BIG on Bloor Debrief

Hi Blogworld

This past weekend (July 20-21) I had the privilege of representing our blog at the BIG on Bloor street festival. I met so many wonderful people. There were so many talented  kids that sopped by the booth to paint and draw with me. It truly was a pleasure getting to know each and everyone of you. Thank you for participating. Also thank you to Pulp for building such great pavilions and thank you to Open Streets for including us in their brilliant selection of activities. I am looking forward to future events. I would very much like to share pictures of the event with you.

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Getting Warmed Up…

Good morning readers!!!

Today’s the day! The day that we get to do our art journaling workshop with everyone else attending Big on Bloor in Toronto this weekend!

What going on? Here it is…

Starting at 1:00PM today we will start posting the prompts that Goldie will be using in the CARD-YARD. We will all be working on the same prompts at the same time, switching the prompt every half hour. Feel free to tackle any or all of the prompts that you’d like. We also encourage you to post any comments, feedback or pictures here on the blog or at our new Twitter and Instagram page (@niva6blog). If you would prefer to share your work but keep it private you can send us a look at

The event will run from 1:00 to 6:30PM today and 12:00-6:00PM tomorrow. So there’s lots of time to stop in and see what we’re up too. Enjoy the weekend!!!

Big on Bloor from Around the World

BIG on Bloor Festival 2013 - LogoAs most of our readers will know by now, Nivå6 will be setting up an art journaling workshop at Big on Bloor this upcoming weekend! If you are going to be in the GTA this weekend please stop by to see Goldie K and see what she’s up to.

If you aren’t going to be in the area we’ve come up with a way that you can still participate! Life got in the way this weekend and Dee and I won’t be able to make to the GTA. Not wanting to miss the event we have developed a way to allow for more people to participate and to allow for some of our own input as well. We are going to run the workshop online simultaneously with the live show. Here’s how it works:

We will be providing visitors with different prompts throughout the day, one new one every half hour. The event will be running from 1:00 – 6:30PM on Saturday, 12:00-6:00 on Sunday. While Goldie is posting the prompts at the festival we will be posting them online as well. You will be able to find the prompts here at the blog and on our new twitter page (@niva6blog).

We are encouraging anyone who wants to participate to provide comments, post pictures of their work and provide feedback. We are hoping to compile work that is gathered through the event and share it when everything is all done.

Come back and see us in the morning and we will have some more information for you! So get a good night sleep and get set for a crazy art journaling weekend!

Nivå6 is going to be at Card-Yard at BIG on Bloor!!!

BIG on Bloor Festival 2013 - LogoWe have some very exciting news to share. Nivå6 will be setting up an art journaling workshop at the Card-Yard pavilion during the BIG on Bloor festival.

BIG stands for the Bloor Improvement Group which is a dynamic volunteer coalition in Toronto, dedicated to advancing the economic, physical, cultural and social life of Bloor Street by creating opportunities and events that improve and celebrate the area. They are the main organizers of the festival.

The Card-Yard pavilion is organized by PULP, Open Streets and Architecture for Humanity Toronto. Thank you to all of the participants for their hard work and for inviting Nivå6 to join the party!

The festival will take place:

Saturday, July 20, 1–9 pm
Sunday, July 21, 12–6 pm
On Bloor Street, Toronto
Between Dufferin and Lansdowne

Nivå6 will be located at the CARD-YARD pavilion which is located inside the tennis courts at the South-West corner of Bloor St and Dufferin.

Come join us, the activities are suited for all ages and skill levels. Art journaling is a fun and a worth while exercise for everyone. Nivå6 will be giving out new journaling prompts every 30 minutes and participants can chose which medium they want to use. You can draw something for the first journal prompt, write a story for the second, and take a picture for the third. How you chose to participate is completely up to you.

Hope to see you all there.


Humans of New York


Good people of the blog world. I have kept a secret from you…well not really since the secret is a very public and well followed blog. 🙂 I showed Erin and Dee a few days ago and their reaction was as great as mine was when I first came across it.

The brilliant blog is called Humans of New York and is run by Brandon Stanton. He basically walks around New York City, takes pictures of and talks to all kinds of people. For me the brilliance of this blog is that it shares the extraordinary stories of everyday people with the world. Stanton’s photographs and interviews breaks hears, humours, inspires, and even  breaks through stereotypes. 

The first video is taken from the Humans of New York blog. The second is a TEDx talk given by Stanton. The two videos give a beautiful introduction to Stanton’s work. 


Why Pay for It if You Can Get It for Free?


This weeks Creative Resource post may be a bit controversial in nature simply because it is a bit of a criticism. The subject is Unpaid Internships, something which seems to be increasing in popularity within certain fields. It seems to be a floating rumour, particularly in the design field, that everyone starts off being unpaid interns…that it is the only way to get a job.  A recent Globe and Mail article breaks down the potential damage this notion and trend can have on the economy. “Why should they shell out hard-earned cash to pay someone who will do the work for free?”
The article highlights many good points and even mentions that certain internships are being auctioned off to the highest bidder. THAT’S RIGHT, people have started paying employers to get hired as interns.

