that the heart of the project be dedicated to raising funds for a local organization. After tossing around ideas Rob suggested the downtown Warming Room - honestly, a place I had no idea existed, dedicated to providing a safe, warm space for the homeless. I was immediately sold.
The folks we chose are all unique in their own way - often contributing to community causes behind the scenes, separate from their super alter-egos. Being a public figure is great, but being an awesome mild mannered Peterborian...Peterborite?... was even more important in our selection process. In fact, there are SO many amazing people contributing in amazing ways to our city, this sparked some social media conversation on a possible online selection process for a 2nd series of cards. Stay tuned!
A reception and project launch is planned for Saturday Feb 6th from 4 to 6 pm at Black Honey Coffeehouse, 221 Hunter. Cards will be available for sale with several “superheros” on hand at the event. We hope to raise some serious cash for the warming room!
The Community Superheroes edition of Peterborough Trading Cards is limited to 100 sets, 600 cards signed and numbered by yours truly. Cards are sold in packages of 3 for $17.70, online at kawarthalocal.ca, and at Naked Chocolate and Black Honey Coffeehouse, both on Hunter Street. Collectors can complete their set by trading any “doubles” at Facebook.com/KawarthaLocal or by making contact with other collectors on Twitter with the #PTBOTradingCards hashtag. There will be an online silent auction for set #1 of the cards and for signed larger scale versions of my portraits. Howard estimates that combined sales for the project will raise $2500 for The Warming Room.
(full press release here)
Once again, real proof that Peterborough & the people in it, are the best. Special thanks to Rob for bringing me in on this project, and can't forget Jeff Macklin and The Commercial Press for their crazy good design and printing skills!
Check out all our super humans below!
I recently had the great honour of being asked to Graphic Facilitate the KWIC (Kawartha World Issues Centre) Youth Summit here in Peterborough.
The more I'm out there scribing important issues, the more I learn actually how to listen, and sift through the conversation in order to illustrate the very best of these discussions.
The KWIC Youth Summit was especially important because some very brave youth were in the panel, openly and candidly talking about how they have been personally marginalized and discriminated against. But more importantly, how they are overcoming their own obstacles and rising above, and speaking about the change they want to see for youth in communities.
Thank you for allowing me in. Well done & keep being the change you want to see!
Back in the day I was a pretty big Jays fan. But, like many, I lost interest and only recently became a bandwagon jumper. Honestly, I don't think there is anything wrong with that - who wants to get on board with a losing team spanning over two decades anyway?
So, in honour of my renewed faith, combined with my love for Halloween, I created this guy, making his way out of the grave to home plate.
GO JAYS GO!
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I flippin' LOVE Halloween! So, in the spirit of everything creepy, gross and scary, I've teamed up with my friends at Whitebulb Animation to bring you the "Short'n Scary Story Contest!"
We're asking Peterborough kids 8-12 to submit their freakiest stories and with the help of some local media giants, we'll pick the best and animate it!
all the deets here!
To say the very least, I am disgusted at what the human race has become. The killing of Cecil the lion is yet another example of the blatant disregard there is out there for life on this planet. My hope is, very soon, we realize that one life is not more important than another. Apologies for the downer post but had to get it off my chest.
Here's a quick cartoon I put together to honour Cecil. Rest easy big guy - your killer will be brought to justice.
It's finally summer, yay! Things have been crazy busy these days in the studio but thought I'd quickly drop by and post some cool stuff that has gone down over the last few months.
I had the great opportunity of doing Graphic Facilitation for the MNR at their Biodiversity Summit in Niagara Falls at the end of May. Was super fun, and my wife & I got to experience the Falls close up!
Here are some pics from that gig!
Upon my return from Niagara, I had to put on my "Art Battle Organizer" hat which was held again at The Venue. I'm all about putting myself in extremely uncomfortable situations in order to grow as an artist (and a as person). Hosting Art Battle was a HUGE undertaking but what a wicked experience! If you aren't familiar, click the link above!
Some pics of that event..
Finally, just today I was featured in the coveted "PeterBIO" spot in the local "Peterborough This Week" paper (www.mykawartha.com). It was a fun interviewthe best part being it included Heidi, the kids & the animals :) (they really had no choice because Marty & the cats weren't budging from the couch where the interview was tasking place)
Read it here!
Photo credit: Lance Anderson.