Rae Drake #1

Meet Rae Drake: a talented graphic designer who has worked with us on a few different projects. We’ve asked Rae to contribute as our Guest Blogger for the month of June not only because of her impeccable taste, striking design work and unbelievably well curated Tumblr but because she has the sweetest personality to go along with it all. Check back here every Wednesday for her perception of Toronto and all the amazing things going on during this month.


I graduate this Friday. Which means that on Sunday, at the graduation party my mom is throwing to celebrate that I actually went back to school and finished, I will probably have to answer a lot of questions about who I want to be when I grow up. When I grow up. Which is when? Now? Next year? The year after? I don’t know when it will be, or who I will be. Who does? All I know is that right now, I’m young, living in a growing city, with lots of creative people, doing lots of exciting things. I may be done at OCADU, but I’m still spending the summer as a student, learning from this city and the people that I share it with. Here are ten things I studied up on this week.

1. Author Sheila Heti

“How should a person be? For years and years I asked everyone I met. I was always watching to see what they were going to do in any situation, so I could do it too. I was always listening to their answers, so if I liked them, I could make them my answers too.” – excerpt from the book’s prologue.

Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? is a tender, funny and messy novel about the author’s relationships with herself, with her best friend Margaux, and with a man named Israel. Being adrift with my own identity at the moment, I loved it for the questions it asked, the answers it didn’t give, the relatable heroine and the familiar landscape of Toronto.

2. Artist Margaux Williamson

I was introduced to Margaux Williamson in Heti’s How Should A Person Be, where her friendship with the author opened my eyes to the depths a relationship could go. Their love and loyalty to one another extends so much deeper than what the simple title of “best friends”; each is often the subject of the other’s work, and they operate as muse, mentor and mother to one another.

3. Sylist Monika Tatalovic

When talented Toronto friends get together, great things happen for the city. My friend Monika is one of those people. She often collaborates with Toronto photographers and models, with her signature combination of prints, textures, and unlikely silhouettes that are the direct extension of her playful, fearless and eclectic personality. You too can become obsessed with her Polyvore and her portfolio.

4. Succulents from Sweet Woodruff

Speaking of obsession, let’s talk about succulents. The plant’s visibility has increased thanks to reblogs and repins on Tumblr and Pinterest. Offline, you can find them at almost any florist in Toronto, but I recommend you visit Lisa Collins at her new Dundas West floral boutique, Sweet Woodruff. Lisa can order in the sculptural rosettes for you, help to custom pot them, or arrange them with other florals for a hybrid kind of bouquet.

5. Illustrator Vesna Asanovic

I came across Vesna’s illustrations at the 2012 OCADU Graduate Exhibition. Her thesis project, titled ‘13’, is an observation of “girl culture through the lens of the Occult.” Even at 23, a decade since my first day as a teenager, I still feel like one, and I still believe in magic.

6. Designer and Photographer Anthony Gerace

Another talented student from the OCAD Graduate exhibition is photographer and designer Anthony Gerace. His work explores what happens when two people work together in a controlled environment, such as in the studio, with a series of repeated poses and positions. He investigates the evolution of the relationship that forms between himself and his subjects. A few months ago, he asked me to sit for him when we were still strangers, but out of the process, we became friends, and that is a kind of art I can get behind. 

7. The Junction Flea

This Sunday, June 8th, the Junction Triangle will be home to a flea market! Get ready to treasure hunt for vintage gems, retro artifacts and handmade goods. While it’s no Williamsburg Flea, it’s definitely a start. Toronto just keeps getting better and better.

8. Bismuth Necklace by Dolorous

Bismuth is said to relieve both spiritual and emotional isolation. As a transformation stone, it helps to balance disorder and to energize change the right direction. If like me, you’re in need of all of the above, you can wear a Bismuth crystal necklace around your neck, available at Danielle Singer’s Dolorous Etsy shop.

9. YOLO Neon Sign by Emily Muggenham

Although designed a room inspired by teenage girls for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2012, Muggenham’s You Only Live Once neon sign is a glowing reminder to people of all ages that the decisions we make are our own, and we only have once chance to make them. Unless you believe in reincarnation, in which case YOLOAO (You Only Live On and On)

10. Photographer Petra Collins

A lot has already been said about Petra Collins, the Toronto-based photographer and curator of The Ardurous. Most recently I’ve been enjoying the work she is doing with Rookie, contributing photograph series about femininity and teenagerdom to the Eye Candy section. Like I said, I still feel like a teenager, so Petra’s work resonates with me and probably will for awhile.