“On, a six-week internship at the United Nations has been bid up this week to $22,000. So far, working at Rolling Stone is worth $1,350 and a summer with designer Rebecca Taylor in New York is $1,000. (Proceeds from the auctions go to various charities).” 

Not sure if those internships are paid or not, but it still seems ridiculous.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has a section which talks about the legality of unpaid labour. They outline 6 criteria which all have to be meat in order for the unpaid internship to be legal. They are as followed:

  1. The training is similar to that which is given in a vocational school. In other words, the work you are doing is similar to instruction you would get while in vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the intern. You receive some benefit from the training, such as new knowledge or skills.
  3. The employer derives little, if any, benefit from the activity of the intern while he or she is being trained.
  4. The intern does not displace employees of the person providing the training. Your training doesn’t take someone else’s job.
  5. The intern is not accorded a right to become an employee of the employer. Your employer isn’t promising you a job at the end of your training.
  6. The intern is advised that he or she will receive no remuneration for the time that he or she spends in training. You have to be told that you will not be paid for your time.

The truth is, and the Globe and Mail article also mentions this, that not all interships are bad. There are some that are designed to educate and  give experience to the intern. These sorts of internships are valuable and worth being “hired” for. Obviously it would make the financial situation a bit tights but that should not stop these sorts of internships from being offered.

What makes the unpaid aspect of internships hard to swallow is that most of them tend to take advantage of the intern without offering much in terms of experience or education. The idea really seems to be “why pay for it if some one is willing to do it for free.” Tisk Tisk is all I have to say to that.


Ok so lets say you do not want to work for someone. You are your own boss and do as you please. How should you look at freelancing your work for free, either to gain clients or exposure?  Well there is nothing and no one that can stop you from doing this if you chose to. Personally, I think freelancers should know the value of their work and value themselves enough to ask for it. It just seems more professional. That being said I have done free work in the past. In both cases I was very clear about what it would normally cost and that I am volunteering my time and work to support the cause.  In both instances the Graphic Design work was for fundraisers: One to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross’ efforts in Pakistan after the 2010 flood,  the other a fundraiser to help support a women’s shelter in Ottawa. This was my way of contributing and it was my decision to do so.

There are tons and tons and tons of posts with information, tips and guides when it comes to freelancing, pricing and even free pitching your work. FreelanceSwitch has a post on this which I think is fairly stated and worth looking at. But there are tons…so just get on the google and read through some of them, they will paint a wide and colourful picture of the freelance world. At the end of the day this is a personal decision and no one can tell you what to do. However, keep in mind that when you work for free you are generally bringing down the monetary value of your work and your self as a designer/artist/photographer. It would be in your interest to get something really solid in return for your efforts and your work.

London Art Studio Tour

This past weekend the artists of London, ON held the London Artists’ Studio Tour. The 27 artists involved opened their studios to the public so that they could show their work, their spaces and sell some art work. Work that was displayed varied from metal work to glass to paint to fabrics. This was a great opportunity for a new artist to the city to see what’s happening in the area and get familiar with the artists who work here. The tour was self guided and all free.

It was interesting to see the different approaches to art and to studio spaces. Some artists work separately from their home, some with a store front, and others with studios in their homes or renovated backyard sheds. The tour was really interesting and a lot of fun! It was a great way to raise awareness of the artists that are working in London, how they work and where the interest lies within the city. Below are some pieces that were on display on the tour…

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Does Your Resume Actively Reflect You?


There is no question about it, your resume has to have a visual appeal. It has to stand out. How much it stands out depends on the field you are in and the particular firm/company/office you are applying for. Obviously there are some universal does and don’ts, such as editing. But there is flexibility in how your resume is presented, especially if you are in the market for a creative position. It is important that your resume, cover letter, and portfolio (if one is required) represent you and your personality not just in terms of the information but also in its visual appeal.

imagesNaldz Graphics is a Design Blog that dedicates itself to providing useful information, inspirations, tutorials and resources to the Design Community. There is a well of information there.

Here are three links that go over some basic dos and don’ts for a graphic design resume. However, these tips are great for EVERYONE. Even if you are applying for the least creative job you should pay attention to the way you present your information. A little extra effort can go a long way. Obviously an accountants resume should not be in a booklet form with colours and pictures. But the layout of the information, emphasis, and font still matter.

Best Practices to Bear in Mind for a Graphic Design Resume

10 Graphic Design Resume Tips

Mistakes in Creating a Graphic Design Resume

Also it is very worthwhile to look around to see how others have approached and personalized their resume. A simple “creative graphic designer resume” image search on google will give you lots of inspiration. So get creative and do not miss this opportunity to show the hiring party who you are before a single word is read. It will make all the difference.

The Pasta Killer!

Hello lovely readers! A North Bay film team needs our help to make their dream a reality!!!

My friend Josh has been part of the development of the film noir mini series entitled “The Pasta Killer”. Now the team is looking to develop the story into a feature film AND it’s going to filmed in NORTH BAY,ON! But, they can’t do it alone, they need our help with donations in the form of props, money, locations, costumes, and MUSIC! Anyone out there who is willing to help out please visit The Pasta Killer website and get some more information on how you can help.